Published on August 22nd, 2013 | by Joannariver


Changing Web Hosting Service Providers – 4 Things To Keep In Mind

Are you looking to change web hosting service providers but want to make sure you do everything the proper way?  If so, we have the four major things that you need to keep in mind when making the switch from one web host to another.  No matter why you want to switch, these four things will help keep your intellectual property safe while also providing your customers with the least amount of downtime possible.

4 things to Keep in Mind when Changing Your Web Hosting Provider

We understand that many people think that switching web hosting service companies can be complicated, but in reality, it’s much easier done than said.  So don’t think of it as a daunting task, but rather a simple step towards getting better web hosting service to increase your customer’s satisfaction when they visit your site.

1. Don’t Close Your Existing Website Account Just Yet

One of the common mistakes that many webmasters make when switching service providers is closing out their current website and account with the provider they are leaving.  You should always keep your existing web hosting account active until you’ve finished the transition completely.  It’s akin to not quitting your old job before you find a new one.

This means you should have your new account already set up and ready to go, all of your files transferred, your email addresses created and set up, your DNS modified and propagated—essentially, get all of your ducks in a row to ensure that you’ll have minimal downtime, confusion and 404 errors during the transition.

2. Make Sure you are Upgrading with Your New Hosting Provider

When switching web hosting service providers, you want to be certain that there is a significant gain in services and benefits.   It takes time to move from one host to another.  For some, this is simply a matter of saving money, but for others, taking your company’s goals into consideration requires you to do a bit more homework before making the leap.

For example, you certainly want to consider if your website needs Microsoft-specific technologies such as ASP, MASACCESS or MSSQL, or other specifications if you’re running Linux.  Other things you’ll certainly want to pay attention to include:

  • Domain registration and rights
  • Bandwidth available
  • Email addresses and inbox space
  • Disk space requirements
  • Unlimited upload
  • Coding supported
  • Guaranteed uptime
  • Customer service
  • Prices
  • Etc.

3. Backup your Old Website and Download all Account Files

Next, you’ll want to be certain that you download all of your files, creating backup files in case there is a problem with the transition.  Preferably, you’ll want to download the files in the same tree structure you’ll be uploading them in later.  Look for CHMOD permissions and other important files with FTP.

Ideally, your web hosting provider will offer free FTP access, but with some flash or drag-and-drop websites (wix and weebly most notably), you’ll have to re-create your web files on the new site.  If this is the case, you’ll want to be sure your new web host service provider either has a free website creator or has an upgrade where you’ll have access to FTP in the future to avoid this problem moving forward.

You should also backup your email by setting up the same addresses using forwarders.  You can also export your emails to another address or cloud program so you don’t lose potentially important contact and correspondence information.

4. DNS Changes and Propagation

After everything is uploaded to your new web hosting server and all of your email accounts have been recreated, it’s time for you to make the DNS (Domain Name Server) changes that are required.  You’ll typically obtain your DNS as soon as you sign up with your new service provider.  When you get this, you’ll have to replace your DNS settings that currently exist with the new DNS settings. You can manage this through the Domain Management Panel (aka your domain registrar).

This process takes about 1 to 2 business days for full propagation, so your old web hosting service provider will still be responsible for your uptime and emails during this time.  That’s why it’s important that you don’t cancel your old website domain just yet.  When the propagation completes, your new DNS will be live and all traffic will be routed through your new server.

Canceling your Old Account and Moving Forward

At this point, it’s time to cancel your own account. While parting can be sweet sorrow, in most cases, assuming that you’ve chosen well, your new web hosting service provider will eliminate a lot of the headaches and problems you encountered with your old service.

Author Bio – This guest post has been written by Andrew Shapiro from Website Host Critic, an independent web hosting review site with reviews of GreenGeeks, FatCow etc helping webmasters make better decisions when it comes to selecting the best web hosting service provider. If you’re interested in reading about iPage review, do check out their website for more details on the same.

About the Author

Joanna River is a stay at home mom and she loves to write on different topics. Please follow her on .

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