Changing your web host is something you may have to consider at any point of time. As already discussed in some of the articles, web hosting and physical location of servers can affect the SEO rankings of the site. Though transferring to new web host isn’t really dangerous like changing the domain name, it must be done properly and with care.
Here, you will learn how to change your website’s web host without affecting the rankings.
Find a web hosting company that will suit your needs. You have to find a company that will totally cover your needs, but this is a daunting task. It is because you need to make sure that the new host has all the needed features that are required in displaying your site properly.
Opt for the server location carefully. Physical location of the server (which is the country) is used as GEO location signals by search engines.
Therefore, if the servers of new hosting company are situated in different country than its old host, this can affect the rankings. Normally, your best option is to host the site to server that is situated in the same country as that of your target audience.
Upload the site to the new web host and test it. One of the best ways to ensure the new web host’s compatibility with the site is to test it. Be sure that the site functions normally before you go for the transfer.
It can be done by uploading the database and files to the new host and through testing its functionality through temporary URL (try to check with the IP, set up in sub domains or use temporary domain).
Update the TTL of DNS record. This step is an option but it is extremely recommended. Before explaining the process of DNS record changing, let me briefly explain about DNS. DNS stands for Domain Name System.
It is the service that maps the domain name to the IP address. IP address is network address of the server that hosts the site. Therefore, DNS is the service that helps you find out which server hosts the site.
Change the DNS record. You have to update the DNS records to point the domain to the new server.
Depending upon how the new web hosting functions, you may update the Name Server Record or A Records. Also, do not forget to change the TTL time ranging from 5 minutes to 24 hours.
Then, keep both severs live for one to two days. Unfortunately, few browsers and some other applications tend to keep the DNS record for more time compared to the TTL value.
Hence, it is advised to keep the old server live for one to two days after the transfer. It will help you ensure that you don’t lose any emails or traffic.
Now that you have found answer to your question – How to change your website’s host without affecting your rankings? – you can now change your website host that will cater to your needs better.