Migrate Your Site from Shared Hosting to a VPS

By  Jeff Pond


Growing Online Means Moving to More Robust Hosting 

If you are serious about growing your web traffic, you will need to migrate your web hosting from shared to virtual private server hosting. 

Here’s an overview of the process of moving your hosting with minimal hassle and no downtime.

Most people start out with shared hosting and this is fine for sites with very limited functionality and personal blogs. Eventually, every business or organization will outgrow their shared hosting account when they want a more powerful service — a VPS (virtual private server). Many providers like AusTiger Hosting will manage the migration process for you, but it never hurts to know the basics. 

Shared Hosting

The advantage of shared hosting is economy and convenience. Shared hosting is inexpensive because hosts can load many customers onto a shared server. On a standard shared server, there are many sites sharing disk space and memory as well as bandwidth. 

This means that any kind of content and any kind of code can be co-located with your site. The results can vary. Your site is essentially competing for resources with sites that, if poorly coded, can consume memory and disk space. Worse, sites with certain content may be blacklisted by the search engines, thereby removing your site from search rankings. 

When It’s Time to Move

There are a few signs that you are ready to move to a Virtual Private Server service from your shared hosting environment:

  • Growth: Web traffic, business activity, profitability are on the move and your web presence needs better support and security.
  • Reliability and Performance: Your site is loading slowly or you are seeing the "509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded” error. 
  • Functionality: Software you want to run on your site is incompatible with your shared hosting provider’s service. 
  • Support: Your current provider cannot offer comprehensive support or doesn’t understand your requirements.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

VPS hosting scales with your business — start with the right resources and add gradually to accommodate your needs. This way, you get stable service without buying resources you don’t need.

A Virtual Private Server runs its own copy of an operating system, customers have full access to the operating system so a VPS can accommodate almost any software that runs on that OS. 

Most Hosting Providers Will Handle the Migration for You

Most reputable web hosts, like AusTiger, offer full migration services. If you want to learn more about AusTiger Hosting services just enter your info below and someone will get back to you right away. 

Step 1 - Be the Master of Your Domain

Often businesses buy their domain and their hosting from a single provider and this can restrict your flexibility when you migrate hosts. 

It's always a good idea to host your domain with a legitimate domain registrar so you can manage your domain as you see fit. AusTiger’s affiliate, tellidomains can handle this for you. Learn more here.

Note that there is a 60-day freeze on subsequent transfers after your initial registration. Your new domain registrar will submit an Initial Authorization for Registrar Transfer and also a Confirmation of Registrar Transfer Request. These will allow you to transfer your domain seamlessly, but be sure to watch your email to authorise each step of the transaction.

If you don’t know who hosts your domain (the domain registrar), do a WhoIs search to find out.

Step 2 - Download Your Site and Export Your Database (if you are running a CMS)

Chances are you are running a content management system like WordPress or Joomla for your website. 

If your shared hosting provider uses a control panel like Plesk or cPanel, just run a backup using the associated wizards or backup. For Plesk, look for Backup and Restore Docs. For cPanel, this is called the Backup Wizard. 

Manually exporting your database is an option, however, this is somewhat technical and you should get professional support for this — like AusTiger’s support team — if you need to handle the files directly. 

Step 3 - Upload Your Data to Your VPS 

You should now have your data safely backed-up to your desktop and it’s ready to deploy to your VPS. 

Depending on your VPS host, you will have a control panel for your VPS hosting account. These will vary by provider, which is why the safest bet is to have your new host’s support team handle the file upload and deployment. 

In most cases, you will use the control panel to create an empty database and do the following:

  1. Create a database 
  2. Name your database
  3. Create a username and password
  4. Grant the user access to your database

Now it’s a matter of uploading your existing database and files to the server from your desktop. 

Step 4: Point Your Domain to the VPS 

Now you just need to login to the domain host, also called a DNS (Domain Name System) provider. 

Using the provided interface, you will change the value assigned to the A record, the IP address, to the IP address associated with the new server. An A (host) record connects your domain name to your IP address (where your website is hosted physically).

Or Delegate Your Site Migration Altogether!

AusTiger's awesome hosting team will migrate your website from your current servers to our rec-friendly green web hosting servers without any fuss.  Best of all, your website will stay live the entire time so your business keeps running.