every webmaster darken at the thought of moving hosts. Like moving your home it can be messy and sometimes problems. But if you follow these simple steps, your move will be less painful.
Backup Backup backup
If you’ve been diligent with your backups, you have a lot of insurance to fall back on yet still make the last backup. If you haven’t, before you do anything else, do a backup now. Save no matter what and everything you can and don’t forget your database if your site relies on it. Save at least 2 copies and store them separately. One for you to work with and other archive. Do not underestimate how much it is easy to copy these files you are editing or just Gabby.
If you move to a host that has as different control panel, make a manual backup by downloading your files because different control panels is perhaps not able to restore the backups made by your old host. They also have different directory structures so your file trees will be in trouble. If you wish, make a file of little note with Notepad with memos for you remember the old server configurations. This will help you make changes on your new host server and save the confusion go and come between hosts. Don’t forget to make the correct transfer type (ASCII or binary) that you download. If your download is not right chances are, you’ll have a hard time, your site to work on the new host server.
if the server logs are especially important, don’t forget to save those too. There is no good way of moving logs yet because different hosts can save statistics differently. So the best thing to do is to download and use a log on your computer monitor to references later.
gather the sides & ends
1. A good FTP program that you should have now
2. Get DNS your new host’s server
3. It is also useful to have a script that tells you the server environments installed on your new host server for quick reference.
4. get the temporary URL on your new host, so you can check your site before you make a DNS change.
5. If you have your host domain control inform does not change your DNS until you tell them.
6. If you run scripts:
– obtain a copy of the initial installation manual and the script. Sometimes after you have moved the scripts do not work right while you may need to install the script from scratch.
– a list of all the paths from server such as Perl, Sendmail and home directory on your new server.
– If your script needs special server modules or programs ensure that they are installed and where. Even if these could be covered before that you ordered the account with the host, but sometimes your host has removed or have not yet installed.
tell your visitors
it is common and good practice to inform your visitors and clients of the server move. If you run an online store, this allows to guarantee your customers that you have not fled with their money if there is any downtime. Also give an email so that you won’t lose emails in the transfer. Alternatively, you can give before periodic updates, in (if there is downtime) and after. If your site is important, this is useful because your visitors can alert you whenever there is a part of the site does not.
try to plan the move at a time where there is less traffic. Yet once just before making the move you’ll have the latest backup data. Start with the first copy or create your custom on the new host server error pages. Put a small note here about the move. You can always remove it later. Then download the most visible parts of the IE first site main pages then go the less critical parts of the site. If you have a large site with many divisions you can divide them on different days and instead move least first critical. Just make sure that you always make a backup before doing any movement. Use the temporary URL to check your site, visit as many pages as you can.
change of DNS
once you’re satisfied, move your DNS. This usually takes about 24 to 48 hours in order to have time to make a few minor changes if need be. You can also take this time to modify your old site error pages to inform your visitors of the move to give a new URL if there is a change in the URL. To help you determine if the DNS has resolved, make a small change on the new pages to the difference between the old and the new.
after you have moved and the DNS resolved, do not release the old account again. Keep as long as two weeks running simultaneously. Go back and check the old servers for the activity. Check your old email account and if you have a method for web contact based on the old server check if anything comes out. Once you are in the easy all the email and traffic is properly directed to the new host server, you can cancel this account.