Web Hosting Transfer

So, you own a web site running online BUT for whatever reasons, you decide to move it to a different web hosting company. You can call it switching, transfer or just moving your e-business from one location to another on the cyberspace.

No matter what your motives are, you should start the relocation process before your lease with the current web hosting company expires. Give yourself at least 72 hours to transfer your website. That leaves you enough time “to patch things up” should you forget something at your current web host.

Just like with a brick-and-mortar business, you need to look for a new location convenient to your business. For an online business, the real estate is defined in terms of disc space in a web hosting server.

Shop around for a web hosting company that provides a package that suits your e-business needs. If are not sure what to watch out for, please take a look at our checklist on Choosing The Right Web Hosting.You can then rent a web hosting space with you new web hosting company.

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Are now ready to move your web site?
Well, not quite yet!

Just like with any move, you need to fold and pack your stuff before parking the U-haul or moving truck on your driveway.

  1. First make sure you have a backup copy of all the your web site files. You should already have a copy of your web site anyway whether you are planning to move or not. In any cases, make a new backup copy of your website as it is now on the web by just downloading those files from your current web hosting server to your computer hard-drive using an FTP program: Filezilla, SmartFTP, CuteFTP, WS_FTP or Fetch (Mac)
  2. If your website is database-driven, you also need to make a backup copy of your database (structure and data) to save offline in your computer. If you are using a MySQL database instance, your web hosting control panel certainly has a phpmyadmin feature that allows you to access and export your database as a zip file.
  3. Download your messages from all your email accounts to keep a record of communications with your customers and other prospects: MS Outlook or any other destop email client application can help with that. Otherwise forward all your messages to your HOTMAIL, GMAIL or YAHOO free account. Write down the list of all your email accounts associated with that website on a pad. No need to keep the passwords. I would even recommend using different passwords after moving to your new web host.

Once you subscribe to a new web hosting account, you should be given all the FTP information after your account is setup. Using one of the FTP client programs mentioned above, you should be able to transfer all your web site files to your new account just by using the IP address or temporary URL given to you by your new host.

For a database-driven web site, you should be able to create a database (name, user, password) from your new web hosting control panel.

Then use phpmyadmin to upload the backup data to recreate all tables structure and insert the data.

Go on now and create various email accounts using then list you jotted down in your pad. Allow me to repeat myself, do recycle the same passords you had it on your previous web hosting account. You can sure find by yourself several reasons not to do so.

If you are like me, then your web hsoting company should be separate from your domain name registrar. In that case, you can now take note of the DOMAIN NAME SERVERS (ns1.—, ns2.— or dns1.—-, dns2.—-) of your new web hosting server. Now log into your domain name registration

account, look for the name servers setting then change them to match the new DNS values. The new name servers should propagate within 24 hours.

You can then go to your old web hosting account control panel and do some final cleanup (files, database, email,…).

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