Moving media hosts can feel like a scary and complex endeavour that it’s easy to get wrong. Let’s see if we can make that process a little less scary.
1. Make sure both hosts support 301 redirects
Also make sure the host supports redirects on your plan, as some hosts restrict this feature to paid, or higher-tier accounts.
2. Download your stats
Or at the very least, take a screenshot. There isn’t a way to import stats, but you’ll want to have a record.
3. Check the metadata matches up
Import content from your old feed into your new host. (You can do this without setting up a redirect.) Then, check titles, show notes, and other metadata has come across
4. Check the files
Do some random spot checks, and make sure the MP3 file matches the metadata. For example, make sure the audio for episode 1 is the correct audio.
5. Check links
If your old service managed your website and you move to a new one, some URLs will change, so you might need to update them.
6. Update the players on your website
This is tedious but important work if your podcast website is separate from your media host. You’ll need to update all the code for embedded players from the old host to the new host, so that visitors who find you through SEO or social media can hear the episodes coming from the new host.
7. Back everything up
Seriously, back that shit up! You don’t want all your hard work lost due to a technical ball being dropped by either the outgoing or the incoming host.
8. Pick a low-traffic time, in-between episodes
In-between the publication of your last episode and the new one, import your old content to the new host, upload the new episode to the new host only, and schedule it for release on your given day. Then when you’re ready, setup the redirect. When the publication date for the episode rolls around, you’ll know the migration has worked because the episode will appear in apps.
9. Double- and triple-check everything
In Russia they say “measure seven times, cut once”. Make sure you’re happy with everything, and that the new feed URL you’re supplying to the old media host is the correct one.
Bonus: call me
I know this, partly through experience, but also because I recently built a migration tool that can automate a bunch of this process. Sure automation saves us time, but the more important thing it does is enforce consistency and reduce the human error factor, which is especially useful if you have lots of episodes.
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