How to Transfer Your Web Site to Another Host Without Losing It
You want to change web hosts because you have found a less expensive solution for
your web site. You are not happy with the services your host is providing. The response
time for technical support is too slow. You make the decision to change web hosts.
Now you are faced with the daunting task of switching web hosts without losing the
files and beautiful design of your web site. How do you achieve this? Here are the
steps you need to take:
1. Make a complete copy of your web site.
Use your favorite FTP utility (I use SmartFTP.com), to download all files to your
computer from your web host. Don't assume you already have all the files on your computer
– you may have added some scripts from the Net that are on your server but not on your computer.
If you are using Dreamweaver, use the GET command to copy all your files. If you are
using Frontpage, use the import feature to make a complete copy of the old web site.
2. Choose your new Web Host.
Choose a new Web Host that meets the needs of your web site.
3. Transfer your domain name
Contact the domain name registrar (place where you registered your domain name) and
change the Domain Name Server (DNS) or Name Server information to your new hosts DNS
information. Your site is going to experience a downtime while your DNS record is
being changed and propagated through the world's WHOIS servers. It will take about
24-72 hours for the process to be completed.
Maintain any existing services set up on your old domain name such as email forwarding,
web pointing and website hosting until the transfer is complete to ensure continuity of
your service. You can check the progress of your domain name transfer by using a Domain Name
Search facility such as Whois.net. You should see the details change from your previous
Host to your New Host when the transfer is complete.
4. Upload all files to your new Web Host.
When you are sure your domain name has been transferred, upload the files to your new Web Host.
Dreamweaver – define your site first, and then use the PUT command to transfer all
your files and html pages. This will ensure that your whole web will remain intact
with the transfer.
FrontPage - create a new Web from the site files you have imported from your old
host, then publish them to the new host. Make sure your new host has Front Page
extensions installed. This process will transfer your complete site to your new Host.