Transferring a website can be a necessary evil for some. While a website transfer is necessary to break free of a host that is holding you and your website back, if you don’t complete the migration properly, you could end up losing part of your website.

If you’re looking to transfer your website to a new host, you will want to avoid some common mistakes that could end up costing you time and money. Here are five of the biggest mistakes that people make when moving their website.

1. Not Creating Backups

While we like to believe that a website transfer will run smoothly and backups won’t be necessary, it isn’t always the case. Even experts may find that something gets lost along the way.

Before you begin to move your website, you’ll want to ensure each page and file has a backup made. If you’re hoping to be extra careful during your transfer, you can create a backup of your backups.

Backups can prevent you from needing to re-do your work in the future, which can be time consuming and expensive. If something does get lost or disoriented during your move, your backup will allow you to fix the problem with minimal downtime.

2. Not Checking for Compatibility with New Host

If your website has widgets, detailed code, or special database software, you shouldn’t assume that your website will run smoothly on any and all hosts. While your old host may be able to run all the extras you’ve added to your website, your new host may have some different standards.

Before selecting a host (we use Digital Ocean), you’ll want to reach out to check the compatibility of your page with their operating system. If they can handle your new page, you’ll be all set to make the move without needing to worry about running into problems after the migration has already started.

Knowing if you will have an issue before you begin moving will allow you to either select a different host or make necessary changes before the move begins. This can help you be better prepared and reduce the amount of downtime you may experience.

3. Closing Your Old Page Too Quickly

When you’re making a website transfer, you’re probably itching to break ties with your previous web host. But no matter how bad they are or how incapable of holding your page they may be, you don’t want to alert the company that you will be taking your website to a new host until the migration is complete.

Many individuals may become fed up with their old web host and cut ties before their new page is set up. This means that their website will be down for the entire duration of the transfer, preventing visitors from reading content, interacting with you, or making purchases.

If you want the transfer of your website to run smoothly, wait until your new page is up and running to minimize your downtime. Keep your old host until the migration has been complete and all your pages are in the correct place. To ensure that your page is supported by the new web host, you may also want to consider keeping your old hosting for about a week after the migration.

4. Not Getting Adequate Help

No matter how many times you’ve transferred a website, you’ll want to contact the support desk of the new host to let them know you’re making a change. Because each website will be different and you are likely to have different plugins and software, each website migration that you complete can present you with new challenges or roadblocks. By first talking about the migration with your new host, you will be alerted of potential difficulties before you begin the move.

Your new web host may also offer migration services, taking the majority of the work out of your hands. If they offer to move the website for you, this can save you time and reduce the problems that you may run into in the future. Even if migration services are not offered, the support desk can probably offer you some tips on making the move.

When shopping around for a new host, look for someone that at least offers free support. Because websites can be a struggle at times, you won’t want to fork over an additional fee just to ask someone a question. Consider the future of your website before making a move so that you won’t need to make another transfer in the future.

5. Being Disorganized

Our websites have many different pieces and parts. If you don’t account for each piece of your page, you will probably come up with something missing after your transfer. This can result in downtime or just confusion for your visitors if you then need to spend time locating that website part.

Before you begin your move, you’ll want to make a checklist of all the items that need to be moved and where they can be located. That checklist may include things like account passwords and usernames, a list of all your database software, and documents stating you have full ownership of your domain names.

Keep this checklist handy just in case of any problems. If you notice that something is missing or a piece of your website has not been moved, you’ll know just where to look to find what you’re looking for.

With the right approach to your website migration, you won’t run into any problems. Being aware that mistakes can happen and knowing what to do in the event of a mishap can help you reduce your downtime, keep your website running, and ensure your visitors have minimal issues as you make your migration.

These five mistakes may be common, but if you take the right measures to ensure they’re avoided, they won’t happen to you.

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