Small Buisness Web Sites

Moving Content to a New Host

Moving Content to a New HostThere are a variety of business reasons to consider moving content to a new host. These can include better response times, better service, lower prices, consolidating content on one host, etc. It can be a lot of work and also problematic if not completed properly. It is also much easier if you are using a content management system such as WordPress as depicted in the diagram to the left.  Either way, planning is key to the success and operation of your website on the new host. We will cover some of the broad steps required in moving content to a new host in the following paragraphs.

Moving Content to a New Host

The first step is to prepare your new host location. Once you have been provided with a new address for the host, set your directories. You can then install your content management system. Host providers such as Godaddy will provide automated installation and setup processes. These processes make it easy for installing many of these content management systems including WordPress.

Next, configure WordPress on the new host to duplicate your existing one. Add all the appropriate widgets and adjust the settings as needed. Add your theme and any other custom changes that you may have added. This may include Google Adsense in your widgets for example or other forms of advertising that you may have on your site.

In the next step, you will want to go to your old site and export all of the posts, pages, images, and videos that you have on your site. If there is other content of some kind that is not captured by the export using your content management system, you will need to transfer this content manually. Usually, this is done by transferring to your local computer and then to the new host. Now that you have exported the content and transferred it to the new host you are ready for the next step.

Go to your domain management system and repoint your domain from the old host to the new host address. You can get the information needed from your new host management system. While entering the data will be immediate, it can take up to 24 hours before the systems, routers, etc have propagated the new address and start to point to the new host from the old host.

Import Your Data

Import all of your data that was exported and begin testing to make sure that all pages and posts along with other functionality are working properly. Only when you are sure that all is in working order should you erase the old content on the old server. You will want to continue testing especially after you have erased the old content to make sure everything is working properly. Before erasing the content on the old server, I will often rename the top directory to confirm that the domain is actually pointing at the new host. If you get an error you know that something is not working properly.

The last step is to erase your content and terminate the host arrangement you have with your current hosting provider. Good luck, plan and verify each step before executing to make sure that each step is ready to go.

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Web Content Development