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Website Problems After Moving To a New Server

I have had several people contact me recently looking for help because GoDaddy has been moving websites to a new server. There can be side effects to migrating a website.  GoDaddy does not seem to be addressing these issues, and are leaving it to their customer to deal with.

Whether or not GoDaddy has clearly communicated what they are doing and the steps the customer needs to take to complete the process, I do not know. I am getting involved after the fact when the website is not functioning and people are in a panic.

Types of Problems

Here are some types of problems people are seeing after their website was moved to a new server.

  • The website is not loading at all.
  • Files are missing after the transfer and the host does not have the files to replace. (Thankfully I had built this client’s website and had a backup of the code on my hard drive to replace the missing files.)
  • The version of PHP has been upgraded and the site was not compatible with the new version, so code is now breaking and the website is non functional.
  • Website database errors like “Warning: mysql_connect() [function.mysql-connect]: Access denied for user errors…”

These types of issues are not uncommon when migrating a website.  Web servers are not all configured in the same way, so some of these issues should be planned for and addressed before DNS has been updated to the new server. I didn’t hear from any of these people that contacted me that said “everything worked ok on the staging server”. I don’t know for sure, but I get the impression that there was no staging server to review these websites before the move was complete.

Several of these websites were old (like pushing 10 years old with no updates made to them). Website code needs maintained just like your PC, your car or your house. If you let things go, eventually it will come back and bite you.

If your website was recently moved to a new server and are now having problems, you can contact me to fix the issues to get your website back online and functional.

Lessons Learned

A couple takeaways from this:

  1. NEVER depend on your web host to have a good and recent backup of your website code.  If you do not have a copy of your website on your local PC or storage device, take the time to do this now.
  2. Review your website code. If you are running open source or commercial software,  check what version you are running,  and then check what kinds of updates and security vulnerability patches have been released.  Website code, like a program on your computer does need to be updated and maintained.
  3. Actually read emails that come from your host. I  know, some of them are “the king of marketing” and you probably get too much email from them. (Take a moment and unsubscribe from that all of that junk marketing.)
  4. Consider your web hosting services. Does the speed and quality of the customer service match your current needs? If you have a business website that has been online for a while maybe you are outgrowing low budget shared hosting and need to consider a higher quality business level web hosting service.

 

You can contact me through the form on the right if you need help with website problems, or help reviewing your current website code.

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