How to Switch Hosting Providers without Downtime?

Your website hosting company does not give you good services, but you still continue with them. You don’t want to change your hosting service provider because you think your site will become down for long time and you feel it risky. Many people think that moving the website from one host to another is a scary task. But in reality it is quite an easy task if you follow certain measures. If you follow some of the tips given below you will know how to switch hosting providers without downtime.

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how to switch hosting provider

Create a Back Up of All Your Files, Folders and Website Data

All the data of your website in the hosting company should be sent to your own email id to create a back up. If something goes wrong during the process, the backup will save you. You can also use services like Filezilla FTP to create backup. This is the most important step you have to consider before making the switch.

Choose a New Hosting Company

Be careful when you choose your new hosting company. Do a thorough back ground check and research before choosing one so that you don’t make the same mistake you did the first time. Go through the customer reviews. Also see the services provided which your old hosting company did not. Get all the details regarding the price, customer services and other options. Make the correct decision so that you may not have to spend time and money on changing the host again.

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Create an Account with the New Service Provider

After choosing the new hosting company sign up with them. Set up an account with them

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Upload Files in the New Account

Download all your files from your old host’s FTP and upload it to the new host’s FTP. This process is not that complicated. It is pretty basic once you get used to it.

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Backup Databases

Upload backed up databases to the new web host from the old web host. You can have a copy of the website at the old as well as the new hosts. This can be done through SSH or cPanel’s phpMyAdmin.

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Create Email Accounts

Create email accounts which were there with the old service provider with the new service provider also, so that you do not lose any email after changing the domain name server addresses. The email addresses of the old account should be same as that of the new account. Emails cannot be transferred from one account to another but you can archive your emails from old host. This can be done by making POP3 connection to all the new email addresses. All the old emails will be downloaded to the local computer.

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Test the New Site

You can see how the new site would look by updating the hosts file. Type in the browser c:/windows/system32/drivers/etc/. Click on host’s icon and open it in notepad. Type the new IP address and website address below the local host tab.

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Check Your Files and Links

Check all the pages of your website and see to it that all the links are working properly in the new host. You will have to create a temporary URL to do this. You can do this by creating a sub domain of a different URL and pointing it to your site by mirroring. A good service provider gives this ability to create temporary URL to test new sites.

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Ping the Site

Pinging your site helps to check if information is pulled from the new IP address or from the old address. Go to Start menu and click RUN. Type CDM and type the website after C prompt. The IP address will be listed and you can check if it is from the new host.

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Change Domain Name Server or DNS

The new hosting company will issue 2 domain name servers for your new account. You can ask the old service provider to change the domain name server for you. You can also do it yourself by going to your domain manager settings and change the DNS yourself. Keep a record of the old DNS just in case you need it for som

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Wait for the Domain Name Server Changes to Publicize

You will have to wait for 24 to 48 hours after changing the domain name server for the new domain to propagate all over the internet. During the waiting time the site will be hosted from the old service provider. After the completion of the propagation the domain will be hosted from the new service provider.

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Cancel Old Hosting Account

After your site is hosted from the new service provider, remove the IP address and the website from the old service provider. You can keep your account with the old service provider for some time; till you are sure that your site is working well with the new service provider.

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When you switch to a new host provider make sure that you do not let your old service provider to know about this or they may terminate their services prematurely and you will have to suffer downtime. Also make sure that your transfer to the new site is free of charge.

Another tip is to configure your website to connect to the new database so that new updates will be saved in the new database if your visitors are directed to the new site or the old site. You can modify your site on the old server to not accept updates to the database during the transfer. This technique works best if the transfer is rapid and you don’t mind people seeing the old site while DNS change is propagating. To reduce propagation time, create a record in existing DNS so that all visitors are directed to the new server.

If you follow all these steps and tips carefully, you can easily switch from one hosting service provider to another without the downtime. It will be a smooth and hassle free process for you.

Ellena is a freelance article writer who loves blogging and writing reviews on her blog. She has reviewed some of the best cheap web hosting companies in her present articles which helps the users in finding the best host for their website and business.