Web Host Switching: Tips, Hacks, And Resources In One Page

Posted in Basic Webmastering on Apr 19th, 2011 |

How to Transfer your website to a new web host without errors

Switching A Web Host

To change your host is not usually the best selection if you have a choice. Usually unless you’re getting a bad deal or bad service I would recommend sticking with the one you’re with as there is no guarantee the next is going to be much better. If you are going to make a change, it can be quite tough knowing how to move everything over from one host to the next. While changing web hosts, you are going to undergo a time consuming process and your visitors will have to face an inconvenience for couple of days but it doesn’t have to take too long.

Before you follow the guidelines below, check with the new webhost to see if they offer a free service, by which they will transfer everything over for you.
Many hosting companies in order to gain your business will do this for free. Always check before purchasing as after they are liable to charge you.

Listed below are a few valuable guidelines to minimize downtime to your website while transferring to a new web hosting service.

Register yourself for a new web host

Hosting Switch

Here’s some basic questions to ask before you get into any action.

  • Who is hosting your current Web site?
  • Who is hosting your domain name (DNS)?
  • Where is the most current copy of the Web site located?
  • Does your site rely on any scripts, databases, or other technologies?

Answering this will give a brief idea on how much work you’ll need to get into. If these looks ‘do-able’ all by yourself, then move on and pick a new hosting; else you may need to consult a Web professional before moving your site to a new host. As mentioned, do check out with your new web host and see if they can do the transfer for you for free.

Moving on, the first step after choosing a new fangled web hosting service for you website is to register your website with the new hosting service.

Simply log on to your new account and get acquainted with the new hosting technology and service.  If this is your first experience of transferring your website form one host to another, the best option is to create a test site. This practice will help you to familiarize your way into transferring the old web hosting account to a new hosting account, without creating any problems to your existing website.
After creating a test website, you can also examine your new hosting service and the process involved in getting everything setup.

Dig Deeper

Backup and transfer your data at old web host 

Site Backup

After getting acquainted to your new hosting service, now it’s time for your actual move. Your next step would be to retrieve your entire data at your old web host. This data comprises list of your mailing accounts, program scripts and database. Ensure twice that you have retrieved all your data even something that is not in frequent use but needed. While getting your data back, take special consideration because your data is the most considerable issue in your website.  

Next step is to transfer or upload your retrieved data to your new hosting account. Arrange your entire data accordingly and you may have to make minor changes while transferring and rearranging your data at your new hosting account. You may have to arrange your data like file paths, scripts and mailing list in the same order; it will help to place your upcoming email messages in the respective mailbox.

Dig Deeper

Transform domain name server

Hosting Switch

After arranging your data properly, examine your website thoroughly to ensure the presence of every single piece of your important data. Also make sure that your new web hosting service is working according to your requirement. Fix all your files according to your new database and restart to ensure its properly working as expected.

This is entire transferring process of your website from one hosting service to a new one. This isn’t an easy process and while going through this entire course of action, you need to take special care of your data. Be sure to view the frontend of your new transferred website just like a visitor to make sure your browser window is functioning properly.
Usually you can just go into the new cpanel, into backup and upload the zipped file, though check with the host that it’s possible to do so.

Your very next and most important step is to issue a new domain name server for your domain. This is prolonged process and it may take nearly 24- 72 hours to get completed as it has to propogate. The completion of this process depends upon the updated schedule of ISP’s. As faster ISP provides updates, the faster visitors get directed to new hosting service for your website. As the new domain name server will be picked up by more ISP’s, traffic of your old hosting account will go down.

No sign of traffic at your old hosting account and flow of traffic at your new hosting account is the confirmation of the completion of your transferring procedure, along with the fact that you can view it through the browser and by going to pagewash.com. After confirming the transformation of your new web host, a final step is to sweep your data at your old hosting account to make it clear that you have transferred everything to your new account. This is the way you can transfer your website to a new host without making any error. Sweeping is simply logging into your ftp and cleaning out any files.

Dig Deeper

Things to avoid while making the switch

The most common mistakes you need to avoid during this entire process are as given below:

  • Not backing up your site into your local hard drives
  • Not checking in on the hosting company to see if they will do it for free
  • Not cleaning out your old host of old files
  • Not notifying your old host that you are ending service.

 

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