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How To Migrate A Business Website To A New Web Host

How To Migrate A Business Website To A New Web Host

Migrate Business Website To New Web Hosting

A comprehensive 10-step guide to successfully migrate your business website to a new host with minimal downtime. Learn to backup files, redirect URLs, import databases, reconfigure WordPress settings, and optimize plugins for a smooth technical transition.

Moving your business website to a new web host can seem like a scary task, but with some planning and preparation from a digital marketing institute in Rohini like Digital Hikes, it doesn’t have to be. A successful website migration requires attention to detail to minimize downtime and potential loss of traffic. In this comprehensive guide from Digital Hikes, we’ll walk you through a 10-step process to safely and efficiently migrate your business website to a new host.

Choosing A New Web Host For Your Business Website

The first step is researching potential new web hosting providers. Digital Hikes recommends considering factors like:

  • Reliability & Uptime: Choose a host with proven uptime and redundancy to keep your site online.
  • Performance & Speed: Pick a host with a robust infrastructure for fast load speeds.
  • Security: Your host should offer essential security protections.
  • Price & Support: Balance the costs with the level of customer support.

When comparing options, check reviews and test out support to find the best fit for your business goals.

Export Your Website From Your Current Host

migrate business website to new hosting

Once you’ve chosen a new host, accessing and exporting a backup of your current site is crucial for smoothly transferring it. Most cPanel hosts have built-in export tools under “Migrate Site” in cPanel. 

This backs up your entire website into a .zip file that you can upload to a new host.

If not using cPanel, you’ll need to manually backup all WordPress files plus your MySQL database. 

Use PHPMyAdmin or your host’s database tools to export your database tables. Also, download wp-config.php and any other files not in standard WordPress folders.

Update Domain Nameserver Records

To direct your domain name to the new hosting provider, you need to change the nameserver records. Digital Hikes advises that in your domain registrar account, edit the records to match your new host’s nameservers. 

This can take up to 48 hours to propagate across DNS servers, so don’t skip this step.

Upload Files & Import Database To New Host

With your domain now pointing to the new host, it’s time to upload your website files. Most hosts have scripts to easily transfer exported backup files.

Alternatively, use SFTP to manually upload the backup ZIP file and extract the contents to recreate your site's file structure in the new hosting account.

Additionally, create a new database and user in your hosting control panel. Use phpMyAdmin to import your SQL database dump file to populate the database with your content and settings. Take note of the new database details as you’ll need them soon.

Configure The WordPress Database

The uploaded database reflects the old hosting setup. To connect WordPress to the new database, open wp-config.php and input your new host’s name, user, password, and other credentials so WordPress knows where to find the database.

You’ll also need to define the proper file paths in wp-config if those changed in the migration. Most importantly, edit the site and home URLs to match your new host domain.

Install And Update Plugins

Upon visiting your new temporary domain, you may find missing media and styling issues. This is because the domain change deactivates plugins. 

Digital Hikes recommends re-uploading or extracting plugins from your backed-up plugin folders, reactivating them, and then running any needed updates.

The same goes for themes - make sure your active theme is uploaded and updated before proceeding. This refreshes the site URLs across all assets and templates.

Update General Settings In WordPress

Navigate to the main WP Admin dashboard. Under Settings, review General settings, Permalinks, default media uploads path, and any other settings impacted by the migration. Make updates as needed.

For example, your site title and tagline may need refreshing with new branding details after a migration. Doing an audit of all settings ensures maximum functionality.

Test Site Performance

Now your site should be fully migrated with all files, database, plugins, and settings good to go. Digital Hikes suggests spending time clicking around pages and posts across your entire site to check for:

  • Display issues
  • Missing images/media
  • Contact form functionality
  • Broken links or redirects
  • Site speed and response times

Search console and analytics tracking can often reconnect automatically. But double-check that those are still reporting properly under the new URL.

Redirect Old URLs (If The Domain Name Changed)

If your domain name changed in the migration, Digital Hikes recommends setting up 301 redirects to pass link equity and traffic from old URLs to your new site. 

Use .htaccess rules, redirection plugins, or contact support for redirect assistance. This retains site visitors and organic search status when shifting domains.

Go Live And Update XML Sitemaps

Initially keep the site unpublished or restricted with a coming soon page to test the process before launch. 

Open access and submit updated XML sitemaps in Google Search Console when ready. This makes Google aware of any URL changes much faster.

Monitor Progress Closely

Digital Hikes advises keeping an eagle eye on analytics and performance indicators in the first weeks after migrating. Watch for unexpected hiccups like traffic dips or indexation issues. Continue optimizing and enhancing site speed based on real user data.

With attention to all the details in these key steps from Digital Hikes, transferring business websites between hosts doesn’t have to be scary. 

Just focus on safety at each phase and you’ll have a smooth technical migration plus excited customers waiting on the other side!

How Much Downtime Will There Be?

With proper planning, you can migrate sites with only a few minutes of downtime by having most of the migration done ahead of the switch. Then finalize DNS changes right at the transition.

Can My Emails Transfer Over Smoothly?

It depends. For ease, Digital Hikes recommends using professional email host services like G Suite to provide seamless email migration regardless of your web hosting. Otherwise, manual backup and exports may be needed to transfer email accounts.

Will I Lose Organic Search Traffic And Rankings?

If done right, Digital Hikes states that a website migration should maintain organic visibility by using proper redirects, consistent URLs, and submitting new sitemaps. Traffic loss should be temporary or minimal.

How Can I Move A Managed Wordpress Site?

Digital Hikes recommends ManageWP as an excellent free migration tool for managed WordPress sites. It copies everything over in a few clicks with minimal interruption in service.


Migrating business websites between hosting providers involves systematically exporting, transferring, reconfiguring, and verifying your entire online presence - not just files. 

Following a methodical migration process from Digital Hikes minimizes both downtime and risk during this transition. 

Pay attention to details like domain mapping, database connections, redirects to preserve organic search status, and testing for functionality across site pages. 

While no server switch is without hiccups, strategic planning sets you up for achieving a successful website migration that positions your business for the future.

Masum Billah

Authored By Masum Billah

My professional SEO and web development services are designed to deliver page one rankings in the major search engines. For your peace of mind, we only use safe, ethical and white hat SEO strategies! If you’re interested in working with me please drop me a line

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