As I have mentioned in my previous post , I have moved my domains from one host to another not just once but twice. So I am now confident to say that I’m an experienced domain mover. Want to hire me?
Moving a site from host to host could be a very tedious job but there are pointers that you should consider to make the migration process a lot easier. Remember that pointing your DNS to your new host or change of registrars doesn’t mean you have moved your site complete. It does not follow and if you’ll allow me to speak in French, I’d say “Non Sequitur.”
So based from my experience, I’ll be pointing out some pitfalls that I had encountered in the past so you won’t have to experience them. Bad for me that I learn from bad experience but good for you that you don’t have to traverse those paths.
So here goes: Pointers for moving domains
1. Avoid the rush
You don’t have to hasten everything. The more you rush with your transfer, the higher the possibility of mistakes to happen, and the more problem you’ll encounter. They say fools rush in where even angels fear to thread. Perhaps the quick brown fox is already dead for this reason.
2. Back-up you files.
As I mentioned earlier, not because your domain has been transferred to your new host does mean all your files will also be transferred automatically. Different web hosts have difference physical storage so all your files from the old one do not exist on the new location.
Before even proceeding with the DNS or registrar transfer, make sure all your files are properly backed-up. Sometimes, when the transfer has started to propagate, chances are you won’t have access to your old files. This may not be a general rule but for some host provider, it does apply.
If you’re a WordPress user, take note of all your widgets. If you have codes or scripts in your text widgets, copy them on a notepad so you won’t need to write the codes again. Remember that even your theme files don’t contain these extra codes.
If you’re a Blogger user, copy your HTML codes.
3. Close your site for maintenance.
If you leave your site open during the transition, chances are your visitors may leave a few comments or messages on your pages. This will only prolong the transition period because you’ll have to do the database back-ups again and again. Worse, some of them you won’t be able to save and when the transfer has commenced, those data are lost in oblivion.
When you put your site in maintenance mode, make sure to leave a notice for your visitors. Otherwise, they’ll think you’re site has been hacked, deleted or lost. Things happen when your visitors are left uninformed.
If you’re a WordPress user, there are a few options that you may use to do this. One is using a plugin called Maintenance Mode or use the Launchpad Theme from wpdesigner. If prefer the latter since it’s easier to customize and it’s leaving your visitors an option to subscribe to your feeds.
If you’re a Blogger user, a simple HTML code will do. (Am I being biased here?)
4. Commence the transfer proper.
If you think everything has been backed-up and things are in proper order, it’s time for you to start the DNS or registry transfer. Then you’ll start working on your files on the new server or location. Upload your files, install the necessary software, configure your settings and wait for the domain to propagate.
To summarize it all, don’t hasten with your domain transfer. Back up, back-up and backup.
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