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Many website owners will stay with a hosting company they are unhappy with because they are afraid of downtime. In some ways, this is a prudent decision: any amount of downtime can be detrimental to your business, and cause you to lose some revenue. However, there doesn’t have to be any downtime at all when switching hosting providers! Just follow these instructions to eliminate any possibility of downtime and have a smooth transition.

  1. Start by backing up all of your existing files. You don’t want to lose anything in the move!
  2. Create an account with your new hosting company before you cancel your old hosting subscription. In fact, do not inform the old provider of your impending move; they could shut down your website before you are ready.
  3. Connect to your old host’s FTP and download all of your files. Then connect to your new host’s FTP and upload the same files.
  4. Switching email addresses might be tricky. You may not be able to transfer all the information from one email account to another, but you can archive old emails so they aren’t lost. Set up a new email account with your new hosting provider.
  5. Now that your files are on both hosting accounts, you’ll need to switch your DNS. Some hosting providers will do that part for you.
  6. The new site could take a few days to fully upload with the new host. During that time, your website should still be fully operational. You can use programs such as Keynote and Pingdom to monitor the move. Both of these programs will have robots check out your site from different cities around the world and report back to you on your site’s performance. The same programs can send you an alert if any files are missing from your new site.
  7. Once your website is up, ask your followers from all over the world to test it out and email back any reports. You can do this through different social media outlets.
  8. Delete all of your files from your old host and cancel your account with them.

Have you ever moved your site from one host to another? What are some of the biggest problems you faced?

Sources:

“A 10-Point Checklist To Ensure Site Uptime When Switching Web Hosts.” http://blogs.keynote.com/the_watch/2013/04/10-point-checklist-to-ensure-site-uptime.html. (17 Oct. 2013).

“6 Easy Steps to Making a Web Hosting Switch.” http://essentialkeystrokes.com/6-easy-steps-to-making-a-web-hosting-switch/. (17 Oct. 2013).