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How to Prepare for a Change in Your Web Hosting Provider

There are many reasons that you may decide to change your web hosting provider. Maybe you feel that the provider that you are currently using is not reliable, you are adding to your web site and you need a provider that can give you more space and bandwidth, or you have simply found a better deal and want to take advantage of the savings that the new web hosting provider can offer you. Regardless of why you are changing to a new provider, you will need to take certain precautions to make sure that your web site remains intact, and experiences little, if any, downtime.

How to Protect your Web Site

Several days before you plan to change to a new web hosting provider, you should back up all of your files so that you maintain a copy of your web site. Depending on the size of your site, you may want to save these files to a CD, or to an external hard drive, where the information will be safe. Remember to back up more than just your primary HTML files. Scan your FTP directory and be sure to back up MySql databases, PHP files, CGI files, or any other file that currently is utilized to power your site.

While it is unlikely that you will lose information when you are changing your web hosting provider, it is important that you take this precaution. People rarely lose their files when they are switching to a new provider, but it can happen. By making sure that you have a copy of your web site saved to a secure location, you can be certain that all of the hard work that you have put into developing your site is not lost.

How to Prepare for your New Web Site Hosting Provider

After you have saved all of your web site’s information, it is time for you to upload the files to your new web hosting provider’s server. Be sure to communicate with your new web hosting provider so that you will know the best way for you to do this. Most often you may FTP your files to the new server. However, some web hosts offer file transfer via their control panel, or a combination of FTP and control panel. Once you have uploaded all of the files, you will have a functioning web site on the provider’s server. No one will be able to access the site as of yet, but it will be there waiting for the switch-over.

How to Make the Switch without Experiencing Down Time

It is important that you make the switch from your old provider to your new one without experiencing down time. You could be losing business, and money, every second that your web site is unavailable. You already have your files uploaded to your new server, so the switch should be seamless. In order to make the switch, you must contact your domain’s registrar and tell them that you want to modify your nameservers. The nameserves point web traffic to a particular host, allowing you to designate your web address. When you update your nameserves the change is not immediate, in fact it often take two to three days for the DNS to propagate, thus directing the traffic to your new server. One critical mistake that many fall prey to is assuming that they can close their account immediately after they request the nameserver change. It is very important that you check your email on both the old server, and the new server alike, for at least three to five business days after you have submitted the nameserver transfer request.

Switching to a new web hosting provider does not have to be difficult as long as your know how to prepare for the switch. By making a copy of your files, uploading the files to the new server early, and contacting your domain registrar about the switch three days before you close your old account, you should be able to make the transition smoothly. Reliable web hosting providers such as HostMonster.com and iXwebhosting.com handle thousands of domain transfers each day. You should give favorable consideration to utilize web hosts who are well versed in aiding a transfer, as they will be able to offer great advice and services that will make switching to your new provider even easier. By choosing one of the best web hosting providers, you can be more certain that the process will be as smooth as possible.

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    11th December 2007
    Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Web Hosting Reviews

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