When it comes to the Internet, whether it’s cosmetic surgery advertising or advertising for any other type of company, the day may very well come when you need to change your Web hosting company. You may be considering moving your website to a new location for a number of reasons. You may have outgrown your current host, you may not be getting the uptime you’ve been promised, you may be suffering from too much down time, or you may even be suffering in the search engines due to the other websites also hosted with your hosting company.
Fortunately, switching hosting companies is easier than you’d think. Further, when done correctly, you can move your site without any downtime and even without changing your domain name. The following is a step-by-step guide to changing your hosting company:
- Step 1: Find A New Host. Do some careful research into finding a hosting company that’s right for you at the right cost. Keep in mind any of those problems that you encountered with your old host and make sure that the new host addresses these. Be sure to tell the new host that you’re transferring an existing website as this will be needed to correctly set up your account. When changing hosting companies, your IP address will also change. This is not the same thing as your domain name, which will remain the same. Once your account is activated with the new hosting company, you will be able to start uploading your pages to your new site. At first, however, entering your domain name into a browser will bring up your old site and you will instead need to use your new IP address to see the new site.
- Step 2: Transfer Your Domain. Once your pages are loaded at your new host and everything is functioning correctly, you can then transfer your domain to the new IP address. All you simply do is advise your new hosting company that you’re ready to begin the transfer. You will receive an email message from the domain registrar and you will need to confirm that you do actually want your domain transferred. You must reply to the message in order for your domain to be moved.
- Step 3: Inform Your Old Host. Once you’ve confirmed that you do want your domain moved, send a message to your old host and inform them of your domain transfer. This will help the transfer process to go more smoothly. It’s best if you don’t cancel your account immediately but, instead, wait another month to be on the safe side. This is important because it can take some time for the transfer to be complete and you will likely get hits to both your old and new IP addresses at first. The traffic to your old site will gradually decrease, but this can take as long as a month. If you were to cancel your account with the old host right away, those visitors who end up at your old IP address will believe that your site is down.