Switching Your Small Business Website To A New Web Hosting Server

by Lois Leonard

2 min read

It’s fairly commonplace for a small business to switch its company website to a different web host. Many small businesses start out with the least expensive hosting server that meets their needs. As your company grows and its website becomes more complex, you may find it beneficial to migrate your site to a new server to obtain faster speeds or more expanded service, such as a back office with a wider array of site management features.

Website migration tools and cloud servers have improved immensely in recent years, making it easier to move your website. However, issues such as mobile and tablet optimization have arisen, freshly complicating things. Unless you exercise caution and plan ahead, switching to new host may cause a number of problems, such as slow page loading and loss of search engine optimization.

Keeping Your Website Easy to Move

The first step in being able to easily migrate to a new web hosting service is avoiding getting locked into your old web hosting service. Read the fine print before signing up with any web host server. Make sure that you – not the web host – own all the components of your website, such as data, graphics and any proprietary functions you pay to have created.

The Essentials of a Website Moving Plan

Make sure you back up your website frequently. Nearly all web host services conduct regular backups, so it shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s best to double check with your web host on the frequency of backups, and if necessary, arrange for your website backup to be kept more up to date.

Do your research on potential new web hosts ahead of time, so you always have a short list of possibilities close at hand that fit your budget and hosting needs, and that are compatible with your website. Avoid having to find a new web hosting service in a rush, since you’ll be less likely to make the best possible choice when you’re desperate.

Check the SEO of your website, including keywords, mobile friendliness and page redirects, to make sure it’s clean. If you don’t have an in-house SEO expert to do this, there are SEO optimization services such as PageCloud available that you can use. In any case, do your site optimization before moving to a new web host, not after.

Although each web host provider has its own set of site migration tools to use, see if your vendor uses open source code, as this makes migration a much easier and smoother shift.

Check the features of your website to make sure they’ll function properly with your new host server. It may require some reprogramming to get them to work, or there may be features heavily integrated with your current host that you can actually do without and still have full site functionality.

References & Resources

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