Migrating To A New Web Hosting Account Without Downtime
Ok I got it. You hate your existing web hosting service provide as you are unable to bear with their pathetic customers’ support, frequent downtime and other issues. Of course, I am not here to make you see reasons why you should stick with them while bearing with all the inconveniences. Nope, rather here I am trying to help you migrate to another web hosting service provider without facing otherwise unavoidable downtime or email disruptions. Though I can clearly understand your problems, I would rather recommend not to deactivate your existing web hosting account unless and until the migration is complete. Because cancelling the existing web hosting account will make it tough for you to ensure a smooth transition of your web hosting account:
Get the files downloaded First
You need to download all the files that are stored in your existing web host. Use any publishing software for this purpose. Dreamweaver, FrontPage, FTP or whatever publishing software application you have been using for uploading files, you can use the same software for the same. Just ensure the fact that you are downloading files in directory structures because you will be uploading all the files in the same structure to a new web later.
Those of you who have database driven website, need to take a bit precaution. You need to export the database files into one or more files because you are going to upload them exactly in the same format. You can see some useful ways to back here.
Get A New Web Hosting Company
So, you are done with the downloading part. Next comes locating a reliable web hosting company. Once you have zeroed in on a particular webs hosting company, you need to set up an account there and choose a package that matches precisely with your requirements. Previously we used HostGator and now we are using KnownHost VPS. We had a very good experience there.
Upload the Files to the new web hosting service provider
So, the account has already been created, so let us proceed to the next step. Get all the files uploaded into the new web hosting account. However, if your website has database(s), you need to create a new database in that hosting account and then import that data into that newly created database. If you have installed any applications, you need to make it a point that the path of the applications has been modified accordingly.
Create an Email Account
Just getting your website migrated to a new web host is not the end of the task; you need to make sure that you have set up identical email account for all the employees of your organizations otherwise, all the communication via email account will come to a standstill. It makes sense to create a “catchall” account if you forget to create any email account. Do not bang your head against the desk if you could not have the passwords of the email accounts. Just create temporary passwords for these email accounts and then ask them to change their passwords.
Check Your Website
You should not change the DNS record without changing your website. This would like committing suicide. Ask your website hosting service provider to give your alternative URL where you can test your website. Check carefully whether all the images are showing or not, functionality of your website and other things. One thing to notice while making changes from Windows to Linux is the case sensitivity issue. You should not forget the fact that in Linux web hosting service, all files and directories are case sensitive and that means if you see an image is not appearing, probably it is case sensitivity thing that is causing all this trouble.
Change the Name Server Details
So, you have checked everything and as it appears, everything is appearing precisely the way you were expecting. So, here comes the next and the most important step – change the name server details. Once you are done with this, you need to wait for at least 24-48 hours to propagate the changes. During this period of transition, some of your visitors will see your website via old web hosting account whereas some other will see the new one.
Hopefully, within a day or two, you will be able to see your website coming up correctly. Ok, the last step. Just get the old account disabled and no harm will be made [just kidding].