Have you or your website outgrown your current host? Do you want to see if the grass is greener on the other side? People fear switching web hosts for a variety of reasons, but it shouldn’t be a hassle to move. Switching hosts can actually be done with no downtime at all, and although your IP address will be different, your domain name will stay the same. Below, I’ve listed a handful of quick steps that will have you ready for a quick and issue-free migration.
1. Stay with your old host for a few days
To avoid potential downtime to your website, maintain your agreement with your old host for for 48 to 72 hours until you’ve confirmed that the switch was properly completed. Additionally, to avoid any possibility of early termination, you may want to refrain from informing your old host that you are leaving until the process is complete.
2. Sign up with the new host
Find a host like AHosting.net that offers a 30 day money back guarantee on their hosting services. Take your time to carefully compare all specifications and features before choosing a package that is right for your website and its traffic.
3. Backup your entire website
Take ten minutes and back that thang up. Doing a full backup ensures that your website will look the same and no data will be lost in the case of a catastrophic incident. And don’t cut corners, a full backup includes all of the files in your home directory, e-mail, and MySQL databases.
For this step, I’ll use cPanel as the example. At AHosting.net, we provide access to cPanel for our hosting clients, so if your current hosting company uses cPanel, we will gladly help you migrate your site. For accounts under 500MB, go into cPanel and choose “Download or Generate a Full Website Backup”. Accounts over 500MB will need to have the database and all files backed up separately.
Next, download your files from the “public_html” folder to your computer via an FTP client. Take these files, with the same file and folder names, and upload them to the FTP of your new host. When this is complete, you should have a copy of your site with both hosts. Close out this step by running a link checker to make sure there are no broken links on the new site.
4. Point DNS to the new host
When you sign up with the new host, you will be given a pair of name servers. More often than not, DNS looks like this:
Switching the DNS to point to the new host can be done in one of two ways. You can either ask your domain registrar to make the DNS changes for you or you can do it yourself. To do it yourself, go into the account settings of your registrar and switch from the old name servers to the new name servers. The DNS change should occur within 24 to 48 hours.
5. Cancel your old host
After a day or two of smooth sailing with your new host, it’s time to let your old host know that you’re making a switch. If you bought your domain from the old host, do not cancel the domain registration, rather just the hosting service. This can be done through either customer service or the web hosting control panel.
If you require more assistance for a seamless transition between hosts, contact our round-the-clock support team of web hosting professionals for help..