In a world where technology is constantly in flux, website migrations are inevitable for many website owners at some point in their life. Website migrations vary from case to case and no two website migrations look the same. Some are simple and straightforward and can be completed within a couple of hours by a single person, while some are complex and lengthy and can take days and a team of support engineers to complete.
Luckily, we’ve been in the hosting business for a long time, so as you can imagine, we’ve carried out a lot of site migrations. In fact, we perform hundreds of website migrations a month. Check out what we’ve learned in our website migration guide below.
What is a website migration?
A website migration, as the name suggests, is the process of moving your website from one place to another. The exchange can be done between domains, web hosting providers, servers, or even CMS platforms.
Why should you migrate your website?
The decision to move your website to another web hosting provider is never an easy one. Customers usually migrate their websites because of one of the reasons below:
- Pricing is not reflective of the services provided
- Service level is not acceptable
- Change of service, for example from a shared web server to a virtual private server, dedicated server, or cloud server
- Requirements have outgrown the scale the current provider is operating at
- Requirement or preference to have company data hosted within Canada
- The need to meet additional corporate governance requirements like SSAE 16
After identifying your need to migrate web hosting providers, consider any third-party dependencies that could also play a role in the migration process.
What are the steps to migrate your website?
1. Knowing your needs.
For those who are not managing their own websites, it’s crucial to contact the individual who is managing your site and knows the dependencies and requirements of your website.
Make sure that everyone is on the same page about the website migration and for extended maintenance of the site. For example, if the DNS service for a customer’s website is hosted externally, we would need to make the necessary changes with the remote provider to minimize impact during the migration.
2. Analyzing your existing structure.
Once you have contacted any third parties involved, we have our support engineers evaluate the existing configuration. This is to ensure there is a clear understanding of where the migration will start. Items include:
- Identification of applications that are in use
- Identification of versions of all applications that are in use
- Use of control panels
- Ensure there is no evidence of server compromise or malicious activity. If the existing server is compromised we must ensure a greater degree of independence with the new system
- Ensure passwords are reset
- Identify any interaction with third party services which may have IP (source or destination) specific requirements or restrictions in place
3. Creating a list.
Create a list of all the services that you need to migrate. Make sure to include the following:
- Domain names
- Mail domains
- System user accounts
- Mail accounts
- FTP accounts
- SSH accounts
- Database user accounts and database names
- Remote access services
- Local services
4. Implementation and testing.
Once you’ve made your decision to migrate and the required information has been supplied, we will proceed to schedule the migration. Depending on the size of the migration, it can be done quite quickly and with minimal delay. In certain cases where a large scale migration is required, a support engineer is assigned as the main point of contact during the process. This helps us maintain continuity with the flow of information and updates between the company and customer.
In most cases, website migrations will involve significant changes to the versions and installations of the programs or applications that support your website. Even slight changes can cause significant problems. Thorough testing is always absolutely critical to avoid outages and service disruption. Testing is done through one of our professionals familiar with your website and application.
Start your migration today.
If you are interested in migrating your account or have any questions about the process, feel free to contact us at email@example.com. We offer free website migrations and up to 6-months of credit for any unused credit from your previous web hosting provider.