Moving hosting is not easy – in fact it’s a pain! Most clients have us handle everything for them and know it will be done properly.
First, let’s talk about webhosting. To move hosting, you have to have two hosting accounts active. The first, where your site currently is, and secondly, where your site will be.
In most cases you will have to have someone competent to do this for you, because depending on the ‘language’ your site is hosted in (i.e. flash, php, html, WordPress, Magento etc) you will need to connect up databases on the new server and make sure everything works, before changing over your DNS to point to the new hosting ‘numbers’ for your new server.
Sometimes, emails can be moved, and sometimes they cannot. (ask your tech.)
This largely depends on where and how you have them set up currently.
Some webhosts also allow email hosting via the Cpanel, and other hosts charge separately for this. Some clients use Microsoft Exchange or Google Apps for their mail. If this is the case, then moving web hosting should not affect your emails.
However, to be safe, you should download all emails from the server and back them up prior to your hosting move, especially if you are using IMAP (which references the server.)
Also, once you have moved hosting, your emails will need to be set up all over again on all your devices (desktop computer, laptop, ipad, iphone, nexus, etc.) This is because there will likely be different server details and possibly even a password change, however if you can remember your email password, ask your tech to make it the same on the new server. (Keeping your email password the same, however, may not get you off the hook of having to enter new settings in all your devices to check emails.)
Basically – moving hosting is technically difficult, and should be attempted only by experienced coders or techs used to working in the hosting environment.
Another tip: Make sure that your new host has the right specs to host your website. Windows hosting is still notoriously tricky to get SEO-friendly URLS working on Joomla sites, and is not suitable for WordPress. The best hosting ‘specs’ to look for are called ‘LAMP” – Linux/Apache/MySql/Php.
Ask your tech to recommend hosting that has the right specs.
Another tip: Not all servers support ‘scripts’ that back up your site. So make sure your server does support third party software, or else offers it’s own backup service. Many web hosts do offer a backup service, but it’s overwritten every week.
This means that if something happened to your site more than a week before, you will not be able to revert to a safe copy unless you backed the site up yourself and downloaded it to your hard drive.
Our excellent webhosting and maintenance package does all of this and more!
Firstly, our entire server is backed up weekly (overwritten) but better than that, we create scheduled backups of your website that are stored on your server for as long as 6 months, and even after that, we archive them to Amazon S3 cloud storage – so no matter what happens to your computer, our computer or the server, a backup of your website is stored at a 3rd safe location!
Also, our maintenance package is human-staffed. Each month, we log in to your website and update WordPress and all plugins to the latest version. This is ESSENTIAL to keeping your site safe.