Once you’ve gone through the trouble of creating your website and getting it set up, it seems like a huge hassle to switch to a different host. However, if your current host isn’t working out for you and you’re worried about how slow speeds, downtime or bad customer service is going to negatively impact your website, it’s time to switch.
Don’t stay in a bad relationship. Once you make the choice to break up with your current provider, you can go through the simple steps to switch over to a new Web host.
1. Back up all the files from your current server. You need copies of these stored elsewhere in case something goes wrong during the transfer from your old web hosting provider to your new one. In addition to the files for the site itself, back up database information and anything else stored on your old host.
2. Research your options and choose a new web hosting company that will be a better fit for you. Some features to look for include: the amount of storage included, the monthly transfer limit and other perks the host offers. For example, you may be looking for an integrated database or an SSL certificate. You can also find a Web host that manages the rest of the transition for you.
3. Upload all your files to the new server and test the site by using the IP address your host. In particular, check all the links and ensure that every page made the transfer. Do this before pointing the domain name to your new server so you can make any needed changes while visitors are still being directed to the site on your old server.
4. Point your domain name to the new server so visitors will start seeing the site through your new server. Do this by contacting the registrar who manages your domain name. Each registrar has a different process, but in general, you will provide your new DNS information so the domain name will point to the new server in the future.
5. Leave your site on the old server for about one week while your updates roll out to everyone. Depending on where they live and what provider they use to access your site, some people’s Internet providers will keep pointing them to your old server for a while, even after you make the switch. Once your old server is not getting any traffic, you can delete the files from that server and end the services with your old host.
There’s no reason to stay in a bad relationship when you’re frustrated with your web hosting provider. Your breakup doesn’t have to be a messy one, and as long as you follow the steps, your site’s visitors won’t even notice that you made a change. The only thing they may notice is that your site is faster and more reliable than it was in the past, which should give your small business a competitive edge.