My experience of migrating a website from one webhost to another

I just transferred my website from Siteground to Hostinger. The process was pretty easy, although it took me a few hours due to a some hiccups.

  1. Transfer the files
    I saved all files from Siteground to my computer via FTP (FileZilla) and then uploaded them to Hostinger. It was easy to do but it did take some time. It’s because of WordPress (WP). Plugins have added 10,000+ files to my directories.
  2. Recreate MySQL databases
    I only have two databases so it should have been easy to manually recreate these with the same DB names, users, and passwords. Unfortunately both Siteground and Hostinger force prefixes to the DB names. Therefore I could not replicate the exact names, thus the login details had to be modified inside some PHP files – one for WP and one for my other project’s DB connection. It was pretty quick though – some 5 minutes per DB.
  3. Export/Import MySQL databases
    I used the default settings in phpMyAdmin. It worked for WP but the other DB was too large to import. One table had about 250,000 rows. It took me an hour or so to figure out the solution; select this setting under export:
  1. Update Name Servers
    These had to be changed at my registrar. No problem, but my Windows 10 computer did not recognize the changes. This means Chrome or Firefox would continue to access the old server (note: they say it could take up to 24 hours for the change to propagate, but I did access the new site after a few minutes with Tor or Anonymouse).
    The solution for Windows is to open Command and type ipconfig /flushdns.
  2. SSL
    SSL was supposed to be included in my Hostinger plan. However, inside the control panel I was asked to pay to activate it. I contacted support and they fixed it. Some 30 min wasted but no biggie.
  3. Email
    I had to remember to also set up my email address to allow scripts to send out mails.

All in all, changing webhost is not a one-click process (or if it is, please let me know how). My experience took a few hours.

The reason I changed webhost was to save money. Siteground would charge at €9.09 ($10.70) per month if I prepaid for 3 years, or even more for a shorter commitment. My new Hostinger plan costs $1 per month since I prepaid for 4 years. Do the math; I save a few hundred dollars over the next couple years.

(I will not discuss specs and it remain to see if Hostinger’s server is stable, etc. But for a tiny personal website, like mine, with minimal traffic, Hostinger should be fine even if ‘you get what you pay for’.)

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