Web Hosting Company - Holding Your Web Hopes
The time well may come when you've just had enough of your old host and start to look for a new web hosting company. And luckily right now there are so many website hosting companies out there that they are constantly fighting each other to attract more business; which should mean a better deal for you.
Maybe your stats package is not acceptable, or you have poor technical support who won‘t even help you with how to FTP or a control panel you're not happy with, or maybe your site is just down to often. Whatever the reason, thinking I should change companies need not be as daunting as it may seem.
After deciding how to choose a web hosting company that fits the bill - it's time for the change to begin, but maybe you'd better not tell your current host that you intend to leave for a while, as some companies may not like to hear that at all.
They'll find out in the long run, as the host is listed as the technical contact of the website, with you as the administrative contact (or you certainly should be anyway), but `problems' can arise with some hosting situations if they don't like your planned move.
Back Up Before You Start
First, back up all your data! Make a copy in your hard drive of course, making sure to properly select either ASCII or binary transfer as you download, but also consider burning a copy to CD as well, just to make doubly sure that what you have - you hold. And include your log files here as well as your web pages, as the statistics and setup procedures recorded here may well be useful at a future time with your new hosting.
Now sign up for your new affordable web hosting services, and receive your new IP address, login and password info, server and control panel details.
Check your new site is ready and working by testing the IP address and uploading a temporary file, then if everything is well; upload your web files (here having the same control panel as you are used to with your old hosting will enable you to keep the directory structure neat and tidy - so look for this in a new service. Though some companies have an automated web tool available which can help with a different control panel).
Don't change your DNS yet - check your site out carefully for bugs before any visitors can stop by and also remove any mandatory ads that your old host added to your code. See that all the pages are present and correct and that all the links work as they should.
Now set up your new email, but don't yet cancel your old; then it's time to change that DNS info from your previous host to your new, and now you will enter what is known as a `propagation period' which can last between 1 - 3 days.
You should not close your old site yet, because it can take a full fortnight before all the servers around the world can recognize that a switch has been made, so for a while both will be getting hits. This still needs your attention for a while, then when you are happy that no email or web traffic is still being directed there, you can cancel the old host account.
Which may not be easy with some who will bombard you with reasons why you should stay, so do remain firm and say goodbye to the old and hello to the new.