Moving Hosts with No Downtime

If you have decided to move hosts, it is usually because one of two reasons. You are either moving to a larger hosting environment to control the size of your website, or to avoid a bad hosting experience. Regardless of your situation, it is important that you move your website without experiencing any downtime. The hosting company has no affect on this, as it resides in your hands. If you do this properly, you will be able to move your website from one server to the next with no downtime at all. However, if you want to experience no downtime, you will need to have your old hosting account until you have fully moved the website. If you have a downloaded backup of your website, and no current host; you are already experiencing downtime.

Search for a New Hosting Company

To begin, you will need to look for a new web hosting company, or server to host your website. If you are now hosted through a shared hosting account, you need to look at what you have. If you are using thirty four databases, you need to make sure your new host supports that many databases. The same applies for the amount of space and bandwidth you are currently using. Many people fail to regard the CPU usage. If your current have a high CPU usage limit, it does not mean the new host will as well. Make sure the limit is the same or at least more than what you now have. Once you have purchased your new hosting account, you will need to add your domains onto the account before doing anything else.

You will need to download a full backup from your current web hosting account. If you have more than one domain hosted, you will have to download each directory separately. Some websites use databases, so ensure that you download them as well. To download a backup, you can use the automated feature through the control panel, or you can download the files through a FTP client. For databases, you could download them through your web control panel. Next, check to see whether you have setup any email accounts, email forwarders or website redirects. You should keep these in mind because you have to set them up on the new hosting account.

Using a FTP client, connect to your new hosting account and upload the files you have downloaded from the old host. These files should be uploaded in the correct directory, just like they were in the old account. If you upload the files in the wrong directory, your site will not work as it did. Configure the email accounts and website redirects if you had any. Once you have uploaded the full backup, you need to upload the database as well. The database is uploaded through the control panel. Lastly, change the name servers for your domain name and wait until the propagation takes place. Once your domain name points to the new name server, you will be running off your new hosting account. You can close your old account once you see that you are connected to the new name servers. Running a WHOIS check will let you know whether the name servers have been changed.