5 Steps To Transfer A Website With Minimum Downtime

Explaining the 5 important steps for minimizing an interruption to a website when performing a transfer.

Building website traffic is not an easy task, and it can cost you money when visitors are not able to view your web pages while you are busy with your website maintenance back end. It is absolutely necessary to plan and schedule your website transfer carefully to avoid long interruption in order to minimize the impact of a website transfer.

Below are five important steps for any website owners that is planning for a transfer from one web hosting provider to another. It is also a good approach to identify a three day period that is generally having less traffic to your website for the transfer, you will have more time to focus on the transfer while not being interrupted by your busy website work.

Follow steps below closely can help you minimize the interruption to your website visitors while you are performing the maintenance task back end.

1. Signup new Hosting Account

First of all, follow genuine tips to find a good web host for yourself and then signup with your selected hosting provider, wait for the login info in your email and then login and check through the new hosting account thoroughly, make sure you have familiarize with all the important functions in the new hosting account. One point that should be noted is that you should look for a web host that is offering the type of system / platform that is similar to what you are currently using. For example, if you are using Cpanel hosting on Linux based server now, try look for a web host that is offering similar setup, this can help you minimize technical issues that might arise when moving to a different system.

2. Backup Data in Old Hosting Account

After familiarizing yourself with the new hosting account, you can start working on the transfer now. Go to your old hosting account and do a complete backup of all data in your hosting account to your local computer, that includes your web application files, database dump etc. This copy of data can serve as your secondary backup in case anything happen and you need to recover from backup. While doing a complete backup, avoid using system specific backup format (i.e. backup option offer in control panel), always use a manual method to FTP download each and every file needed, as well as generate generic database dump file to ASCII text file format and then backup the generated ASCII file. You do not have to worry too much while moving from system to system if you are having a generic backup.

3. Upload and Setup New Hosting Account

After generated a complete backup to your local computer, upload the files and setup your new hosting account accordingly, test thoroughly all important website functions and data in database to ensure all are functioning as expected. Also, remember to create identical email address in new hosting account.

4. Change Nameserver Record

When you have completed your thorough testing and are confident for the switch, goto your domain registration website, login and change the nameserver record to point to the new hosting account. Please note that this process takes approximately 24-72 hours to complete depending on each individual internet service provider's update schedule, while this domain record update is in progress, certain visitors will be sent to the old hosting account and some visitors will be sent to the new hosting account, and if you are dealing with a sensitive website that allow visitors to dynamically update data in your website, it may be necessary to issue a notice at the website residing in old hosting account and close off the data capturing options in website reside in old hosting account.

5. Terminate old hosting account

After domain name has completely resolved to new hosting account, double check again all website functions to ensure you have not missed out any important part. Let the new website run on the new hosting account for sometime until you are confident it is running smoothly and there is no more issues left, you can then issue an account termination request for your old hosting account.