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Switching Web Hosts

This is something that quite commonly happens. Say you want to switch from your current web host to a much more affordable web host or maybe you are not satisfied with your current web host and seek a better much more efficient alternative. Switching web hosts is much easier then it might seem. Here we’ve compiled a few easy steps to get you going.

Step 1. Back up your website to your hard drive

Utilize one of your favorite FTP programs such as filezilla (which is free) and make a complete copy of your website to your computer. If you already have old copies on your computer feel free to overwrite these files – many times people forget that they updated certain pages or added newer files/scripts/addons directly from the internet to the web server and do not have the right back up for them on their pc.

For DreamWeaver users: use the GET command to copy all your files over

For Frontpage users: use the import feature to copy your entire website over

Step 2. Choose a new web host

Make sure you chose a host that meets the needs of you and your website. After all what’s the point in moving hosts if you will not be satisfied with your new one in the long run. If your not sure on how to pick a host please read our other artice: Choosing The Right Web Host

Step 3. Transferring or Editing your domain information

If you purchased your domain through your web host on sign up chances are you will have to pay a fee to transfer out your registrar. We always suggest you go through an ICANN approved domain registrar to purchase your domain.

If you have your domain separated from your web host account then you will have to go into your domain control panel and change your DNS (Domain Name Server) or your NS (Name Server(s) example; ns1.domain.com and ns2.domain.com)
$1.99 Domains* at GoDaddy.com
Be sure to keep your old hosting up so that you can have forwarders and pointers to your new domain until transfer is complete. This is to ensure no downtime for your website. You should also keep track of your domain transfer progress by using any domain search website to whois your domain/website. You will be able to see the information in your whois change from your old host to your new host.

Step 4. Finish Uploading your files to your new host

Once your domain is fully transferred to your new web host account simply upload all files to your new web host directory.

If using DreamWeaver; define your site first, and then use the PUT command to transfer all your files and html pages. This will ensure that your whole web will remain intact with the transfer.

If using FrontPage; create a new Web from the site files you have imported from your old host, then publish them to the new host. Make sure your new host has Front Page extensions installed.
This process will transfer your complete site to your new Host.

Step 5. Transferring your web pages to your new host

Dreamweaver or FrontPage editors make it very easy to transfer html web pages. They keep most, if not all your web site intact for the transfer (as explained above).

Another way to transfer your web pages is to copy the source code by right clicking on the page as you see it when you visit the site and select ‘view/source’. It will come up on Notepad.
Select ‘file/save as’ and save to a place of your choice as an HTML file. To do this, at the bottom of the box just before you save it, it will say ‘.txt’. Change the drop menu to ‘all files’
and then change the ‘.txt’ at the end of the name you’re saving it as to ‘.html’, then save it. You will then have a complete page ready to load to wherever you want. If you have images
though, you’ll have to save them separately.

Step 6. Modify your web site to sync with your new host.

Sometimes your web site may not look exactly the same as on your last Web Host. This is because the html code and/or files did not completely transfer. This may happen more often with the editors. FrontPage will do this more because it uses FrontPage extensions for publishing (extra files for easy publishing).

Make the necessary design changes to mirror the site you had previously hosted. You may have to eliminate or add some code to completely reflect your original site.

Step 7. Test your new host and web site.

Once the domain name and your web site files have been transferred, you should test that all services are working on the your new host (i.e. email services, etc) as well as all your web pages pages (i.e. index, about, contact etc). If it’s working correctly, you can feel free to cancel all your remaining services with your previous host.

Following these simple steps will surely make your web host transfer as easy as apple pie

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