Before creating a website, you need to choose a server and also select the environment of your server. There are a large number of web hosting providers that offer cloud-based servers. In order to select the most suitable web hosting provider for your website, you need to first understand the meaning of web hosting.
Without understanding web hosting and its importance properly, you will not be able to select the best web hosting provider. However, even if you buy a plan from a web hosting provider and realize afterward that it isn’t right for you, you can still remedy that.
You can change your web host any time you want, and many people do that for a myriad of reasons. Maybe your web host is not providing you with good speed or good quality content network distribution systems, or you may have found a server hosting provider that is way cheaper and has all the features you need.
How to Change Web Hosting Provider and Move Your Website?
So, if you are going through one of these things, you need to find another web hosting provider first that works well for you. After you have found one, you would want to transfer your website to your new web host, but you may not know how to do that.
In that case, this guide is going to prove really helpful to you. Here you are going to find a detailed step-by-step process to change a web hosting provider and move your website from one web host to another. To do so, follow these steps:
Step 1: Select a new web hosting provider
First of all, you need to research web hosting providers and select one for your website. You can sort through online reviews and customer feedback, or you can see specially curated lists available online featuring the best cloud service providers.
However, it is advisable to register your website’s domain on a third-party provider because you may need to switch to a new host again. This will allow you to switch between hosts anytime you want without affecting your domain.
Step 2: Find and download your website on your computer
Now what you need to do is to see where your previous web hosting provider has stored your website. After you have found your website’s location, you should find out if you can get backup folders of all of the databases that your site might be using or not.
Once you have found the files, you should download them to your system so that you can easily pass them on to your next web host.
Step 3: Export the database files of your website
It is possible that your website might be using extra databases to store visitor data or to manage forms. If this is the case, then you must obtain them and then export the same. The process of exporting the databases differs from one provider to another, so you should work out the details with your previous web host.
If you are a user of cPanel, then you can easily export a database. To do this, you need to go to phpMyAdmin, which is a native tab available on cPanel. You may come across strange names, files, and databases, but you should not worry about them. All you need to do is follow the steps outlined below, and you will do fine:
- Go to cPlogin first and then enter the login details.
- You will see a tab named ‘Database.’ You need to click on the tab and open it.
- Then click on the phpMyAdmin icon and you will be redirected to the interface.
- You need to select one of the databases.
- Now you have to click on the ‘Export’ button located in the middle of the menu.
- Then select the option, ‘Quick – display on the minimal options’. There is also the ‘Custom’ option available, but you should only choose that when you know a few things about MySQL because you will require that knowledge here. If you do not know much about MySQL, then you should select the Quick option.
- In the format section, choose the ‘SQL’ option for the export.
- At last, you have to click on the ‘Go’ button and then the export will begin.
- Now you will be required to choose the location where you want your exported file to be. Make sure that you remember the location of the file later on.
Your database is now exported and you can now import it to your new web hosting provider.
Step 4: Upload your site and import the database
Since you have successfully exported your database to SQL, you are capable of importing your website to your current web host account using MySQL on phpMyAdmin. This is a very easy process, and the users generally do it on their own without requiring any professional help.
If you have a static website that might be a landing page to showcase your business, then all you have to do to set it up on the new host is upload some files.
Now you need to upload all the files that you downloaded from the previous hosting provider to the folder called public_html on your new hosting provider. When you go to upload the files, you will find two options available to do so:
1. Upload via File Manager
The fastest way to upload your database files is by using the File Manager. You need to follow these steps:
- Login to your cPanel account with your login credentials.
- Find ‘Files’ and then choose the option ‘File Manager.’
- When you see the ‘public_html’ folder, double click on it.
- Lastly, find the files of your website that you downloaded and upload them to this folder.
2. Upload via FTP
File Managers are ideal for uploading or modifying one of the files when you cannot set up an FTP client due to some reason. However, it is advisable to use an FTP to upload the files on your new hosting account.
FileZilla is a free FTP client that is really popular among bloggers that you can easily install. After installing FileZilla, you can connect to the server host by entering the login details you were given when you registered for your new web host. The login details mean that you are required to enter your username, password, and the FTP server name.
After you have logged in successfully to your FileZilla account, you will see that your small part of the server consists now of all the folders. You will easily be able to locate the public_html folder among all those folders.
You need to find the previously downloaded database files on your computer, and then you need to drag and drop those files into the folder.
The upload process can take a few minutes, depending upon the speed of your internet connection and the size of the files. Once the upload process is complete, FileZilla will inform you after which you can simply go to your domain on the browser and check your website.
There are certain websites that use databases so that they can store large amounts of information that are required for the website to function properly. In the case of a custom website or any popular CMS, such as WordPress, they also have a database that means that you need to transfer it and the files.
Through PhpMyAdmin, you can import a database too just like you exported one. Here is how you can do it:
- Firstly, you need to open cPlogin on Google Chrome or any other browser.
- Now you need to login into your hosting account using your login details.
- Go to the ‘Database’ tab and click on it to open it.
- Select the phpMyAdmin icon.
- Then you will see an interface where you need to find and click on the ‘Import’ tab.
- Then you have to locate the ‘Browse’ button and click on it.
- Locate the database that you exported from the previous web host and then unzip it if it is zipped.
- You will have to select a file with the .sql extension.
- At last, you just have to click on ‘Go’ and wait for some time.
- After a few minutes, the import process should be completed, and you will see a message on the screen that says: “Import has been successfully finished, X queries executed.”
Content Management System (like WordPress)
Are you using a content management system like WordPress, Blogger, or Joomla? If yes, then you can easily migrate your websites from one web host to another.
They have native migration options that make exporting and importing your website a lot easier. Your entire website can be transferred from one web hosting provider to another in just a few clicks.
Step 5: Test your website on the new web host
Now that you have completed your website’s migration from your previous web host to your new one, it is time to test the website. In order to do so, you can use the temporary URL if your domain name is not pointing to the new server because it is the best way to gain access to your site.
You have to log in to your account management panel and that is where you will find the temporary URL of your website. There you will find the option ‘Account Technical Details’. Click on this option after which, you will see a section called ‘Temp. URL’.
Then you will find the temporary URL of your website displayed next to it. Just go to that URL and check your website. This is how a temporary URL looks like:
In the place of “ipaddress”, you have to put the IP Address of your web host and in place of the “username”, enter your cPanel account username. Make sure you add the “~” symbol before the username.
After following this extensive guide, switching to a new web hosting provider and transferring your website to it will be a lot easier. If you follow the steps given in this guide properly, you should be able to do it on your own hassle-free.