What are the best website migration services

How to move your website to a different web host (and know when to switch)

Intro: How to Submit Your Website

In an ideal world, we would never have to worry about switching web hosts - our website would happily stay in the current hosting provider's facility with great load times, affordable costs, and 100% uptime.

Unfortunately, the world is not ideal, and that perfect scenario rarely, if ever, exists.

If your current web host isn't giving you what you need, it may be time to switch to a better one (we'll talk about when it's time to make changes to the website later part of this article). Moving your website to a new web host doesn't have to be as stressful as moving to a new home. It can actually be pretty easy if you take the right steps.

Two ways to migrate a website

When moving a website to a different web host, you need to:

  1. Purchase and activate a new hosting account.
  2. Move all website files - including databases and email accounts.
  3. Install and configure your application (PHP version, WordPress, etc.) on the new host.
  4. Check new site for staging / temporary url,
  5. Troubleshooting
  6. Point your domain DNS records to the new web host

You can either outsource these tasks to your new hosting company (many will do it for free) or you can transfer your websites manually or with a plugin.

We'll cover both options in this article.

Option # 1: Outsource Your Site Move (Free)

Choosing a web host that offers a free migration service is the best option for both novice and busy business owners.

Web hosting is a competitive industry - hosting companies do everything they can to attract new customers. Many hosting companies, including some great ones that I recommend, offer free website migration service to new customers. All you have to do is request a migration after signing up with the new provider. The support team takes care of the heavyweight.

In most cases, this is the preferred method so that you can save time and focus on other important work with your website.

Here's what you need to do if you choose this option:

1. Register with a web host that offers free site migration

Here are recommended hosting companies that offer free site migration:

  • Hostinger - Known for its competitive pricing and one-stop hosting solution. The shared plan for a single website starts at $ 0.99 / month.
  • InMotion hosting- Great web host with over 15 years of track record.
  • GreenGeeks- Greener web host, huge improvement in recent hosting performance.
  • InterServer- Fast and reliable web host based in New Jersey - The shared plan starts at $ 2.50 / month.
  • TMD hosting- Great Performance and Great Price - Shared hosting starts at $ 2.95 / month.

* Disclosure: If you order through these links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

2. Request a site migration and provide the website details

Submit a migration request to your new web host. Usually you just need to enter the login credentials for your old host - host name, control panel login and FTP login etc; and your new web host will take care of the rest.

Example: InMotion Hosting

Example: GreenGeeks

3. Site back and relax

Yeah that's all you gotta do

No troubleshooting database errors. No migration of email accounts. Easy as pie.

Option # 2: Submit your website manually

1. Buy a new web host

You need a new web host before you can start a host migration.

There are a variety of hosting solutions, each with its own configuration and offering. You will need to evaluate and compare the factors that apply to you based on a number of factors including cost, storage space requirements, and server configuration, to name a few.

Ideally, you should let your visitors and / or customers know that you are moving to a new web host, as well as information about the hours you will be making the switch. It is good PR practice to regularly update social media statuses to keep your customers informed. Also, ask your users not to visit your website during the migration to minimize system load and avoid additional customer service issues.


2. Move website files and email accounts

If you run a static website (site without a database) all you have to do is download everything (HTML, JPG and MOV files) from your existing hosting server and upload it to your new host according to the old folder structure. The move can be done quickly with an FTP / sFTP agent. I recommend FileZilla if you are looking for one.

Moving a dynamic site (with a database) requires some additional work.

Moving the database

For a dynamic site that runs on a database (such as MySQL), you will need to export your database from your old web host and import it onto your new web host. If you work with cPanel, you can easily do this step with phpMyAdmin.

If you are using a content management system (e.g. WordPress, Joomla), you must install the applications on the new web host before importing the database. Some CMS offer simple transfer functions (e.g. import / export functions of WordPress). This feature allows you to transfer your data files directly through the CMS platform.

Moving a WordPress site

Moving WordPress from cPanel to cPanel

With WordPress sites on cPanel hosting (the most common setup), the quickest way to move your site is by compressing everything in your public_html or www folder, uploading the folder to your new web host, and the following two lines add to your WP configuration:

define ('WP_SITEURL', 'http: //'. $ _SERVER ['HTTP_HOST']); define ('WP_HOME', WP_SITEURL);

Moving WordPress with popular plugins

Alternatively, there are plenty of good migration plugins out there for those moving the WordPress site to a new web host. I like Duplicator - WordPress Migration Plugin and All-in-One WP Migration for their simplicity. These plugins allow you to move, migrate, or even clone a WordPress site to a new web host without any technical knowledge.

Moving WordPress with specially designed plugins

Some web hosting companies provide their own WordPress migration plugin. For example, Automated Migration of the WP Engine and SiteGround Migrator - These are special plugins designed for transferring WordPress sites to a specific web host. You should use the internal plugins when moving to these particular companies.

Move email accounts

Perhaps one of the hardest parts when switching your web host is transferring your email. Basically, you will encounter one of these three scenarios:

Scenario # 1: Email is currently hosted on a domain registrar (like GoDaddy).

The easiest way to move this email setup is. Log into your domain registrar (where you host your email address), change your email hosting record (or @) to the new host's IP address.

Scenario # 2: email accounts are hosted with a third party (e.g. Microsoft 365)

Make sure your MX records are updated in your DNS along with any other records your email service provider needs.

Scenario # 3: Email accounts are hosted with the old web host

Transferring a full account from cPanel to cPanel eliminates the need to manually transfer your email accounts. Alternatively, you can download all of your email accounts (and all of the files in them) from the cPanel file manager and upload them to your new web host. The process is simple - here is a step-by-step guide in case you need help).

In the worst case scenario (transferring from a less user-friendly hosting control panel) you will have to manually recreate all of the existing email accounts on your new web host. The process can be a bit tedious - especially if you use a lot of email addresses.

3. Final inspection and troubleshooting

After loading your files into the new hosting configuration, check that everything is working properly on your website

Some hosting companies offer a development platform (e.g. Siteground) so that you can easily and smoothly preview your website before using it live in the new environment to troubleshoot background issues.

Fixed website navigation errors and missing links

Moving your site's assets from the previous hosting environment could misplace assets such as graphics or leave certain files behind. When this happens, your visitors are likely to encounter 404 errors. Keep an eye on the 404 log during and after the switch - this log will let you know of any broken links or assets that you need to fix in order to get your site back up and running.

In most cases, you can use .htaccess redirectMatch and redirect to point old file locations to new ones. Below are some sample codes that you can use.

Define your 404 page

To minimize the damage caused by broken links - where move.html is the page you want your visitors to see when they encounter a 404 error.

ErrorDocument 404 / moved.html

Transfer a page to a new location

Redirect 301 / previous-page.html http://www.example.com/new-page.html

Transfer the entire directory to a new location

redirectMatch 301 ^ / Category /? $ http://www.example.net/new-category/

Redirect dynamic pages to a new location

And in case you change your site structure on the new host -

RewriteEngine on RewriteCond% {QUERY_STRING} ^ id = 13 $ RewriteRule ^ / page.php $ http://www.mywebsite.com/newname.htm? [L, R = 301]

Troubleshooting database errors

There is a risk that your database will be damaged during the switch. I'm going to use WordPress as an example because that's what I'm most familiar with.

In case you can still access your WP dashboard, first try to disable all plugins and see if your database is accessed correctly. Then re-enable them one at a time, checking the home page each time to make sure it is showing correctly.

It gets a little trickier when you can't access your dashboard. Try these various simple steps to see if one works:

  • Upload your database again and overwrite the new database.
  • Check where the corruption error is coming from and try uploading this file from your old site to your new one.
  • Open the file and make sure it points to your new server.

Solution # 1: Automatic WordPress Database Repair

If these steps don't work, you may need to do a little programming, but I'll let you know.

First, open the new site in FTP and go to your wp-config.php file. The file should be in the main folder where your blog is located. Back up this file before making any changes.

Look for this phrase:

/ ** Absolute path to the WordPress directory. * /

Just above this line, add this wording:

define ('WP_ALLOW_REPAIR', true);

Save your changes and leave your FTP program open for the time being. Open your preferred web browser. Go to the following address for the representation


Solution # 2: phpMyAdmin

If the above methods don't work, the next thing you need to do is go to your database.

This can be intimidating if you don't know exactly how databases work, but the steps are fairly simple. Even if you completely destroy the database, you should be able to download it again from the old server and upload it again. You really don't need to worry as long as you have your database backed up.

Access phpMyAdmin from your new web host. Choose your WordPress database. This is usually called yoursite_wrdp1.

However, this can vary. However, you will likely see "WP" somewhere in the title (see image below). You can also find your database name in the wp-config.php file that you opened in the step above. In phpMyAdmin, click on the database name to open it.

4. Point domain DNS to your new web host

Next, you need to switch the DNS entry of your website (A, AAAA, CNAME, MX) to the servers of the new web host at your registrar.

Your DNS record is a list of "directions" that specify where to send the user. Moving your DNS record to the new servers will ensure that visitors will find your site as intended, rather than receiving an error or misdirection. This is an important step. Make sure you are getting the correct DNS information from your new web host.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to change your website's DNS at GoDaddy, Name Billig, and Domain.com.


If your domain is currently registered with your old web host, you should transfer the domain to a third party so that if you change host again, you can move your domain with you more easily and without potential complications.

5. Check the DNS forwarding

Once you've asked to move your DNS record, the change can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day.

As soon as the switch goes online, notify your former hosting company of the cancellation. Closely monitor the availability of your website for at least a week or so to make sure everything is working properly on the new web host.

Know when it's time to change your web host

Moving to a new web host can be a stressful time. For this reason, many website owners prefer not to switch web hosts unless necessary. After all - why waste time and energy when everything is fine?

So when is the right time to look for a new host? How do you know your web host is the number one cause of your website problem?

Here are some pointers:

  1. Your website keeps shutting down
  2. Your website is too slow
  3. Customer service is not helpful
  4. You need more storage space, functionality, or other resources
  5. You pay too much
  6. You have been hacked more than once
  7. You have heard of great service elsewhere

A good web host = sleep better at night

When I went to InMotion Hosting years ago - the tech support was so helpful and safely and solidly converted my website while I was sleeping. I woke up to a website that worked quickly and reliably without a single glitch in the service.

If you are uncomfortable or worried about negative reviews you've seen on your web host, it may be time for a change.

Changing web host FAQs

What is a website migration?

The term website migration refers to two scenarios: 1. The process of migrating a website from one domain to another, usually changing the website's locations, hosting platform and design. and 2, the process of migrating a website from one web host to another web host.

We use the term loosely in this article and refer to the second scenario.

How much does it cost to move a website to a new web host?

Free up to $ 100 based on the complexity of your website. Many web hosts, as mentioned in this article, offer free site migration services to their new customers.

Can I move my website from GoDaddy to another host?

Yes. However, moving a website from one host to another can be tricky if you haven't already. If possible, ask your new web host if they are ready to assist you with the free website migration - it will do it for you with no hassle.

Hosting companies like A2 Hosting, GreenGeeks and InMotion Hosting providing new site migration services to new customers.

Can you transfer a domain name to another hosting site?

Domain names do not have to be registered with your hosting provider.In fact, you can host your domain name with one service provider and link it to another service provider's hosting.

Does changing the web host affect search engine optimization?

In general, a non-changing web host will not affect your website's SEO, provided you keep the structure and content of your website. However, your hosting quality (availability, speed, etc.) will affect your search rankings in the long run. So I highly recommend choosing the best web host from our list.

Can we host a website for free?

Yes, it is entirely possible to host a website at no cost. However, these websites are often restricted in some way, e.g. B. with very little resources and forced host branding. You will also likely be forced to use a subdomain of the free host you are on as real domain names cost money.

How do I transfer my website to another owner?

Technically, this can be done by transferring assets such as web hosting, domain names and access to third-party plugins and applications. However, if you do take this into consideration, make sure that all related finances are on hold for your protection.

Also read -

On web hosting and domain names

When updating and choosing a web host

About developing a better website / blog

About Jerry Low

Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and useful by 100,000 users. More than 15 years of experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and others.