The internet can seem like everything’s just floating out in space, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, your WordPress website files actually have to physically live somewhere. A hosting company’s job is to store your files and database so that your site can be accessed by anyone from any location around the world.
Ideally, your website can live happily at your hosting company forever and you never have to give the physical files any thought. But there may come a time when you want to move your website. Let’s take a look at a few reasons you might need to migrate to a new host and how you can do this easily.
Reasons to migrate your WordPress site
You need a better host
You’ll know that it’s time for new hosting when your current website has:
- Too much downtime. Any time your website is inaccessible, it’s simply unacceptable. If you run a business, it can erode trust with your client base and cut off one of your main money-making assets. Timeout errors and what’s called the “white screen of death” are often related to network configuration (meaning it’s the fault of the host), and if they’re happening often, it’s time to think about switching. There are many hosts that guarantee at least 99% uptime. So there’s really no reason to settle for anything less. Pro tip: Use Jetpack downtime monitoring to alert you if there’s a problem.
- Slow loading speed. There are many factors that affect the speed of a website, but once you’ve optimized your site as much as you can, it comes down to hosting. If your host doesn’t focus on loading speeds, it could be time to migrate.
- Poor customer support. Whether you’re experiencing a stressful outage, want to add new features to your hosting, or just have a question about how your site should work, then access to knowledgeable support is key. If your host makes it hard to get in touch, or provides service that doesn’t give you the answers you need, consider moving your website.
- Limits on your storage or traffic. Most hosting packages limit both storage space and website traffic. In addition, some sites see spikes of site visitors — for example, when launching a new product or announcing a sale — and these aren’t always handled well by basic hosting packages. If you’ve hit the maximum levels with your current provider, or need to more easily scale during spikes, then it may be time to find a new company.
- Poor security. Have you been hacked? This is one of the most stressful things that can happen to website owners. Although there are many precautions you can take with your own website’s configuration, part of protecting your site rests with your hosting provider. You want one that knows how to set up their servers for maximum security, and that also includes regular backups of your site for quick restores in the event of a hack. If your host can’t provide those options, consider migrating.
- Lack of advanced features. Some hosting companies offer cheap packages, but charge extra fees for features like SSL certificates and backups. This can really add up! If your host is nickel-and-diming you with add-ons, it may be time to move your website to a host that offers a more complete package.
- Doesn’t support the community. WordPress is open source software, and that means it relies on the investment of developers and community members to remain strong, safe, and accessible to everyone. Some hosting companies are good WordPress community members and make it a point to contribute to the software; you can support WordPress indirectly by taking your hosting business to a company that is active in the WordPress community.
- No special configuration for eCommerce. If you sell online, you want a hosting company that specializes in eCommerce. With a good security configuration and the ability to handle large amounts of important data, the right host can make the difference in your success.
Remember, when it comes to good hosting, you get what you pay for. So if you’re living with some or all of these issues in the name of saving money, then it’s probably time to admit that the impact to your site isn’t worth it. Time to migrate!
Other reasons to migrate a website
- Moving from a staging environment to a live environment. When you’ve had a website for a while and need a major design overhaul, it’s hard to make that happen on a live site. The best way to work on major changes is to create a copy of your website — called a staging site — where you can iron out any problems and make everything perfect before launch. Copying your website to a staging site, and then copying it back to your live website, are both migration processes.
- Launching a new business website with a running start. If you have an existing site and want to create offshoots for specific ideas, you can copy and modify it instead of starting from scratch. This works perfectly if you have a business with multiple locations and want each to have its own site with identical branding and similar content.
How to easily migrate your WordPress site
Ready to make the move? You don’t have to become a technical guru. The easiest way is to use a plugin to help — like Jetpack, which is built by the creators of WordPress.com.
Then, follow the simple instructions for cloning with Jetpack Backup. You won’t need to deal with complicated server configurations or code — all it takes is a few clicks and a few minutes to migrate your site from one place to another.
You can find even more details in our full Jetpack Backup migration guide.
With luck, moving your website isn’t something you’ll have to do often. But with good planning, it is something that can be easy, safe, and reliable. Jetpack makes it simple to migrate your website quickly and without worries, and get right back to business as usual.
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