“This is pain. The website is starting to slow down. Is it the server? Is the universe telling me to switch to a better server? Can my website (and my business) survive?”
A friend of mine who runs a growing website mulled over when he’d noticed that his website was acting weird. This happens to a lot of business owners with growing websites. It’s gratifying to see the business flourish online, and traffic increasing on a daily basis. But when it starts wanting more server resources to function properly, there will be panic.
In some cases, the web hosting provider will be so good that they won’t let their clients panic. They will let you know that you need to upgrade to a better plan (which they offer, of course).
Most growing businesses usually go for VPS hosting (a cheaper alternative to dedicated hosting) when they take their first step into the digital realm. Once the business starts booming or when their sites start to get a boatload of traffic, their best bet is to migrate to a better hosting plan – specifically, a dedicated hosting solution.
If, for the sake of your growing website, you are thinking about switching to a better hosting plan, you need to do it the right way. That said, here are a few things to help you migrate from VPS to a dedicated hosting package….the right way.
Wait….what is this ‘right way’?
Just go left and turn around. That is the ‘right’ way.
Alright. Sorry. Couldn’t help it.
The right way of migrating to a different hosting plan is something that pretty much makes sure that:
- Nothing bad happens during the migration
- Your website functions better than ever, post migration
- Downtimes will be kept to a minimum
The ‘not right’ way can give rise to problems that only exist in a website owner’s worst hosting nightmare.
To go the right way, follow the guidelines mentioned below. Trust me. They are worth it.
1. Do not cancel your VPN plan as soon as you buy a dedicated server package
The first step to migrating to a dedicated server is to buy a dedicated server package obviously. Once that’s done, people tend to cancel their old hosting package (VPN, in this case). That’s a big No No.
Just to be on the safe side, you should wait till the migration is complete to say goodbye to your old VPN server. If you don’t, you may have to say goodbye to your website data instead.
2. Make sure the new hosting provider didn’t just troll you with a blacklisted IP
Your new hosting provider might give you a blacklisted IP with your dedicated server package. Blacklisted IPs will eventually prove to be a curse on your website affecting its operations and even the emails.
You have two options here, and getting the IP delisted from the blacklist is not one of them:
- Check the IP address provided to you to see if it’s blacklisted
- Don’t check the IP address. If it’s blacklisted, you and your business can go down in a blaze of glory.
3. Stop yourself from making any changes in the website during migration
Why? Because there’s no guarantee that they will be there after the migration. You might lose them. ‘Nuff said.
4. Backup the databases and every last file
This is a healthy practice website owners generally follow while running their websites. It’s equally important when you are ready to switch to a dedicated hosting solution.
Back up every last bit, pun intended, of data and store them (in more than one location, just to be safe) before migrating to the new hosting plan. The control panel of your current hosting plan should be offering a backup feature. All it takes is some time off your schedule.
5. Before uploading files to the new dedicated server, install the old apps
Do not ever forget the bond between your website and its apps. Once you are ready to transfer your files to the new server, make sure to install the apps you were using in the soon-to-be forgotten VPS server, in the new dedicated server.
Those files you are going to move to the new server will need those apps to accommodate them. This will also ensure that your website will start functioning in all its glory, like it used to in the VPS server, as soon as you are done uploading the files.
6. Feed your new email IDs to the dedicated server before switching DNS records
Every single email IDs hosted on your website address should be present in the dedicated server. And you should do this before switching DNS records.
For this, you can make use of the temporary login credentials that your new host will provide. Just login with the temporary ID and feed the email IDs to the server. There’s a chance that you could miss a few email addresses during the process. As a precaution, just create a ‘catchall’ address so you won’t lose emails that way during the migration.
7. Test the website with all your might
Once you are done transferring all the files and emails, it’s time to see if the website is alive. Test the website on the new server and see if everything’s functioning the way they are supposed to. You should also check every single image and links in the website are working properly. Not kidding.
8. Do the DNS update
Well? Are you satisfied with your website’s performance after testing it? If you are, it’s time to seal the deal. The domain registrar will have given you control by now. Domain registrars never fail. Now you should change the DNS records to the one you received in the welcome mail from your new hosting provider.
After the DNS records update, prepare to say farewell to your old VPS account. It’s time is up.
You have now successfully migrated ‘the right way’. Rejoice! And good luck to your business.