When you’re transferring your website to a new hosting software, you will want there to be as little downtime as possible. Downtime, when talking about a website, refers to the amount of time that your website may be unavailable to visitors, clients, or customers. To avoid missing purchasing opportunities or potential connections, you will want your website to have as little time offline as you can manage.

But when you’re switching hosts, downtime is a common thing to experience. Even so, you will want to keep the amount of time that your website is down to as short a time period as possible. To do so, there are a few things you can do before the move to ensure the transition is smooth and you can get back up and running easily.

Before you begin your transfer, check out this transfer website guide. Here are five crucial steps to take to ensure your website transfer runs smoothly:

1. Back Everything Up

It’s not uncommon for something to get lost or changed during a transfer, so you will want to prepare yourself for this possibility before you begin to make your website move. To ensure all your information, content, databases, and files are properly saved, create backups of everything that you have. If you want to be extra careful, create more than one backup, such as keeping one stored on your computer and another stored on your cloud.

Backing up all your information can save you from a lot of headache and heartache when the time comes to transfer. If something goes missing during your transfer or the transfer fails, having a backup of all your website pieces will make it easier to get up and running again. Having a backup of your backup makes it even easier to reduce downtime if both your website transfer fails and your first backup fails. It may seem far fetched, but it happens.

2. Keep Your Old Hosting – For Now

While you are making your transfer, you will want to keep you old hosting running for the entire duration of the move. While it may seem counterintuitive to keep your old host running while you’re looking for something new, it allows your website to stay up and running while you make your transition. Even if you plan to make the move in one sitting, the entire process can potentially take hours. Having a bit of overlap allows for minimal downtime.

Wait until the move is complete before you decide to call it quits with your old host. This will give you the time and room you need to ensure the transfer runs smoothly and your new hosting is working the way you hoped. Once all your content, files, and databases are successfully saved and moved, you can cancel your hosting.

3. Talk Transfers with Your New Host

Many web hosts are happy to help you make the move because it means they’re taking business from their competitors – something all businesses are proud to play a part in. Don’t struggle through making the move only to find that your new host provides a service that streamlines the process.

Once you decide who you would like to be your new web host, reach out to their customer service department to see if they assist new users in transferring websites in any way. You can discuss the details of your website and what kind of information you are looking to transfer over. If they are not able to assist you through the transfer itself, they are likely able to provide additional tips on things to consider or remember.

4. Start Moving Everything – Except Your Name

Once you have your new hosting established and your backups are all saved, you can begin making your transfer, but you will want to keep your domain name on the old website until you have all the other pieces in place with your new host. Once you have finally uploaded all your site pages and the files and databases have made a smooth move, you can begin taking the necessary steps to transferring the domain name.

Keeping your domain name reserved for your already established website means that when people go to visit your page, they will still be directed to the full site on your old hosting, where they can make purchases, submit contact requests, or otherwise continue conducting business as normal. If you try to transfer your domain name before your pages are fully transferred, customers attempting to visit the site would probably be met with a jumble of incoherent information or an error page.

5. Wait a Few Days Before Canceling Your Old Host

Once you finally have everything uploaded, you may be feeling like you can finally get rid of that host you’ve been hoping to get away from. But, hold on, not so fast. It can still take a few days for your site to completely register with your new host and start appearing when visitors come to your page. If you delete your old host too quickly, they may be met with error signs or an inability to purchase items.

Instead, give yourself a couple of days before you break the bad news to your old host. While you should be okay after two or three days, you can ensure you’re in the clear if you wait one more week. After you’ve given yourself and your new host some time to adjust to the changes, you are free to cut ties with your old host.

If you find that you’re unhappy with your old web host, transfer your website isn’t too difficult, you just need to be sure you’re covering all your bases to ensure downtime is kept to a minimum. With this transfer website guide, you can make a smooth transfer from your old host to a host that suits you better without needing to worry about the possible sales or connections you may have missed.