Moving a Joomla Web Site to a New Host

Moving a web site to a new hosting firm is a routine process if you take the time to prepare for the change. The article that follows talks about the steps in the process of moving a web site and transferring technical support responsibility.

It the decision is rebuild the web site, it is critical to capture ALL of the old URLs and set up redirects on the new site. If you do not, Google and Bing will lose all references to the site and your search engine ranking will start from scratch; if you are on page one, you will go to page fifty and work your way back up with the new URLs. This checklist does not cover the steps necessary to rebuild a web site as part of the hosting transfer process.

  1. Transfer of control

    This set of steps is only needed when you are transferring a client website or the website of a volunteer organization that you support.

    1. Transfer Control of Domain Registration
    2. Create New Hosting Account
  2. Prepare for cutover on new host
    1. Create domain definitions on new hosting account.

      These will be inactive until you update the DNS servers at the domain registrar in the final step. If you have verification definitions for Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Postmaster Authentication and other verification definitions, you will need to add those too.

    2. Copy Email Forwarding Definitions to New Host
    3. Copy Email Autoresponder Definitions to New Host
    4. Copy Email Accounts to New Host
    5. Copy PHP Configuration to New Host
  3. Prepare for cutover at old host
    1. Modify Web Site to Remove Developer-licensed Extensions

      If the new hosting account will have legal access to the various paid extensions you can skip this step.

  4. Cutover
    1. Have Users Backup Email Accounts
    2. Copy the site-map.xml file or other site map file that is registered with Google, Bing and other search engines.
    3. Backup Web Site Using Akeeba Backup
    4. Restore backup using Akeeba Kickstarter
    5. Copy SSL certificates over as necessary
    6. Update Domain Registration DNS servers to point to DNS servers for new hosting
    7. Remove AutoSSL configuration on old host, assuming you are using CPanel
    8. Configure AutoSSL on the new host, assuming you are using CPanel
  5. Testing
    1. Verify the site with Google Search Console
    2. Verify the site with Bing Webmaster Tools
    3. Verify the site with Google Postmaster Console
    4. Verity the site with Google Analytics and other analytics tools
    5. Test sending and receiving email
    6. Test all web pages
    7. Test all references in the old site map XML file