Moving your website from one host to another host is fairly simple and for most sites can be done without any downtime on your website.

Checklist For Websites Without Databases

  • Find a new hosting provider and purchase a hosting account. There are so many service providers are available on the internet who provide web hosting services. As per my personal thought, Hostgator provides very good hosting services. Check out this reliable hosting plans

hostgator shared hosting plans

  • FTP your website to the new hosting account. You will be able to check that it works as expected by surfing to the IP address (type the IP address into the browser instead of a domain name)
  • Login to your domain name account and change the name servers over to your new hosting company. Typically 2 nameservers are setup – the look like this NS1.hostingcompany.com. If you bought your domain from your current hosting company then you may have to ask them to do it. It normally takes 24-48hrs for the nameservers to update, once they do your website will automatically be served up from your new hosting company

Nameservers account

  • Cancel your old hosting account once the nameservers have updated. An easy way to tell if they have updated is to make a slight change on the old website, once you don’t see that anymore then you know it has switched over and you can cancel your old account.

Checklist For Websites With a Database

If you have a database then you need to ensure that the database retains its integrity and no data is lost in the transfer. If you have a database that is not written too much then the switch can be close to the above scenario.

  • Find a new hosting provider and purchase a hosting account
  • Backup your database and FTP it to your development PC or your home PC
  • FTP your website to the new hosting account. You will be able to check that it works as expected by surfing to the IP address (type the IP address into the browser instead of a domain name). Create a database with the same name as your old database and the restore it using the backup file.
  • Login to your domain name account and change the nameservers over to your new hosting company. Typically 2 nameservers are setup – the look like this NS1.hostingcompany.com. If you bought your domain from your current hosting company then you may have to ask them to do it.It normally takes 24-48hrs for the nameservers to update, once they do your website will automatically be served up from your new hosting company
  • Ideally, you should stop your website until the nameservers update so that the database maintains its integrity. Remember until the site switches over to the new host, anybody using the existing site will write data to the database on the existing site. One alternative is to set up the old site so that it writes to the database on the new site. Your new host will be able to help you with this.
  • Cancel your old hosting account once the nameservers have updated. An easy way to tell if they have updated is to make a slight change on the old website, once you don’t see that anymore then you know it has switched over and you can cancel your old account.

If you have a large commercial site you will not only need to decide which database platform is best but also how your database will be configured in conjunction with your website. At the highest level, you have two choices: rent database space on a larger database server or purchase the database software yourself and install on your web server (this only applies if you decide to leverage a dedicated web server). Graphically, each option would appear as follows:

In the long run, owning your own database software is less expensive than renting one from a hosting company. However, if you cannot afford to purchase the database software initially, renting the software is a less expensive short term option. Options like MySQL and Access generally are free or very low priced.

Before you select any database for your website, establish an understanding of your short-term and long-term needs.

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