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How to Move Your Site to a Greener Web Host: 8 Simple Steps

Moving from a traditional web host (where data centers are powered by fossil fuel) to a more sustainable web host (where data centers are powered by renewable energy) is an efficient way to make your website more planet-friendly. 

In this post, I’ll cover 8 simple steps to switch hosts. Later, I’ll share the behind-the-scenes story of migrating my website from Dreamhost to Krystal Hosting. 

Check THE GREEN WEB DIRECTORY to see if your current web host is a green web host or not.

8 Steps on how to move web host:

  1. Choose a new hosting provider: Select a new hosting provider and buy a hosting plan that fits your needs in terms of features, pricing, and reliability. (Learn about sustainable web hosts and what to consider before moving.)
  2. Back up your website: Use your current hosting provider’s control panel or a backup plugin (if using a platform like WordPress) to create a backup of your website files and databases.
  3. Upload Files to New Hosting: Access your new hosting account’s control panel (usually cPanel or a similar interface) and use the file manager or FTP (File Transfer Protocol – a system that transfers files from a server to a client computer) to upload your website files and folders from your backup.
  4. Transfer Databases: If your website uses a database (like MySQL), create a new database on the new host and import your backed-up database into it. Update configuration files if needed to reflect the new database settings.
  5. Test the Website: Before switching the domain, access your website using the new hosting’s temporary URL or a host file modification to check if everything works correctly.
  6. Update DNS (Domain Name Server) Settings: Log in to your domain registrar’s website and update the DNS settings to point to the nameservers provided by your new hosting provider. This step might take some time (usually up to 48 hours) for the changes to propagate across the internet.
  7. Double-check Everything: Once the DNS propagation is complete, review your website on the new hosting to ensure everything functions correctly.
  8. Cancel Old Hosting Account: After confirming that your website is running smoothly on the new hosting, you can cancel your old hosting account.

There you have it–the 8 steps from start to finish on how you can move a web host. Now, it’s time to share my behind-the-scenes story of my first-time migration from Dreamhost to Krystal Hosting.

I chose Krystal Hosting, a UK-based host (with several US data centers), because they are transparent about their green hosting initiative and prioritize web sustainability more than Dreamhost. 

Krystal’s data centers run on 100% renewable energy from wind, solar, and sea sources, maintaining a PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) score of 1.2 or less (the closer to 1, the better). PUE measures energy efficiency in data centers, encompassing both facility and IT equipment. (Learn about Krystal’s sustainability efforts.) 

Since it was my first time migrating a web host, a process that intimidated me just to think about it, I put an effort into recording every move I made. Therefore, this experience could be a valuable lesson learned worth sharing with you. And that’s what I’m doing right now.

Below are the steps I took to migrate from Dreamhost to Krystal Hosting.

  1. Emailed the Krystal Hosting’s customer service team telling them that I wanted to migrate to their platform. 
  2. Krystal support team guided me to do the following:
    1. Purchase one of their hosting plans and connect it with my domain name.
    2. Open a new support ticket requesting site migration. I included the login credentials of the old web host and my WordPress site in a sensitive data box during the correspondence. 
  3. The support team installed a migration plugin, Softaculous, on my website and migrated it. Follow this guide to learn about this process. 
  4. I set my localhost to redirect my sites from Dreamhost to Krystal to test if things work correctly. The support team tested the same on their end. See this detailed guide for this step.
  5. My website looked good and worked fine but no SSL registered. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a technology that encrypts data transferred between your browser and a website, ensuring a secure and private connection. I registered it using this guide.
  6. I pointed the sites to Krystal DNS using the nameservers from the support team. I replaced Dreamhost’s nameservers with these servers. Now this means that all sites are now completely migrated to the new host.
  7. Closed the account with Dreamhost. Dreamhost then confirmed my hosting account closure. However, I can still use the same login to get in to manage my domains.

Since the migration, I have had no issues hosting with Krystal. Their support team always takes good care of me and gives me timely responses whenever I need help. I’m not affiliated with Krystal but recommend them from a client’s perspective and as a web sustainability enthusiast.

If you think about moving to a greener web host and are exploring options, I highly recommend Krystal Hosting.

I hope this post gives you an idea of how to move your web host and a bit of knowledge about a sustainable web hosting.

Check if your current web host is a green web host or not and tell me what you find out! 

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