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What Is Transfer Support?

Choosing a hosting provider for your website is sort of like choosing an apartment to rent. You see it, everything looks good, and you hope you're comfortable there because moving is no fun. If you've done your homework to make sure you were selecting the best hosting provider for your needs, you'll most likely be happy with your choice. But sometimes, things can go wrong, or just change in a way that doesn't benefit you. Or worse, the changes are actually detrimental to you and your site. Or maybe you just find a better deal later on. When any of that happens, it's time to transfer your website to a new host.

Moving a website isn't quite as cumbersome as moving all your furniture. But if it's not done correctly, you risk losing some if not all your data. All your blog posts, images, everything. If your site has been up for a while, and contains a lot of data, the thought of losing it all may be too much to bear. But that doesn't mean you have to stay with a hosting provider you don't like.

Most hosting providers offer transfer support to their customers. This means they'll transfer your website for you from your current host, to your new hosting account.

What Are Some Good Reasons To Take Advantage Of Transfer Support?

Website migration projects run the gamut in 'degree of difficulty' because there are many unknowns. Modern installations of server hardwares and website management platforms will likely transfer between hosts with little effort, but not all hosting environments are created the same. When you utilize transfer support from a hosting provider, they assume all of the risk in safely moving your data from your old hosting provider to their platform, updating your DNS records, and making sure the site is fully functional in the same manner it was when hosted by your previous provider.

If you're moving your blog or website and are not well versed in hosting environments, transfer support could be a life saver.

Transfer support is often a special offer for new hosting contracts that are committed to for a specified amount of time at a specified price. Each hosting provider has different plans and terms and conditions for their packages that include transfer support.

If I Don’t Want Transfer Support, What Options Do I Have?

You can try to do the transfer of your website data yourself - no one is going to stop you! But this is only recommended if you are familiar with all of the required files, databases, and access records you need to update in order to transfer a website between hosting providers.

Another alternative could be outsourcing the transfer of your site to a provider of webmaster services or a freelance web developer. However, this may turn out to be a costly endeavour if payment is calculated by the hour.

Are There Times When Transfer Support May Not Be Necessary?

Transfer support may be unnecessary if you are setting your site up for the first time. Another reason you may not want to use transfer support would be if you are moving an unpublished website from one hosting provider to another.

If you are setting your site up for the first time, then you simply don't need transfer support - there's nothing to transfer! If your website is unpublished and there are no visitors, then a flawless transfer of your site may not be a big deal. If something brakes, you can fix it!

Transfer support is often a special offer for new hosting contracts that are committed to for a specified amount of time at a specified price.

Any Other Tips For Receiving Transfer Support?

Sign up for support, and then get out of the way. While you may think running a one-click installation of your content management system or setting up all of your subdomains will streamline the transfer process - you’re probably wrong. In reality, running that one click installation will probably make things more difficult for your hosting provider when they go to make the transfer and cost you time getting your website back up and running.

You want to make sure you don’t cause a delay in the safe transfer of your site between hosting providers, right? If you are going to take advantage of transfer support (and why wouldn't you?) avoid the urge to do some of the work - and just let your hosting provider take care of the transfer.

Make sure you know if transfer support is included, or if it will show up as an added fee in your bill. For new customers, most hosting providers will offer everything but the kitchen sink to get your site on their servers for a year. Some shared hosting plans do include free transfer support, but not every plan. If your hosting provider doesn’t include free transfer support in its package, it will usually offer transfer support for a one-time or hourly fee.

If you are switching from a shared hosting environment to another shared hosting environment, your site likely experiences low traffic levels and requires limited support needs. Because of those two factors, it makes sense that your transfer support should be pretty easy - this will likely increase the chances that your hosting provider will offer transfer support to you at no charge.

If you are deploying a dedicated hosting solution or a VPS, there is a higher chance that there are costs associated with your transfer. Consult with your hosting provider to make sure.

Be patient throughout the site transfer process. You may believe that your site is easy to move from hosting provider to hosting provider. The truth is, there are often a couple tweaks here and there that need to be made to a server when a site moves from one hosting provider to another. Your previous host likely has some configurations that are unique to your setup, and your new host will need to get acclimated to those tweaks and replicate them “on the fly” during the transfer process. Often, issues like this cause a few 'bumps in the road' during a site transfer.

Don’t be afraid to use transfer support or take advantage of any other form of managed services offered by your provider hosting, even if they also require a fee to provide the management. Just be patient during the process and communicate with your provider if you think a delay is prolonged.

Transfer support may already be included. Sometimes shared hosting plans include free transfer support for new subscribers, other times they don't (or they require a fee for transfer support). Since shared hosting is normally reserved for sites with low traffic levels and limited support needs, transfer support should be pretty easy - which is probably why your hosting provider is willing to offer it to you at no charge.

Be patient. Because there are often a couple tweaks here and there that need to be made to a server when a site moves from one hosting provider to another, the transfer process often has a few 'bumps in the road'. Don’t be afraid to use transfer support or take advantage of any other form of managed services offered by your provider hosting, even if they also require a fee to provide the management.

Moving your website from one host to another doesn't have to be stressful. Your hosting provider can help you with transfer support. If you have a website and you want to move it to a better or different host, ask your hosting provider about their transfer support services before you make the move.

Transfer Support Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are some good reasons to use transfer support?

    The no. 1 ultimate reason to use transfer support - it will save you time, effort, and likely many headaches. Website migration projects run the gamut in terms of 'degree of difficulty' because there are many unknowns. While a modern WordPress installation will likely transfer between hosts that are familiar with the WordPress hosting requirements with little effort, not all hosting environments are created the same. One unknown property - like an outdated version of an Apache server hosting an outdated version of WordPress - can make one hosting provider's stable installation completely incompatible with another hosting provider's server environment. If you're moving your blog and are not well versed in hosting environments, transfer support could be a life saver.

  • Are there any reasons not to use transfer support?

    Transfer support may be unnecessary if you are setting your site up for the first time. Another reason you may not want to use transfer support would be if you are moving an unpublished website from one hosting provider to another. If you are setting your site up for the first time, then you simply don't need transfer support - there's nothing to transfer! If your website is unpublished and there are no visitors, then a flawless transfer of your site may not be a big deal. If something brakes, you can fix it!

  • What are the alternatives to transfer support?

    The biggest alternative to transfer support is the DIY route of transferring site files. This is only recommended if you are familiar with all of the required files, databases, and access records you need to update in order to transfer a website between hosting providers. Another alternative could be outsourcing the transfer of your site to a provider of webmaster services or a freelance web developer. However, unless the third party is intimately familiar with your existing hosting environment and the contents of the hosting environment you want to transfer your site to, this may turn out to be a costly endeavour if payment is calculated by the hour.

  • What are the requirements for receiving transfer support from my hosting provider?

    Transfer support is often a special offer for new hosting contracts that are committed to for a specified amount of time at a specified price. Each hosting provider has different plans and terms and conditions for their packages that include transfer support. Be sure to consult with your selected hosting provider before simply assuming that transfer support is part of the agreement.

  • Do I need to be concerned about installation using transfer support?

    No! That's the true beauty of receiving transfer support from your new hosting provider. One of the most time-consuming tasks for setting up a new hosting provider is the transfer process, and there are a lot of risks involved if something goes wrong. If you utilize transfer support from your new hosting provider, they assume all of the risk in safely moving all of your data from your old hosting provider to their platform, updating your DNS records, and making sure the site is fully functional in the same manner it was when hosted by your previous provider.

  • Is there any reason not to use a one-click installation wizard when I am getting transfer support?

    Yes. One-click installation wizards install a new version of a website and content management system on your server. While you may think running a one-click installation will streamline the transfer process, it will probably make things more difficult and delay the safe transfer of your site between hosting providers. If you are going to take advantage of transfer support (and why wouldn't you?) then we suggest avoiding using any available one-click installation wizards from your hosting provider.

  • What does self-hosted mean? I don’t have to run a server myself, do I?

    Self-hosted websites do not require YOU to personally own a server and manage it to host your site. Instead, self-hosted simply means that hosting is not provided directly by the development team that created your content management system. Your hosting provider is giving you a self-hosted platform when you sign up and accept their transfer support, and they are likely moving your website and files from another self-hosted website platform. Consult with your hosting provider to find out if your site was previously hosted on a self-hosted platform or not if you want more information.

  • Can I utilize transfer support on a shared hosting plan?

    Most likely. Again, this varies based on the hosting provider. Sometimes shared hosting plans include free transfer support for new subscribers, other times they don't (or they require a fee for transfer support). Since shared hosting is normally reserved for sites with low traffic levels and limited support needs, transfer support should be pretty easy. If shared hosting is the way you're going with your hosting services, you will likely receive transfer support with the right package or plan.

  • Do I have to know how to program to use transfer support?

    No! Again, that's the best thing about receiving transfer support from your new hosting provider. Because there are often a couple tweaks here and there that need to be made to a server when a site moves from one hosting provider to another, the transfer process often has a few 'bumps in the road'. One of the most time-consuming tasks for setting up a new hosting provider is the transfer process, and there are a lot of risks involved if something goes wrong. If you know how to program, then you can probably take on the site transfer process, and, therefore, may not need to use a provider's transfer support solutions.

  • Do I need managed hosting in order to use transfer support?

    The answer to this question depends on your answer to the question "how much responsibility are you willing to accept for the maintenance of your website?" Most sites that offer transfer support likely also offer some format of managed hosting, even if they also require a fee to provide the management. The more complex your site becomes with plugins and additional features, the greater your need will be for professionally managed website hosting. This is the case with any feature-rich website hosted on a third-party platform - not just a website that was setup using transfer support during its onboarding process.

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