Blog about Web Hosting, Domain Names, Web Sites, Internet presence.
Step1: Buy web hosting from giganetwebhosting.com
This is the easiest part, just go to our first page http//giganetwebhosting.com and buy your new web hosting plan. We even have a video tutorial on how to do that.
Do not cancel the former provider web hosting plan before the move is complete.
The most common mistake made is to almost immediately contact your old host to inform them of your decision to move to a new company.
While it’s certainly a good idea to inform the old web host in a timely manner about future changes, doing so before the transition has been expertly executed can result in not just downtime, but a complete loss of files and database information from the moment a cancellation is requested.
Hold that Call
Many web hosting companies cancel a plan almost immediately – as in as soon as the customer’s call has ended – without waiting for the expiry of the current month’s service or subscription fee.
However, it also means that the company will virtually trash every information that has been uploaded to the server during their time with the company. There will be no opportunity, in many cases, to retrieve these files and move them.
That’s the kind of downtime that is extremely hard to recover from, as it potentially means a loss of all content and subscriber data, as well as commercial losses and customer payment details for some websites.
What To Do
Once you get the account instructions for your new web hosting from us, transfer all files before canceling the existing hosting plan held by the old company. It might be a good idea to allow the website to run few days just to ensure that nothing was overlooked during the move.
When everything has been verified as properly transitioned, only then should the old hosting plan be cancelled.
Step 2: Find Registrar Info
It is important that you are listed as the owner of your site's domain name. Using your favorite Whois service or your registrars website (if known), you can see who is listed as the administrative contact and who is listed as the technical contact. Make sure you are listed as the Administrative contact. If you are not listed, moving will be very complex and you probably can't do it without the current host or designers permission (legally - you should always be listed as the administrative contact).
While you look up your site's registrar data, it is a good idea to check when your domain name expires. If you try to move your site near expiration date, it could seriously complicate matters . To get around this, you can extend your ownership or transfer registrars before transferring web hosts.
Step 3: Back Up All Data
There are a few ways to back up your data. One way is to use an ftp program to download all the data. Another is to use software to import or publish your data to your computer. A more tedious way to do it would be to use "file > save as html" in your browser, but you need to make sure you save the file with the right name and download all the images (right click over the image and choose save as), plus you might end up with extra code in your html that you don't want (if you are currently with a free or cheap host, there might be pop up ads or other ads hard coded into your files which you wouldn't want to bring over to your new host).
If you use a MySQL database is very important to backup and download the database and also remember the database name and database password you use, because you have to use the same database name, user and password on the new site
Other data that you might not think of saving is your log files. If you use statistical programs or plan to some day, you will want to keep your log files. If you were running any scripts or had any special folders with password access, you might want to pay close attention to how you set up those folders so you can set the permissions correctly on your new server.
If you have a wordpress site or blog check our special wordpress web hosting site move page.
Step 4: Set Up With Your Web Hosting Account
You should be given an IP address, a login & password, name server information (primary and secondary) and links to your control panel. All this info is included in the account instructions you receive from us.
You should be able to connect to your new site via your IP address.
Now you are ready to upload your files. Upload all your files and be sure to use your current directory structure. Use ASCII if prompted
If you use permissions on any of your folders, be sure to make those changes.
Step 5: Test, Test, and Test
Testing your site before flipping the DNS switch is very important. Customers can't see the new site yet, so now is your chance to work out all the bugs.
If your site links use relative paths, you should be able to view the newly uploaded site in your browser. If you use absolute paths, then it will end up clicking over to your new host, so you will either need to switch to relative paths or you can type in the correct page name in order to view it.
Check all your pages to see if they mirror what is on your old host. Make sure all the pages exist and the links point to the right places. When you downloaded the site, you should have received a page count and when you uploaded the site you should have received a page count. If these don't match, find out why.
Carefully test all of your forms and check all of your scripts (many scripts will require editing). Make sure you don't have extra code from your previous host (especially if they were running the advertising on your site) - you will want to remove this code if it exists.
We recommend using a link checker after you do all the manual testing. Good link checkers will let you know of possible broken links and should help you fix them. You will want to run your link checker again after switching hosts.
Step 6: Prep Your New Email Account(s)
To make sure you don't miss any email messages during the transition, you may want to set up your new email account right away. Whatever you do, make sure you are still able to access your old email account at the same time because you might receive email messages at both accounts for 2-4 days.
Follow our instructions for setting up your email account. If you use autoresponders, forwarding or aliases, you have to set those up in your control panel. If your previous host has a mailing list functionality, you will want to export all the contacts and populate your new mailing list software or site with those contacts before switching sites.
Step 7: Switch Web Hosts
Finally we can flip the virtual switch!
The key to switching the web hosts is your DNS information. You must be listed as the administrative contact to change hosts. This is why we stressed the importance of being the administrative contact for your site earlier in this article. You have to use the name server information that we have send you.
The key to changing your DNS information is the registrar for your domain name. Some registrars allow changes via simple online forms, others require email confirmation (the registrar usually sends an email to both the technical contact and the administrative contact - either person can confirm the change). Follow their instructions closely. Registrar's are sticklers of their rules. For example, if you are not listed as the technical contact nor the administrative contact you probably won't be able to make any changes without a tremendous amount of work.
The actual switch will usually take 24-72 hours to be recognized by servers across the world. It may take a full week for the smaller more remote servers to recognize the change. This means that someone in Seattle might see the new site a day later, but a customer in London might be looking at the old site at the same time.
As mentioned earlier, it is often helpful to make a slight alteration to your homepage on the new site to see when your own servers recognize the new site. During the 1-3 days it takes for the host switch to be complete, it is a good idea to either not make any changes to your site, or to make the changes to both the old host and the new host.
If you are using a new domain name, you will want to put up a link to the site on your old host and keep the old host account for a couple of months.
Step 8: Cancel Old Host
Now that you have successfully made the move, it is time to cancel your old account. We recommend keeping your account at least one week after the DNS change. If money is not a factor, then you may want to keep the old site for up to a month (some servers around the world will take more than the standard 24-76 hours to propagate).
Step 9: Check Scripts
Once the DNS changes take effect and your site name is now showing your current site, it might be time to check your scripts again. It is possible that your scripts worked on the new host only because they pointed to your old site.
If you had to change your scripts temporarily to point at the IP # rather than the site name, this is your chance to change them back.
Step 10: Check Links
It is always a good idea to run a link checker after the move is complete. If you made temporary link changes, including links that point to the IP address or relative links that you would prefer to be absolute links, then you will want to make the appropriate changes. Besides internal links, you may need to check external sites linking in.