Friday, January 05, 2007

Moving My Site to a New Hosting Company

Hi Girl Geek,
What's the best way to move my site from my current webhosting company to another without disrupting my website or interrupting my email? - S

Hi S,

Here's my understanding of the correct order of the process of SEAMLESSLY moving a site, pointing a domain at the new server, and transferring domains to a new registrar. At least this is how I've done it time and time again.

1. Your web designer should download and save your site from the old hosting service, then immediately upload it to your new hosting account as soon as that is establish and BEFORE the domain name servers (DNS) have been changed.

2. Your Web designer should then set up your email accounts on the new server.

I didn't know this, but you can have a site hosted on one server and the email hosted on another, if you want.

3. Only then the should the DNS (domain name server) change be initiated because when that process is complete it will simply point your domain at the new server, which has your site sitting there ready and waiting. The standard time it takes for this to occur is between 24-48 hours. I have had it happen even sooner. This way you can still get your email from the old server, then switch to the new server email options the day the tDNS propogate on the new server.

4. Finally, when everything is working and your site is tested at the new hosting company (making sure all your links work, pages load correctly and your email is working), then and only then would I request for your domain name to be transferred to the new registrar. Note: Moving a site to a new server/hosting company does NOT require transferring a domain name to a new registrar. That's the prerogative of the site owner. The only reason I do this for clients is so they get one bill and one customer service person to deal with if anything comes up about their website.

NOTE: , when your web designer sets up your email account on the new server, to reduce SPAM, which can never to totally eliminated, see if they offer a spam filter or spam assassin on your hosting package. of the sad facts about having a live link to your email on a website is that you will get alot of SPAM and there's very little you can do about it. Recently I found that I have 5000+ spam emails sitting on the server clogging up my hosting account. Such is life on the web!

Thanks for asking!

Annette Vaillancourt
Girl Geek Web Designs: Custom Web Design and SEO for Small Businesses on a Budget
Call for a Free Initial Consultation

1 comment:

James Fryer said...

" can have a site hosted on one server and the email hosted on another, if you want."

This is true and some small businesses do this to run an Exchange server on an in house server. But it will cause problems with forms that email the results. They won't be properly delivered to addresses on that domain because the web server won't bother to do the look up and see that the mail goes anywhere else. The web server will just dump it to itself.

This can be avoided by sending the form results to another email address not on the same domain, then forwarding the mail back to any email address on the domain.