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Website & Domain Migration: everything you need to know

If you mention “domain name migration” or “website migration,” you’ll probably get a lot of fear and anxiety from your SEO or marketing team.

Domain migrations are widespread for startups, especially when trying to raise funding. You start with minimal funds or are bootstrapped, you acquire the first domain you can buy without thinking too hard about the brand, and a few years later, you realize that you can afford a better TLD or, even worst, completely rebrand your business.

If you decide to migrate your site, there are a lot of decisions to be made, flexible plans to be made, and technical challenges to be overcome. But worry not! We help you figure all of it out step by step.

Let’s start at the very beginning:

What Is Website Migration?

Website migration is a process that a website undergoes to change its setup or technology. We don’t call simple updates site migrations because they imply significant changes, usually involving the website’s platform, structure, content, or design.

Migrating to a website may be necessary for some companies. Still, it inevitably comes with many risks, including losing your search engine rankings, losing parts of your website, and even losing your entire website.

Website migration is a challenging process, and you need an excellent reason to take it on.

What Does Domain Migration Mean?

Free Web Hosting Migration - AccuWeb Hosting

Data migration moves or transfers data from one domain to another without losing or impairing the data. After migrating data from one system to another, it is essential to preserve the data in its original form to be used by the new system.

Files must be transferred correctly and with the appropriate file extension. Administrators also should take the steps required to preserve correct data ownership and assigned file permissions.

Many ISPs (Internet service providers) and Web hosting services offer domain migration management services.

Domain Migration Is Required Under The Following Conditions:

  • During server upgrades, when server data must be transferred to a new system for preservation
  • When an administrator switches to a new Internet service provider (ISP)
  • When a website administrator migrates data Web page data from one domain to another

The domain migration process varies by server type during a server upgrade. For example, Unix and Windows servers may undergo different domain migration processes. The same rule applies to ISPs and Web hosts.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP), a typical domain migration method, allows users to download local system files and upload files to a new server.

However, FTP has several deficiencies that make it less than ideal, as follows:

  • During data transfer, FTP does not provide adequate preservation tools.
  • FTP only facilitates data transfer in uncompressed formats, which leads to system resource waste.
  • File formats with unknown file extensions may be altered during FTP transfers.

The Risks Of A Domain Migration

There are three primary risks connected to the domain migration of a website:

Traffic Loss

When you change domains, you’ll completely lose all the indexing and authority you had on Google. You’ll also lose any previous ranking. Usually, this is a temporary situation. As soon as you redirect from the old domain name to the new one, you should see an improvement in your search engine rankings. The first step is to get rid of any unnecessary code. Paraphrasing: The first step is getting rid of any unnecessary code

However, this might not always go as planned.

It usually takes a few weeks to a couple of months to fully recover traffic. Sometimes this period can be extended, and some websites never recover all their traffic.

Overall, if you switch domain names, you should be 95% safe. If you’re also changing the look and feel of your website, things could get riskier.

Data Loss

Losing data can be terrible. And it’s a substantial risk during a domain and website migration.

Most tools don’t allow you to switch from one domain to another. Unluckily, you’ll lose all the historical data related to your old website or domain. You’ll have to create new projects if you want to use them.

There are additional risks. You’ll need to check all third-party integrations for any changes to ensure that they’re working correctly.

There’s no checklist here. You’ll want to contact the customer service team for each data tool you’re using and see if they have any recommendations for migrating data from one system to another.

Before You Start The Migration 

Website Migration Checklist: Your All-in-One Guide - Themes 21

Our interactive checklist contains all of the steps you will need to take for a successful website migration, so feel free to use it as a guide and outline for planning.

For now, you should remember that the key to a smooth transition is careful planning and testing.

These are the basic rules of website migration:

  • Inform your users that you will be moving your website. Even if you follow all the instructions, your website may still suffer some hiccups here and there, so it would be better to give your audience a heads-up.
  • Try not to migrate the entire site at once. First, create a test sample of a new site. When you are sure that everything works properly, start moving your website piece by piece.
  • Avoid mixing multiple migration types in a single move. For example, if you want to change your domain name, switch to a new host, and redesign your site architecture, we recommend you do it one step at a time.
  • Migrate during a low-traffic time if possible; this will minimize the impact if something goes wrong. A reduced server load will allow GoogleBot to crawl and index your new website faster.
  • Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Website migration is a severe undertaking with many potential issues and pitfalls. Use our checklist along the way to facilitate the process.
  • And remember planning and testing!
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why was my site hacked?

It’s almost certainly not targeted at your site. Websites often run the same software as millions of others, and hackers will find vulnerabilities that they can exploit en masse.

Do I need to stay at my computer?

No, once we have the logins we need, you can leave us to it. We’ll email you when we have an update.

Could another website on my host cause the issue?

If your website shared hosting space with another site (for instance, in one cPanel account), this could be the reason. It’s unlikely that the web host at large has a problem, but it’s not unheard of. We can read more.

Can I roll back to a backup?

If you have a backup, then yes – rollback. However, it would help if you fixed the underlying vulnerability. Also, beware that a hack can lie dormant for some time before its effects become visible.

Are you 24/7?

Yes, we are here all day, every day. We maintain and monitor sites for customers too, which means we need to be available in case of emergencies or urgent updates.

How do I sign up?

Once you place an order using the button above, a thread will be started with our engineers. They’ll gather any more information we need from you and keep you updated on the task status.

If you’re looking for a quick solution to transfer, migrate, clone, or change your WordPress website to a new host, or move your domain to a new host or domain registrar, then we can help! Just click Fix Hacked Site