You create a website and then find out weeks, months, or even years later that the hosting provider you chose is not right for your needs. It happens to a lot of people. Perhaps your website has outgrown the hosting services provides. Or perhaps the host is not performing to the level that you want. Regardless of the reason, you may find yourself asking how do I switch web hosting companies?
The answer is straight forward, as many web hosting services allow for a transfer of the site. The complications arise when trying to find the right site, understand the terminology used for transferring your site, and getting the results that you want. What follows is an order sequence that will help you transfer your site to the right web host.
Transfer Domain Name to a Third Party Provider
Before you begin, be sure to transfer your domain name to a registrar outside of the one you are currently using. That way, when you do switch hosting companies, your website will be unaffected. You only need to do this if your domain registrar and hosting company are the same.
Look for the Right Web Host
Your journey begins when you search for another hosting service for your site. This means getting recommendations, following customer feedback and reviews, and seeing what they have to offer which addresses the needs of your site.
Since every website has its own unique needs, you’ll have to identify and find the hosting company that addresses them properly.
Download Your Site
Now that you have found the right hosting company, you will need to pack up and move your site.
The process itself is simple enough. Access your website’s files with your current host using FTP or the host’s online file manager. Next, download all files to your computer. Most websites take up only a little web space, so you should have more than enough storage to hold all the files. If you have a considerable number of videos and images, it may take longer.
Export WordPress and Databases
Be sure that you have all the files downloaded. This should include any databases that store data from your visitors, blogs such as WordPress, forms that help manage your operations, and so forth. Once you have them all, now you are ready to export and upload your site to the new host.
Hosting sites that accept transfers will have a set of directions for you to follow. But for the most part they follow a pattern.
- Log into the new hosting site
- Locate “Database” and open the tab
- Click on the Admin icon or relevant feature as instructed by the hosting site
- Choose the database and press Export
Now your site is being uploaded to the new hosting company. Remember that there may be variations on how the export is performed. But they all follow a similar pattern, so it should be easy to understand.
You’ll want to record where your files are being store, so you can access it later if you want. Keep in mind that you might have to change hosting companies more than once, so having that information handy is a must.
If you have asked, “How do I switch web hosting?” the answer is simple if you find the right web host, understand the terminology, and follow the instructions so that your site keeps its audience.