Moving a blog to a new host; my 4 best tips to move your blog without a problem!

I recently changed host and had to move my blog. While this should not be a difficult task, I found it quite daunting. I doubted my own technical skills and feared that it would prove difficult. changing hosts doesn’t have to be scary. 

Moving your blog or site needs 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. In this case you are changing host which means your site will be hosted by a different company. 

So to help with changing host and moving a blog I wanted to create a guide to help you;

  1. Choose a Host
  2. Move your blog/site without stress

Technical terms and their meaning

What to look for when changing host? 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, you are 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:

  1. Once moved your domain name will be locked for 60 days! (read more on that here)
  1. Moving a domain name costs time (try taking at least a week)
  2. 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 posts 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 big files in large volumes (like pictures and videos)  Most hosting can be upgraded when your site grows beyond its current size/traffic.

Do I need an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate 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 professional. Some hosting services offer this automatically with your hosting which is great! An SSL certificate verifies your website and enables an encrypted connection.

Some companies will have background checks when you are extending the certificate! An SSL certificate will make your visitors feel more secure. 

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.

If you want to use any other CMS you will also need a database. But make sure you check which database type is required for your CMS. 

MySQL Database

A must for having a WordPress based site, but not better than any other form of a 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!

PHP

The coding language used. WordPress, for example, uses PHP and won’t work without this!

Email?

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 must for you!

Make sure you have a lot of time for moving a blog

As discussed, some steps of the process take some time. Like when you are using your old domain name (like I did) it takes a day or 5 for it to move. This doesn’t include researching the best option and making sure it has everything you need for a good price!

When you are moving your block you need to start while you have some time left on your old hosting. I’d advise at least a week or two. 

Other tips for moving your blog;

  • Find help and resources

It is important to look at some resources before moving. This way you at least get an idea of everything you need to do.

If you are not very technical (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 everything double!

Don’t just rely on having pushed the backup button on your dashboard. The best way to do a backup is to copy-paste your entire blog on 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 the old host and 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 in your initial ticket. 

  • Don’t panic

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 backup. 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 your 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!

Moving a blog is hard. Let me help you by giving you my best tips and help to make the process less stressful!

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