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How do I migrate my site from shared hosting to a virtual or dedicated server?

You have been developing your website for several years, brought it to a higher level, and now you do not have enough power of a regular shared hosting solution. Or you want to launch a new project. In both cases, website owners need to choose an optimal and high-performance hosting option. This can be a virtual or dedicated server for frequently used websites.

Switching from shared hosting to a virtual or dedicated server is an essential step for the business. After the transfer of the site, you will immediately notice the changes. Site performance will improve, security and reliability will be higher, and the owner will have more control over resources.

You have already chosen VPS/VDS hosting or a dedicated server (we have already written here to understand that this variant is right for you), decided on the pricing plan with optimal cost and decided on your needs. But to begin to take advantage of a virtual or dedicated server, you need to at least move your website to it.

And here’s where many people have a question about how the data is transferred. On the one hand, it may seem that it is easy. Nothing new to implement, no need – just take all the previously hosted data on virtual hosting and move to a virtual or dedicated server.

But there is another side to the issue, the site can not be transported automatically. For those going to move from shared hosting to a virtual or dedicated server, we have prepared a small tutorial, with which the transfer of your site will not take much time and effort.

How do I migrate a website from shared hosting to a private server?

First of all, contact your old host and notify them that the site is moving. Pay for the last months of use and fulfill all the contract clauses, which specify information about the termination of cooperation.

Then you have two options. You can ask for help in transferring the site from the hoster who provides the server for rent or do it yourself. In the first case, the transition to a virtual or dedicated server is smooth and easy. In the second case, there may be some difficulties. But consider both situations in detail.

Porting the site by the hoster

If you decide to use VPS/VDS-hosting or rent a dedicated server, you can get support from your hoster. For example, we at ArkHost offer our clients help in transferring a site from shared hosting to our server infrastructure. Our team will help you move your website, and you do not have to spend a lot of time and effort.

Independent Website Migration.

In some cases, website owners must handle the migration process by themself. Often all the work falls on the shoulders of administrators. But if you are faced with the transition to a virtual or dedicated server for the first time, there may be some difficulties.

Indeed, you can not move the site to another server for 5 minutes. But in fact, the process is not complicated.

The self-transfer method means manually. First, you must make sure that the service is activated, and you have the right to transport all your data. Then you can proceed directly to the transfer of the site. To do this:

  • Download all of your site’s files. All images, pages, and other components need to be downloaded from your old hosting service so you can export them to the new one. Perhaps your previous hosting provider backs up your sites regularly. In that case, it is enough to download the latest backup via SFTP. You can also create and download a site backup yourself. To do that, you can use one of the available FTP clients. For example, you can download a backup copy using FileZilla or the Total Commander file manager with a built-in FTP client.
  • Create a database dump. Technically, at this step, you also need to download the database for further export, but we will put it as a separate item. A database dump is essentially the same backup copy in the form of a downloaded file. For example, the MySQL database dump is a file with the extension .sql. After downloading, you do not need to recreate the database manually – it is enough to upload the existing database to the server.
  • Upload the downloaded files to the new server. When all the necessary data of your site is already uploaded as a backup, you need to place them on the new hosting. To do this, gain access to the server (log in using the username and password sent to you earlier) and upload the site archive. The process is the reverse of downloading a backup copy, but the essence is the same. In the first stage, you downloaded the backup file to your device from the server; now, you need to do the opposite. This can be done using the same SFTP connection.
  • Import the database dump. First, you need to create a new database on the server and enter the login and password you received from the hoster to manage it. Then upload the previously created database dump by SFTP.

After the transfer of the site, data should be tested for performance.

Then, to fully transition to a virtual or dedicated server from the old hosting need to transfer your site’s domain name. To do this, contact the domain registrar and reassign DNS servers. Domain name transfer can take quite a long time – at least a day.

Deal with the domain transfer is after you have transferred the files and databases on the new server. Sometimes you can meet and cardinally opposite recommendations. But if you are first engaged in transferring the domain to the new server, the visitors will come to your site before debating its work. So first, we move the backups and then – the domain.

After you have transferred the domain name, recheck your site’s performance and make sure that all pages, mail, and database are working correctly. If everything is in order, you have successfully moved to a new server and can proceed to further work.

Server administration and technical support from ArkHost

You have moved your site to a VPS and are ready to further develop your business. But in the process of using them, problems may arise that need to be promptly corrected. Also, the major part of the work is server administration, and if you hire an administrator, the costs will increase server administration.