I recently changed host and thus I had to move my blog. In itself, this should be super easy but of course, I am not as technical and I already found it hard to find a host.
Moving your blog or site might need to happen sometimes. For example, if your blog traffic is growing or the service of your old host has changed and no longer fits your needs.
So to help you guys out I wanted to create a guide to help you;
- Choose a Host
- Move your blog/site without stress
Technical terms and their meaning
To start this off I tried making a list of the most important parts of hosting/blogging that you want to look out for in a host.
(I know all these terms really overwhelmed me when I started looking at different hosts.)
Hosting vs a Domain name
If this is your first ever blog, you will be buying both hosting and a domain.
Your domain is practically your blog name/address. My domain (sofiedoesart.com) is something that I pay for yearly. Apart from the name you are buying hosting which is the space where your site is on the internet. Basically, your paying to keep your site in the air.
If you already have a domain name and you are moving host you will have some other things to keep in mind:
- Once moved your domain name will be locked for 60 days! (read more on that here)
- Moving a domain name costs time (try taking at least a week)
- There can be extra costs for moving your domain name
How much GB do I need for my site/blog?
My blog with a total of 150 post and lots of caches was 800 MB My hosting offers me a total of 20 GB for my site in total. A clean ZIP of WordPress is 10 MB.
So, in general, every hosting service that offers more than around 5 GB should be enough to get you started. Unless you are planning to do something with very big files in large volumes (like pictures and videos) Most hosting can also be upgraded when your site grows beyond its current size/traffic.
Do I need an SSL-certificate?
An SSL-certificate basically stands for a secure link for your readers. I did not have an SSL-certificate before I moved my blog.
Having an SSL-certificate is, however, very professional looking. Some hosting services offer this automatically with your hosting which is of course great! An SSL-certificate verifies your websites.
Some companies will have background checks when you are extending the certificate! Depending on the company your SSL-certificate comes from this will look more secure and safe for your visitors.
SSD Disk Space?
An SSD disk is a way of keeping your files saved on the server you are renting (for your hosting) SSD could make your site load faster because it reads your databases faster. The other option is an HDD Both versions work fine for small sites.
If you are looking for a more professional site SSD might be a good thing for you!
What is a CMS?
Content Management system or the frame of your website. For example, WordPress is a CMS. It is an efficient way to build websites without coding. (Great for people like me!)
It helps you link different kinds of content together. Meaning images in blog posts and blog posts on your site etc.
When do I need a Database on my site;
If you are using separate files on your site. For example; photos that you want to upload and manage directly on your blog. Those will probably go in a database.
Everything that you do not want to put into the HTML code but is instead “dynamic” data.
For WordPress, you do need a database! More specifically a MySQL database.
Also if you want to use any other CMS you will also need a database!
A must for having a WordPress based site. But not better than any other form of database. This is just a variation on the many kinds of databases.
If you are planning to use another building tool/CMS for our site, make sure you check what kind of database it uses.
FTP users and SFTP?
A way to access your files on your site is through an FTP client like WinSCP (Windows only) or Filezilla (Windows and Mac). An SFTP is a more secure link to do this. Both work fine. It is up to you to decide how secure the information you are working with should be!
The coding language used. WordPress, for example, uses PHP and won’t work without this!
Do I need to have an email as well?
Sometimes you can get a custom business email with your site! Think
—-@sofiedoesart.com. The last part is custom for my domain/site.
Again this is not a must, but having one does look very professional. This service comes with almost all the hosts that I have looked at!
But always check if this is a very important must for you!
Make sure you have a lot of time for moving a blog
Some of the steps do require time. Including researching the best option and make sure it has everything you need for a good price! Like when you are using your old domain name (like I did) it takes a day or 5 for it to move.
So when you want to move make sure you have some time left on your old hosting!
Other tips for moving your blog;
Find help and resources
Super important is to look at some resources before had so you atleast get an idea of everything you need to do.
If you are not a tech save (like me) maybe you can ask a friend to help you.
Trust me, this is a good idea. When I was trying to move I forgot for example to take off the domain lock from my previous host. This is a very common lock and ensures that your domain can’t be moved.
So take a moment to research!
Also; tutorials can be a great help!
Back up double!
Don’t just rely on having pushed the backup button on your dashboard. The best way to do a back up is to copy paste your entire blog in a separate map. This literally saved me this time!
Backing up your work multiple times will save you stress later on in the moving process.
Contact the helpdesk when in doubt
Seriously I have contacted the helpdesk (both of the old host as of the new host) like 5 times. They are here to help and hopefully, they actually know a lot more about the systems!
For me, both my old host and new host have helped me wonderfully when I contacted the help desk. To make sure they can help you it is always a good idea to try to explain your problem the best way you can.
Keeping calm is the hardest thing when doing something like this!
Don’t forget to breathe and think about the fact that you do have a back up.
Moving a blog is stressful. At times things seem to have gone terribly wrong. Sometimes it looks as though half your blog has disappeared.
Just know that with you double back up there is always a way to restore everything!
And finally, if this all seems a little much why not look at a host with a free moving service. They can help you move your site without losing anything.
This still means that they require some info from you. This also means that if you have a WordPress based website they might need access to an admin account! You could probably look into making a separate admin account. But only do this with hosting services you really trust!
But they can really help you make a more smooth transition if you’re not as tech-savvy, so it might be worth looking into.
Let me know what your best tips are for moving a blog and if you have ever done it before!