Migration with Zero Downtime

Migrating a site is a daunting but an unavoidable task for site owners. Whether you are moving to a new host or changing your domain, migration poses many challenges, the most important of them being downtime. How often do you come across sites that don’t work? And how did you feel when this happened? Frustrated, is undoubtedly the first reaction, soon followed by a loss of faith. Downtime results in loss of revenue, customers, and brand value. Bigger the company, greater are the ripples that a downtime will create. Hence it is very important that you have a reliable partner such as blogVault by your side to turn this challenge into a simple task.

blogVault offers the best in class migration process that seamlessly moves your site from the host to the new location without any downtime.

Before we delve deeper into the world of migration, let us spend a few minutes to go over the building blocks that make your site what it is today.

How is your site served?

Let us consider an example. Shawn Warner lives in apartment #123 within a community called GreenWoods on Burlington St. Shawn is an account holder with Goldings Bank. He receives regular posts such as statements, cheque books, etc from the bank. How do these posts reach Shawn?

  1. The bank maintains a record of all its account holders. It includes details such as name, address, account number, etc. The bank dispatches the post to the address registered with it.

  2. On reaching the GreenWoods building, the resident database is consulted to determine the exact location where Shawn resides i.e. #123.

If we compare this example with that of how websites are served, we can draw the following parallel:

  • Shawn Warner, GreenWoods, Burlington St is the domain name.

  • Bank does the function of a Name Server.

  • The Apartment building, GreenWoods, is our host provider.

  • #123 within the apartment is the folder within the host from where the website is served.

So the important players are the Name Server that performs DNS resolution and Hosting Provider that serves your site.

DNS Resolution

What would you say is the most important aspect of your site? Without doubt, it’s the URL or the domain name. If not for the domain name, how would your customers reach out to you? Every domain name, as you’d know, is registered with a provider which could be the one who is hosting your site or just a domain name server. Every domain name has a corresponding entry in the name provider that points to the address where it is hosted.

For example,

example.com. IN A 69.9.64.11

The Hosting Provider

A hosting provider helps in making your site publicly accessible on the Internet and also provides a reserved space for all your data. You must register your domain with any of the popular providers that are available. So far we have established the link between the name and the host. But how does the host know where to serve the site from? In most cases, this is nothing but a folder name that is associated with the corresponding domain.

For example, example.com will have a folder such as /home/example containing all the site data

Migrating your Site

Shawn decides to relocate to a new apartment. His new address is 456, RedWoods, Olington St. What are the steps that he must take immediately so that no important information from the bank is lost in transit and the relocation is smooth?

  1. Update his new address at the bank.

  2. Contact the movers to help him relocate to the new place.

  3. Notify the office at GreenWoods that he is moving out so that any mails/ postcards will be retained for the next couple of days and not discarded immediately.

  4. Update the resident database in RedWoods that he lives in #456.

Shawn updates the Bank details first which promptly dispatches a statement to the new address. However, this might not reach Shawn as intended. The reasons could be as follows:

  • Shawn still resides in his old place, the actual relocation has not occurred yet.

  • The resident database at RedWoods is not yet updated. So no one knows where Shawn lives within RedWoods.

As you can see the order in which the tasks are performed are very important to avoid any loss of information. Now consider reversing the 4 steps listed above. As a result, the bank records are the last to be updated. In this new sequence of events, there is a brief window where both the old and new addresses can be used for sending Shawn’s post. This forms the crux of a good migration strategy.

Migration is very similar to the example above.

  • RedWoods is the new hosting provider.

  • GreenWoods is the old hosting provider.

  • Bank becomes the Name Server.

Just as with Shawn’s relocation, it is crucial to perform the tasks in the right order in order to avoid a downtime during migration.

As you a moving your site to a new host, you must first register your domain name with this host. After which, you must install WordPress in the folder from which your site is to be served on the new host. You may wonder why this is required since all the files will be copied from the current location. The fresh WordPress installation is required for two reasons:

  • To ensure that the new hosting account is setup correctly.

  • blogVault auto-fills the database details during migration from the WordPress installation. This saves you the effort of having to remember these details.

Now we can move on to the actual migration of your site data. At this point, you have both the old and new hosts serving your data. So no matter which IP address is accessed to reach your site, you can be rest assured that the user will not be greeted with the dreaded 404 error.

blogVault acts as the top-notch Movers and Packers that will do the hassle-free operation of copying all your data, including themes, plugins, and database, to the new location. Whether you are moving to a new host or changing your domain, blogVault guarantees the best WordPress migration service.

Lastly, you must update the name server to point your domain name to the new hosting provider.