Transferring a site and what’s associated with it

This article is a response to a fairly common question from clients: “Why does transferring/copying a website cost so much money?”

Work on transferring a site may intuitively seem like something similar to Copy-Paste and should not seem to take a lot of work. In practice, this is far from the case, and such work may require not only a lot of time and knowledge, but also significant experience in carrying it out.

Moving a website or copying it to another domain involves several steps. Let’s go through each of them.

Hosting evaluation

This is a fairly large topic, so we have dedicated a separate post to it. For the purposes of this article, it will suffice to say that assessing hosting for its compliance with the site being hosted is a separate part of the work. It also takes time to familiarize yourself with the web interface of your hosting account and the tools offered there for solving standard problems if the hosting is unfamiliar.

Archiving a migrated site

For large sites, it is not always possible to create a file archive and a database archive using only the hosting admin panel for this purpose. These are quite time-consuming and resource-intensive procedures. Hosting web interface tools and the scripts behind them on the server side are usually not designed for this kind of operation, so such processes either hang without response or fail after a certain time. In such cases, work via an SSH connection is used, which requires some knowledge and skills. However, if the hosting does not offer an SSH connection service, then a simple process, for example, archiving a database, can turn into a rather complex step-by-step task.

Transferring files to new hosting

There may also be options here. Typically, the standard when solving this issue is to copy files directly from one server to another. Of course, here we again need the ability to connect to both servers via SSH. However, if this is not possible, or the connection between the servers cannot be established for some reason, or the connection is unstable, then you will have to transfer the files through the local computer, i.e. download them to yourself from one server, and then upload them to another. In this case, large archives will most likely have to be split into parts, since there is usually a restriction on uploading large files both through the web interface and via the FTP protocol. It’s not that it’s difficult to do, but it often takes a lot of time and you have to keep an eye on the process.

Domain setup

When moving a website, some work must be done with the domain. Now, when an Internet user enters your domain address into his browser, the request should be sent to the new location of the site, i.e. to the server of your new hosting provider. It all depends on how you rent the domain. If this was done through hosting (very often this service comes as a gift with the selected tariff), then most likely you will also have to transfer the domain, because It is not profitable for the hoster to serve your domain if you do not use its hosting. This, by the way, is one of the hidden ways to retain customers. Domain transfer can take from several days to three weeks; it is more a legal than a technical procedure. Identity verification and other formalities may also be required, depending on the relevant laws of the country in which the domain zone is located. If the domain was registered with an accredited domain registrar, then everything is much simpler: just go to the domain management admin panel, enter the addresses of the NS servers of the new hosting in the appropriate places (fields) and – voila – within 24 hours your site will be available at the new address . Well, more precisely, at the previous domain address, but at the new physical location of the site, and, to be completely correct, a request will be sent there, and the site will be searched or expected there, and whether it will be available depends on whether is he already physically there by then, and is he working?

Oddly enough, the fact that the domain is registered through a hoster can greatly complicate and delay the process of transferring the site and affect the price. There have been cases when, due to difficulties in confirming the right to a domain, it was necessary to change it altogether, i.e. buy a new domain and simply abandon the old one. Of course, if the domain is popular or even just beautiful, then doing this is not at all an option.

We always recommend that new clients register their domain separately with accredited registrars and not take advantage of the “free” domains offered by hosting as a gift. Yes, this is an extra 10-12 dollars of expenses per year, but it will make your life much easier.

Deploying a website to a new location

This is the most important part of the job. First, you need to do the preparatory work on the new account: select the PHP version and set the necessary parameters, configure the caching system, create a site directory, prepare a new database for importing data, attach an SSL certificate to the domain, and, if necessary, make changes to DNS records. Separately, setting up domain mail and creating mail accounts is carried out and, as a rule, this is a separately paid service.

And finally, you need to unzip the files into the desired directory and import the database dump file into the newly created empty database. All that remains is to configure the configuration file(s) for the site to work with the new database, change passwords, and you may also need to make adjustments to the htaccess Internet server configuration file.

I am aware that the last two paragraphs say little to the uninitiated person, but the main purpose of this article is simply to outline the scope of work and the number of tasks to be solved.

In specific cases, some additional work is possible, but in general this is all, and, as you can see, a lot of work needs to be done when transferring/copying a site. We consider our prices for this service to be quite optimal. Contact us 🙂

P.S. This service may well be paid 100% upon completion. The client sees the result, and after payment we only give back the new passwords and accesses we created during the process. This approach guarantees the client the fact of high-quality work done, and us the fact of payment.