In any webmasters online career, switching web hosts can be a complete hassle. Switching hosting companies can be a complete disaster when we have to transfer many websites, especially those with databases. However, regardless of how many sites we have to move, the main issue is that we need to be able to move hosts without any downtime. Fortunately, there is way you can switch hosts without any downtime at all. Just follow the follow the following steps and you will be hosted on your new hosting account in no time.
Remember to not cancel your current hosting account until the last step in this article. First, you should look around for a better web hosting company that offers the same services as you had before. If you had fifty databases with your old host, you need to make sure that the new host will support fifty databases. This is the same with domains, email accounts, FTP users, etc. More than the features, make sure to pay attention to the reliability of the server, the hosting company’s customer service and the overall speed of the websites being hosted.
The first step in switching web hosts is opening an account with the new hosting company, and getting into the control panel. Once you are in your new control panel, browse to the domain central, and add your domain name(s) to the list, if it isn’t already there. Next, connect to your old hosting account via FTP or your file manager, and download all the files that make up your website. If you have edited your .htaccess file, make sure to download it as well, along with all the directories. The simplest way to download everything with one stroke of action would be to use a free FTP client.
To download the database’s that power your website, you have to log in to your control panel and use PHPMyAdmin to download the database file. The database file can be downloaded as SQL file or a ZIP file. Once you have all the files on your computer, you can connect to your new host via FTP. Using FTP, upload the files from your computer to the new host. One thing to remember is to upload everything into the correct directory.
Uploading the database may be difficult for some people, but the following steps should help you out. Log in to your new hosting accounts control panel and browse the to the MySQL panel. In your MySQL create a new database and set the privileges for the database. Next, click on the PHPMyAdmin logo, and select the database you just created. Once it loads, at the top you will see an option to import, click that button. You will now see a browser upload tool; you can use it to upload the database file you downloaded onto your computer.
Once you have everything all set on your new hosting account you can now go to your domain registrar and change the nameservers for your domain. When you signed up for your new hosting account, the hosting company should have sent you their nameservers. So, update your name servers with your domain registrar, and wait for it to propagate. Propagation takes up to twenty four hours, and once it does; your website will be accessible from the new host.
Finally, the step you have been waiting for. It is now time to cancel your old hosting account and say bye to the bad hosting company. I always wait at least a week after I change my nameservers to the new web host before canceling my old web hosting account. This is to be 100% sure that propagation to the new hosting account has occurred worldwide. The final result is switching web hosts with no downtime.
Editor’s Note: If you run in to trouble or would rather not deal with the whole process of moving your website. Most web hosting companies will transfer your website from your old web host to your new web hosting account for free.