There are several scenarios in which you would need to transfer your website to a new host. They range from budgeting reasons, such as when you find a better hosting deal, to server software compatibility issues. Transferring a website is a simpler process than you might expect and knowing when to transfer your site is key to maintaining solid uptime and load speeds for your visitors.
Transferring Your Website for Upgrades
Sometimes website owners purchase economy or minimal hosting packages only to find they’ve quickly outgrown their allotted resources. If you’ve noticed an increase in traffic and your website has slowed down or is throwing errors then it’s definitely time to transfer your site to a new host.
You can keep an eye on the traffic and bandwidth usage of your website using tools like Google Analytics and HotJar Insights. Measure your traffic and usage details against the terms set out in your hosting plan to make sure you’re not exceeding your current hosting plan. To bypass these limitations and help your company grow you can easily transfer a website to a larger hosting plan or a plan with unlimited bandwidth.
Server space is another factor to consider when deciding if you’re outgrowing your current hosting plan. Many web hosts will allow you a GB or two of server space on basic plans, but if you’re hosting video of software files then this will quickly be insufficient. Backup your files and look for a host with unlimited storage space before your visitors start seeing 503 errors.
Transferring a Website to Resolve Compatibility Issues
It’s often necessary to transfer a website to resolve issues with software compatibility. For example, if you decide to switch your website to a new platform, say from WordPress to Drupal, you may find that your current host isn’t optimized for the newer platform. Depending on the required software specifications, your current host may not be capable of hosting the new platform at all.
One of the most common factors affecting server compatibility is the server operating system itself. Many web servers run on a free Linux-based operating system, Apache. Websites build using Microsoft’s ASP.NET will require IIS server software. If you change your website’s platform, or your host decides to start using an incompatible operating system then you will need to quickly backup your website and move it to another host.
Pay Less for Hosting by Transferring Your Site
Another time you’ll find it beneficial to transfer your website is when you come across a better pricing on web hosting. If you purchased your hosting a while back and haven’t done any comparison shopping recently, then you may be in for a pleasant surprise. Newer hosting technologies like Cloud Hosting Servers and Virtual Private Servers have brought powerful hosting packages down in price in recent months.
In order to see if you should transfer your website to save money on your hosting bill simply check out some of the leading web hosts to see what kind of plans they’re offering. Look for hosts that optimize to your chosen CMS or website platform to gain an increasingly-needed edge in SEO and keep your required specifications in mind.
Many hosts offer a discounted rate for new customers, which can last up to a year. There are also discounts available for switching to an annual billing cycle at most web hosting companies. If your current plan involves monthly billing then you can almost certainly save money by transferring your website to a new host.
Changing Ownership of a Website
Another reason websites are transferred is due to changes in ownership or management. You will often be required to transfer a website from the seller’s hosting account if you buy a turnkey website or have it build by a third-party. The buyer and seller will need to work together in most cases, as hosts and registrars tend to lock ownership of websites for security purposes.
Many registrars provide a transfer key to smooth the process out and make the transfer more secure. Request the transfer key for any website you’re purchasing or moving to a hosting account that you administrate. If you’re building a website to resell you will find yourself on the other end of this arrangement. Be mindful of the buyer’s transfer dates and have the key ready once the sale is complete. Ensure that the transfer is complete and that the buyer has placed their own name in the DNS records of the website to protect yourself from potential liabilities.
If you find that any of these scenarios apply to your website then you’re in need of a hosting transfer. Gather your registrar and name server data from the old and new host to ensure that the process is easy and error-free. Inspect the new hosting plan and do some comparison shopping to make sure you’re getting the best price and sufficient space and bandwidth.