At some point in their business journey, every website owner can encounter the need to migrate their web host. As more lucrative hosting options are making their way in the industry–VPS, shared, or dedicated hosting—it's no surprise that many website managers choose to perform host migration.
This article provides support in handling one of the most popular DevOps services, hosting server migration, by outlining five essential steps that help you complete a successful migration.
When is the time to move your Drupal website to a new hosting server?
The decision to switch web hosts is not an easy one to take. The good news is that there are multiple signs that can make it clear that your website requires hosting updates if you know where to look. It won't be comfortable to acknowledge them, but as soon as you start on this journey, you are transforming your website for the better.
Let's have a look at how you can spot these signs on your Drupal website.
- Downtime has become a recurrent issue.
Your customers demand availability and speed, so every time your website is down and unavailable for users, you risk building a bad reputation of unreliable and low-quality services. Your server can impact your site's availability if your hosting equipment’s quality is low or your host's security features and plugins provide poor protection capabilities, as cyber-attacks can often lead to downtime.
- Your host is hard to reach.
As a website owner, you want to ensure that the communication with your web host is fast and streamlined. There may be times when your server crashes or you a server error, and you need to get in touch with your host as soon as possible to provide troubleshooting guidance and get your site up and running.
An unreliable host may not only affect the functionality of your website but can also cost you customers. Getting the support you need when it comes to your hosting account is paramount to provide high-quality user experiences. That's why making sure that you have a solid customer service team at your side at any time is good for the business.
- Your current host costs you too much.
Web hosting can sometimes be the most significant investment when running a website. It's a recurring expense, so you want to ensure that you choose the best option. However, expensive web hosts aren't always necessary. You have to figure out if the features and the amount of server space that your host provides are a good fit for your site. You don't need to break the bank for hosting servers that don't serve your current needs. You can always review your needs and upgrade to a more expensive plan.
- You don't get the security you need.
As far as investments are concerned, paying extra for a secure web host is worth it. A host that takes security seriously will bring significant benefits to your website.
By investing in a secure hosting server, you'll avoid losing data and parts of your website, having user data compromised, and losing credibility in front of your audience.
When choosing your web host, watch out for features and plugins like Secure Sockets Layer certificates, malware scanning, or server firewalls.
How to switch to a new hosting provider
Migrating your Drupal site to a new host is a process that involves contacting your current host, performing database backups, connecting to a new server, and uploading your files. It's not uncommon for issues like corrupted backups to appear during the migration process. Consider this when planning your migration, and think if you can save some resources by hiring a professional agency like Optasy to complete this process for you.
There are a few essential steps to follow when migrating to another web hosting server. Let's explore some of them.
1. Turn Drupal caching off.
This is the first step to take in order to avoid potential disruptions. Go to your Drupal admin dashboard and:
Click Configuration - Performance - Caching - Select "No Caching.”
2. Backup your Drupal files.
Connect to your remote server - Enter the connection details - Hit "QuickConnect" and connect to the remote server that hosts your website.
In your main site's folder, download the content on your local device, and you've done backing up your Drupal files.
3. Export your Drupal database.
Go to the phpMyAdmin on your server's control panel in the Database section.
Click "Check all" on your Drupal site database, then "Export method and the SQL.”
4. Migrate your Drupal database to the new host.
Create a new MySQL database on your target server. Click "Import" at the top of your database, then "Choose File,” and press "Go.” You've now restored your site on the new hosting from the backup.
5. Turn on Drupal caching.
Go to Configuration - Performance - Enable Drupal caching. Kudos to you! You've officially migrated your Drupal site to another host.
Building and managing a Drupal website is a complex process, and hosting is one element that can be pretty challenging to handle. There are plenty of hosting options available on the market, and you might find it difficult to decide which one is the best fit for your website needs.
If you're considering server migration or just need some professional advice on how to handle your hosting server successfully, our team of Drupal experts at Optasy is glad to help.
Photo credit: bsdrouin on Pixabay.
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