Web host lock in is a real thing. For a lot of individuals, their website is a kind of “set it and forget it” deal. Particularly if it has been running on auto-drive for years. Businesses tend to be risk averse, and they usually stick to what they already have unless there’s a compelling reason to do so. I myself have this mindset – and I’m a professional WordPress admin and specifically write about web hosting! There’s a tendency to not want to rock the boat.
This hesitancy to switch to another web host isn’t irrational. Web hosting is made up lots of moving parts, the failure of any one of which can break your site outright. In this article, I’ll show you some of the common challenges you may face in migrating your website and why NameHero provides free migrations – no hassle!
What I Assume You Know
This isn’t a tutorial on how to migrate your website. I’ll assume you already know how to do that – copy the files and databases, moving them to your new server etc. This article is about the usual pain points people experience when they try to move.
Ensuring the Site Works BEFORE Switching DNS Records
Ideally, you want there to be ZERO downtime for users. This means that before you switch your DNS records to point to your new IP address, you want the target destination to work 100%. But testing this can be a problem, because the original site is still live! So whenever you type in xyzwhatever.com into your browser, you’ll see your old site and not the new one.
Many web hosts give you a temporary weird looking URL like 32s87d6f8.something.com/d7f8:7678 (I totally made that up) where you can access your new site before it goes live with DNS changes. But this has its own problems because you can’t test if all your links are working, the .htaccess file won’t do what it’s supposed to do.
In short, it can be a mess. Yes, there are ways to fool your browser into pointing a URL to a new IP address, but that’s not easy either and runs into browser caching issues etc.
Making Sure that SSL Works
These days, SSL is relatively simple (thank god). NameHero for example, provides free SSL via Let’s Encrypt and it only takes a few mouse clicks to enable it. But sometimes you’re migrating a non-SSL site to a new host, and you want to enable SSL. This will bring a huge number of “mixed content” errors, scary browser warnings, and plenty of headaches.
Get ready for a lot of database string searches, trying to narrow down that elusive HTTP resource that you have no idea where it’s coming from, digging deep into the browser debug console, etc. It’s something that’s sure to leave you with red eyes 🙂
That’s Why NameHero Does it for Free
When you migrate to NameHero, we take care of all the annoying migration pains for you. We set up the SSL, ensure that your site works exactly the way it’s supposed to, and prepare the way for you to change your DNS entries. Or if you want to transfer your domain name registration to us, we can do that too! All packages of 2 or more years get a free domain name or transfer, so you might as well make use of that facility.
Particularly if you’ve been hosting in one place for years, migrating your entire account can be a traumatic event if you try and do it yourself. NameHero assigns Tier III support staff to take care of account migrations, so they’re ready for everything. Just sit back, relax, and leave it to us!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!