If you run a business with an online presence, then at some point it’s likely that you’ll find yourself considering a website migration – a scary prospect for some. However, migrations don’t have to be difficult or painful and properly preparing is the first step toward making the process easier!
There are many reasons why you might find yourself needing a migration. Increasing and fluctuating traffic might require you to make the move from a traditional dedicated server to a more scalable cloud dedicated environment. Or, you might find a more suitable hosting plan or even a new web host with a more trustworthy and reliable support team. No matter why you’re migrating, preparation is key. Migrations can be complicated and, if not done correctly, they can result in a loss in traffic to your site that can’t be quickly regained. The below tips have been recommended by our highly specialized Heroic Support® team and will help make the process as easy as possible.
Our goal is to make your migration as transparent and efficient as it possibly can be. If there are complexities specific to the server environment that could present issues during the migration, we will work with you every step of the way to resolve them as they come up and keep you informed throughout the process.
Having said that, it’s important to have a general overview of how the process works.
- When you request a migration, we’ll open a ticket to document the process and keep you updated on its progress, and also to request any additional information necessary to perform the migration.
- You’ll be asked to provide details about both the current server and the new server, and a list of sites to be migrated, along with DNS information.
- Once we have that, we’ll copy the data from the existing server to the new server.
- When the initial copy is complete, you will test the sites on the new server after editing your local computer’s hosts file (find instructions for editing your hosts file at Editing Your DNS Hosts File) and report to us any issues you notice.
- Once you’re satisfied with the way everything works on the new server, we will schedule a final sync.
- The final sync transfers the latest version of the data to the new server, and ensures that changes made on the original server since the initial copy are reflected on the new server.
- Finally, the DNS records will be updated to reflect the new IP address.
Is There a Cost?
Most cPanel to cPanel migrations with access on both servers typically do not incur a charge unless there are special circumstances or unforeseen complications arise.
Any other type of supported migration typically would be charged.
Our migrations team makes the determination on what, if any, charges could be required, based on the specific circumstances and any special considerations related to your servers.
How Long Does it Take?
Every migration is different and there are a number of factors that can either add to or reduce the amount of time involved. Among them:
Server size and disk usage: The data on the affected account(s) must be copied over at the beginning of the process and later synced after you have had a chance to test the sites. Obviously, a small partition that’s only partially utilized could require only a few minutes to duplicate, while copying a full, extremely large partition could take a number of hours.
Your availability: Once the data is initially copied over, you will need to edit your local computer’s hosts file and test the sites on the new server. We will respond to any issues you report, and work with you to resolve them as quickly as possible. There is no time limit on this phase, and the pace is entirely up to you. We will not proceed until you have signed off on the sites as they exist on the new server, and once you have, we then will schedule a final sync and DNS switchover at a time of your choosing.
We do lower the Time To Live (TTL) on the sites early in the migration process (assuming we have access to the DNS records) in an effort to speed up propagation, and typically sites will be visible on the new server within a few hours, but it still can take up to 24-48 hours for DNS changes to fully propagate globally.