Earlier in this series on cloud migration, I compared migrating a website to moving to a new house. It may be stressful, but how stressful depends on how well prepared you are. This, the final article of the series, is a comprehensive cloud migration checklist. Follow this list, and you will have a stress-free cloud migration.
Cloud Migration Preparations
- Verify that you have access to the following information.
- SSH or FTP usernames and passwords for the site’s current hosting.
- Hosting control panel usernames and passwords.
- Usernames and passwords for services such as the CDN and analytics.
- DNS service provider information: That may include a DNS registrar and a DNS hosting provider.
- If you are migrating DNS hosting at the same time, you will need to take note of the new DNS host’s name servers.
- Inform all stakeholders of the cloud migration plan in advance. Give them time to respond.
- Create a list of your site’s top-performing pages.
- Run performance tests on the top-performing pages using a service such as Google’s Lighthouse or Pingdom Tools to establish a performance baseline.
- Check for broken links (404 errors) and other crawl errors.
Cloud Migration Day
- Create a suitable cloud instance on the target platform.
- Install the relevant CMS or eCommerce store application on the cloud instance. The Nexcess Cloud can automatically install your chosen application in a secure, optimized hosting environment.
- Create a copy of your site’s files and database. You can use application-specific backup tools or create the copy manually over SSH / FTP.
- Import the database and files into the new application.
The Nexcess team is happy to handle the migration of the site’s files and database for free. Ask our support team about free cloud migration.
Tests should be run again after the site is copied but before DNS records are changed.
- Verify that the top-performing pages and a random sample of other pages are reachable on the new cloud-hosted site.
- Re-run performance tests.
- Re-run crawl tests: look for 404 and other errors.
Edit DNS Records
- If you are migrating your domain’s DNS hosting to the new cloud platform, log in to your domain registrar’s dashboard and add the cloud platform’s name servers.
- Otherwise, log in to your DNS hosting provider’s control panel and edit the domain’s DNS records to match those supplied by the new cloud hosting provider.
- Wait for the DNS records to propagate – this could take up to 24 hours, but will probably be faster.
- You will now begin to receive traffic at your new cloud-hosted website!
After the domain records have propagated, re-run performance and crawl tests to make sure the site is working as expected. You should also carry out any necessary reconfiguration of your content distribution network and test embedded analytics tools like Google Analytics to ensure that they function as expected.
Once you are satisfied that the migration is a complete success, you can delete the old version of the site and close the legacy hosting account.
Congratulations on a successful cloud migration!
Download our free guide to Cloud Migration here.