So it’s been a big few months (hopefully not longer – if you’ve worked with a professional agency) of back-and-forthing with the strategy and design team to build your rocking new website. And now it’s time to go live …
… We’re sorry to break it to you: it’s not always just a flick of a button.
The website that the agency created for you is currently sitting on their staging domain and so that information now has to be transferred onto yours before you can start bragging about it on social media.
THE LONG WAIT
Sometimes it can take hours for the information to transfer over from the staging server to your hosting server. This includes all of the code and imagery that make up your site.
The best time to do this transfer is over low traffic periods to ensure minimal disruption. Depending on the size of your site and the quality of your hosting, this can take up to 24 hours.
TO EXPLAIN A COUPLE OF TERMS FOR YOU:
Your hosting is like your house: it houses both your furniture and lets your utilities function.
Your domain (or DNS – Domain Name Server) is the URL people type into their browsers to find your website (e.g. www.saltwatercollective.com.au). It’s a lot like your fixed home address, the place where people can find you.
So to build further on the metaphor, transferring your site to your hosting and updating your DNS means moving your house to the right address. On a good day the removalists can take a few hours but they can often take at least a day… and longer if the load is heavy.
Problems that may need to be worked through taking extra time:
- Issues with your hosting provider – cheap hosting providers, like Telstra customer service, can be notoriously hard to connect with and their support can be limited.
- Older hosting plans are also difficult to manage sometimes, because if they don’t have the latest version of your website software, they have to be updated first.
- If you’ve forgotten your login details – this will take LOTS of time to fix…the web team has to be able to get into your Control Panel and if you’ve lost your details and they need to be reset, this can delay the transfer… massively.
- Security certificates – if you are selling things you will need a security certificate, which is the https:// in front of your web URL. A security certificate is an additional annual expense you’ll have to budget for. Sometimes, if you’re transferring a site from a http to https a few extra configurations will need to be done by the web team before the site will function as intended in its new address.
Image by Richard Ludbrook