Ultimate Guide: How To Transfer Website From One Host To Another

Website migration can be tricky. We have compiled a list of best online resources and recommended best practices by Google. Learn How To Transfer Website From One Host To Another.

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WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and other CMS’s have made is very easy to build powerful websites quickly and very easily. Creating a website from scratch is easy but moving a website is difficult. In this article, I am going to discuss How To Transfer Website From One Host To Another.

Sometimes you need to move your old website from older domain to new domain or from one web host to another.

In this article, I will share some useful resources and best practices that will help you to take better decisions to move your website without losing your Google ranking.

Google developers have written some excellent articles about web development and design. Google has also published guidelines to change, move or transfer your website or domain name properly.

Here is an excerpt from Google web master central blog:

Your aim is to make the transition invisible and seamless to the user and to make sure that Google knows that your new pages should get the same quality signals as the pages on your own site.

When you’re moving your site, pesky 404 (File Not Found) errors can harm the user experience and negatively impact your site’s performance in Google search results.

Google Web Master Central Blog

How to Transfer, change, or migrate your site

Here is what Google says:

As a site owner or webmaster, it is possible that at some point you’ll want to move your site to a different URL or different infrastructure. This section covers the different scenarios of site moves and gives you tips about how to prepare, implement, and monitor the move.

Google Tansfer, Move your website

There are many other terms used such as switch website hosts, change web host, switching hosting provider and many others.

Sometimes clients ask you to transfer their websites to a new web server or even to a new domain name. That means there are two ways to transfer a website.

As described on Google web master tools site move (or site transfer, rename, change, or migration) falls into two general categories:

Site moves without URL changes.

Only the underlying infrastructure serving the website is changed without any visible changes to the URL structure. Here, you might move www.example.com to a different hosting provider while keeping www.example.com as the same URL structure for your site.

Site moves with URL changes.

Here, the URLs on the website change in any number of ways:

  • The protocol – http://www.example.com to https://www.example.com
  • The domain name – example.com to example.net
  • The URL paths – example.com/page.php?id=1 to example.com/widget

There are many things and best practices that you should remember when transferring a website to a new host or new domain.

Most important thing is SEO and your rank in Google. If you will transfer your website to a new domain name without following best practices and ways, you can lose your ranking in Google.

Luckily Google has published a complete step by step by guide that will help you to move your website to the new host with or without changing the domain name.

Transfer, move, or migrate your site is step by step guide by Google.

This a multi-part step by step series by Google, You can follow these steps to make sure everything works fine. One important thing is that if you will follow these guidelines you should not worry about your Google rank after all you will be following Google’s guidelines.

Moving to a new web host is also a good step by step tutorial by Matt Cutts (head of web spam team at Google).

This article is very old and was published in October 2005. Matt Cuts wrote this detailed tutorial when several people asked him what is the recommended way to move to a new web host.

In this tutorial, Matt Cuts shared his experience how he moved mattcutts.com from one IP address to another IP address by changing hosts.

At the end of article Matt Cutts also discussed what you should do if you want to move your domain name from example.com to examplenew.org.

Best practices when moving your website by Google Webmaster central Blog

If you are planning to move, transfer website and don’t want to lose Google ranking, Transfer, Move or Migrate your site is a must read article.

How to Move, Transfer a WordPress website ?

If you or your clients have a WordPress website and want to move or migrate your WordPress website, here are few good articles and resources.

Moving WordPress Guide on WordPress.org

This is a detailed article at WordPress codex, everything has been described in detail. What you can learn at WordPress codex page.

  • How to Move WordPress without changing your domain name
  • How to Move WordPress and changing your domain name
  • How To Move WordPress Directories On Your Existing Server commonly known as Giving WordPress it’s own directory
  • Managing your old WordPress website
  • How to move WordPress multi-site
  • and list of related links and resources

You can also read a step by step guide to Migrate WordPress Website to new web host by WPexplorer.

How To Transfer Website From One Host To Another : Website Migration Checklist Infographic

How To Transfer Website From One Host To Anothe - WEBSITE MIGRATION CHECKLIST - Infographic
[Infographic] A Website Migration Checklist Infographic by Optus Digital

Other Resources

Moving a site to a new host: best practices? this discussion was started by Orthoducks on sitepoint forums. There are many good suggestions in the comments. Read this discussion at sitepoint forums.

5 Steps to Migrating Website Without (or Minimal) Downtime is a step by step tutorial at Hongkiat, a popular blog for web designer and developer.

I hope these resources will help you to take better decisions and make your life easier as a web developer when transferring or moving your website to new host.

Must Things to do When Moving Website

Moving your website or blog is a complicated process. Here are few key points to remember when you transfer, move website or domain name. These are recommended guidelines by Google.

Don’t delete your old website, retain control of your old website, blog and domain name for six months (180 days)

You should add your new website to Google Search Console. If you don’t have an account then must create your Webmaster Tools Account. It’s free.

You are allowed to add up to 1000 websites to your webmaster tools account. After adding your website to Google Webmaster tools account Verify your website.

If you use WordPress, then you can use Plug ins to verify your WordPress based websites. WordPress SEO by Yoast is free and very popular plugin. You can download WordPress SEO by Yoast Free from WordPress plug ins directory.

After adding your new website to Google web master Tools, you should create and submit your sitemap as well. WordPress SEO by Yoast plug can help you to submit your sitemap as well.

By Submitting a sitemap of your new website you are telling Google that your content is now available at the new website. Now it’s Google job to crawl your new website.

It is recommended to keep your both old and new websites in web master tools account, don’t delete your old website. Review crawl errors on the regular basis to make sure that 301 redirects from old website are working fine and properly.

This will help you to find if there are any 404 errors if there are any 404 errors you can fix them easily. You can read more about Crawl Errors at Google webmaster support page.

Website Migration & Search Engine Ranking

Joshua Ballard did a website migration for a client, which came with a lovely surprise, client’s site couldn’t be found nestled in its top positions for any of it’s search terms anymore. check out his article about Website Migration & Search Engine Ranking at SearchEngineWatch.

If you will follow all these best practices, definitely you will not lose your Google ranking and your visitors won’t see any 404 or page not found errors.

As a WebMaster it’s your job to make sure your clients and site visitors don’t suffer. I Hope now you know How To Transfer Website From One Host To Another.

Have anything to say share your views and your experience if you have transferred your website or domain name.

9 responses on “Ultimate Guide: How To Transfer Website From One Host To Another

  1. Baldwin Jackson

    Excellent article Tahir. No doubt WordPress migration can be messy job. Well there are few good plugins like All in one WP Migrations and Duplicator which reduce the overall effort. In-fact recently I have read an article by a cloud hosting provider which launch their own migrations plugin whereas all you need is to provide few details and change the domain name servers as simple as that. Anyways thanks for sharing.

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