There are many reasons why we might consider switching web hosts. But whether it’s because you can no longer stand the poor tech support, have had it with high pricing or just need something different, transferring to another host doesn’t need to be high stress or time consuming.
Back It Up
Backing up all of the files you plan to make available via your new web host is key. If this is already a part of your web site administration duties, then this shouldn’t be much of an issue at all. And the good news is that it shouldn’t be much of an issue even without a back up.
Simply log into your site’s control panel, and download all of the files associated with your web site onto your computer. A vital aspect of proper back up is double, and then triple-checking to make sure that absolutely no file has been left behind.
Once you have vacated your old space, anything that remains will likely be erased by your former host so that it can be made available for other customers.
If moving files yourself fills you with trepidation or you simply don’t have the time to move everything yourself, you can get someone else to do it. Your current web host may offer this option for a fee. Or, you can hire a company who specializes in the movement of files from one host to another.
Your new web host may be able to conduct the transfer if your old host cannot. If you aren’t sure that you will remember to transfer all of your needed files, or if your website has a fairly complex hierarchy and functionality, then you are likely better off hiring the services of a company to do it, as they will know which files need to be moved.
Before You Go
Double-checking to make sure that your new host can support you as far as services and software go is always a good idea. This includes checking that your new host has the same version of any software you’ve used to create any scripts that your site runs.
If you are running an online store with your site, then double-checking all of your e-commerce software, databases, payment gateways and shopping carts to make sure they’re compatible will certainly benefit you.
A lot of people think that moving their web site from one host to another will mean downtime for their site. This is not necessarily true. It does take a few steps, but transferring your site seamlessly can be done, as long as it’s initiated at least 24 hours before your old hosting contract expires.
Once you’ve downloaded all of your site’s files, export it and save it on your computer. And then, go to your web site’s database and choose “Export” to download a database copy in SQL.
Once you’ve purchased web hosting space and recorded the settings for your new registrar, simply log into your new host’s control panel with the IP address, create a MySQL database, and note its name and login details. Then import the database you created earlier to the new database you’ve just created at your new web site.
You will also have to transfer all of the files and folders of your site that were backed up earlier, as well as configuring your mail server settings before you change your name servers at your domain name registrar.
There are many tips to help those who are looking to transfer their site form one host to another. Despite the technology that is available to help make the move seamless, being aware of potential pitfalls that you can control is one of the best ways to ensure that your web site’s move happens without a hitch.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1186848
Guest author Jesse Schwarz writes on a variety of topics in the technology arena. He is a frequent contributor at http://www.hostingandbackup.com/, a site dedicated to helping people understand the ins and outs of web hosting.
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