If you follow our business accounts on social media, you’ve seen that we recently undertook the major project of migrating all of our hosting clients’ websites over to new servers. It was a big project! And now that we’ve (finally!) gotten through it, let’s tell you a little more about what we did, and why.
What is a Website Hosting Server?
We discussed website hosting in a blog earlier this year. In short, website hosting is an offsite computer (sort of) that stores, manages, and protects all of the data that makes up your website.
A web hosting server is the “computer” where all these files are stored. Not only does this computer have to be big enough to manage all this information, but it also has to be readily, easily accessible via internet access.
That internet access has to be good enough to show the “front end” of your website, including all the interactive links, videos, etc., to any user who wants to see it. Those users = your customers and your prospective customers, as well as search engines like google.
We—the Bradenton website designers, managers, and owners—also need access to your web hosting server so we can manipulate your website from the “back end.” That’s where we fix your information, upload new files, and do all the fancy things we need to do to keep your website running smoothly and beautifully on the front end.
And lastly, a web hosting server needs to provide all this access while still being secure enough to deny access to nefarious people who want to see your files and mess up your site.
Why Might You Change Hosting Servers?
Of course, if you wind up on a bad server that you later realize is insecure, poorly configured, running slowly, crashing frequently, or just ages out of its own usefulness, then you’re going to need to move your website files elsewhere.
But we do our homework before we pick our hosting servers. We can’t do digital marketing work here in Bradenton, if our servers, no matter where they are, don’t work.
That’s why we so often recommend new Bradenton small-business clients sign up for our hosting services along with our web design and management services—even if they have a preexisting site on someone else’s hosting server. It’s not your fault! There are just so many reasons hosting can go wrong.
So Why Did We Do Our Recent “Great Hosting Server Migration”?
But our recent migration had nothing to do with poor configuration or insecure servers. We love our old previous hosting service. The only issue? Our “tiny” little locally run Bradenton digital marketing company outgrew it.
When you think of the above description of what hosting servers do, you can kind of imagine it like a quality home closet. You want your closet/server to
- hold all your stuff;
- allow you to easily access all your stuff;
- protect all your stuff from other people.
The Deckard & Co.’s collective websites, many of them for small businesses right here in Bradenton-Sarasota, had finally added up to more stuff than our old closet/server could hold. And we’re not going to make you get rid of your stuff. So we needed to move everything over to a new closet.
What Does Server Migration Entail?
So, when we decided to move your website—and all of our other clients’ websites—to a new internet hosting server, it meant moving all of your website data, files, etc.
But the internet users can’t “use” files while they’re in transport. Just like you can’t use your shoes or your best suit while they’re packed up in a moving truck.
The trick is that almost all of our clients’ small-business websites cannot be down for any significant length of time. So we needed to perform that migration with minimal website service interruption.
And before we had to start moving anything, we had to make sure that all of your website data was properly configured for the new server. To keep the metaphor going: Your closet storage solutions needed to fit and be useable in the new closet space, or we had to adjust them.
We also had to inform all of our clients of what was happening, happily field their questions, and reassure them that any site interruptions would be minimal and happen during low-traffic hours (which is why the bulk of our migration happened on the weekend and overnight in our current Eastern Standard Time).
As each site’s data migrated over, we were monitoring, reconfiguring, and testing constantly to address any unforeseen issues, while making sure everything—and we mean everything—came over to our shiny new web hosting closet. Er, server.
So now you’ve got the same awesome Deckard & Company website for your same awesome locally owned small business. And while your IP address might have changed (that’s where you can see what hosting server your website data is on), everything else should be exactly as it was—and potentially running faster, smoother, and even more secure for months and years to come.