We frequently get requests from people looking to move away from their current website host. Some are frustrated with poor customer service or lackluster performance. Others have been left in the dark because they hired the same person to build and host their site, and that person either never gave over full control, don’t know what they’re doing or have just disappeared, leaving their client stranded.

What most people don’t realize is that moving website hosts isn’t a simple request – your domain name and email are impacted as well. Migrating to a new host involves handling all files, databases and emails, making sure they know how to “talk” to each other while protecting against data loss in the redirection process.

The three most common elements in a hosting migration are your domain name (the name itself and where it’s registered) the files (your host) and your email (typically the same as your website host).

Your email can sit with your host or a host dedicated to email services only. This means one company can own your domain while another hosts your email and still another your files. This approach keeps you from having all your proverbial eggs in one basket and avoids dependency on one company for everything. Having everything in one place can be easier to manage in theory, but this isn’t always the case. You buy domains in one place and then another, you need better performance so you buy hosting at one place but still have domains at another place, etc. The point is that there’s complexity, and it’s beneficial to know what’s involved before you move.

We love WP Engine for WordPress only hosting, G Suite for email and their other services, and Google Domains for domain registration.

However if you’re looking for the all in one solution, Site5 is our go-to for lower quality, but dependable all-in-one hosting.

If you’ve decided that moving is the best approach for you, follow these steps to ensure a smooth transition:

  • Sort out what lives where. Is it all in one place or multiple locations?
  • Make a plan. Are you moving everything? Just your files? Lay out what needs to move.
  • Execute. If you’re using WordPress, and most (okay 30%) of the web is, you need to move your files and databases. They then need to be linked back to the new host. Once this is done then email accounts need to be recreated and (possibly) the email itself moved.

IT Arsenal handles migrations with ease and sets you up to easily change your host hassle-free. See our migration service here and let us help you to toast your host!