What Not to Forget When Moving Webhosts
By Lynette Chandler
Here's a handy checklist for you to keep by your computer when
moving web hosts so the move will go without a hitch
Web hosting doesn't last forever. Maybe you have a host you've
been with for years and years but it's just time to move because
you've outgrown them and the initial plans you had for your
business when you started with them. Hosts that you've never
had a problem with before can sometimes run into problems that
are beyond their control but cause their customer service to slip
and not be as good as it was before. No matter your reason for
leaving your current host, you should consider these things to do
as they could easily be overlooked.
You can never have too many backups. First thing you do before
anything else is to create a full backup of your website. This can be
easily done using your web host's control panel.
Make sure your email accounts are created over at the new host
before you change the name servers. Don't forget email forwards.
In the busyness of moving files and getting the website working,
things like email accounts and forwarding tend to be forgotten
especially if they are accounts you don't use often.
Don't wait till the last minute to move. Make sure there is some
overlap in service between the old and new hosting account,
preferably a week or more. Sometimes an ISP hasn't updated or
refreshed yet and will continue sending traffic and email to your old
site. You want to be able to log in to the old host to check for
those straggler emails.
This is rather unlikely especially when your website is powered by
a database. The more likely scenario would be you didn't upgrade
the script to reflect the changes. If you don't feel right about
moving databases then you should get someone else to do it for
you but it really isn't that hard if you are ok with it.
Make sure your htaccess and cPanel redirects are re-setup
properly. Often, people overlook the htaccess altogether because
it may have been hidden from them or the new web host already
has an htaccess file created. But just by having an htaccess file
doesn't mean your redirects will work automatically because
chances are, the one at the new web host is just an empty file. If
you have any 301 redirects, you need to open up the htaccess file
from your old web host, copy and paste it to the new web host.
Different web hosts have different server setups. If you're moving
a cPanel web host to another cPanel web host, this isn't usually an
issue. If you are moving from one hosting system to another or
control panel to another then you will have much more work to do
in this case. If you're running scripts, check to make sure your
scripts are referencing the correct paths. If you're changing the
domain of your website as well, check your images and links too.
Files Outside Your Public_html Folder
You can easily forget these files because they are not available
publicly. Maybe you've stored some backups, drafts or anything
else you wanted to have saved for later so be sure to check here.
Seems obvious and easy to spot but not all scripts are in the
forefront and forms are one of those. Maybe you haven't installed
the form script on the new server or they have a different form
mailer. Check that all your forms are working especially the contact
As your site gets bigger, it will become more and more likely that
you'll miss things in the move. Get a screen shot of the file
manager in your control panel to see if you're missing anything and
take an inventory of all the scripts that are running on your site.
It's a good rule to keep this inventory up to date so that you won't
have to scramble next time you need this information. Good luck.
About the Author
Lynette Chandler helps entrepreneurs leverage readily available technology for their marketing. Technology is great only if you know what and how to use it -- learn to do so at http://www.TechBasedMarketing.com
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