Your completed guide to Switching Web Hosting Companies
We’ve designed this simple guide to help you switch from your current host to a new host with no downtime and no headaches. Switching hosts may seem like a daunting task but if you’re not getting the support, uptime or features you need then it’s definitely time to look for a new hosting provider.
Before you can change hosts you need to answer a few questions:
- Is your domain registered with your web host or a different company?
If your domain name is registered with your current provider it’s a good idea to transfer it to your new host. You will first want to contact your current provider and ask them to give you your domain transfer code, also known as an EPP code. This is the code you will provide your new host with so they can complete the transfer of the domain name.
Secondly you will want to ask your current host to UNLOCK your domain if it is currently locked. A domain name must be unlocked before it can be transferred.
Lastly you will want to ask your host to change the Admin Contact Email address to your email address. When you do a domain transfer the domain registry sends an email to the domain owner to confirm the transfer. The email address they send this to is the Admin Contact Email on the domain.
Once the above 3 steps are completed you’re ready to transfer your domain to your new provider. The above steps can all be completed with a simple phone call or email to your current host and they should be able to complete the steps fairly quick.
If your domain is NOT registered through your web host then it’s much simpler. You do not need to do any of the above steps. Your new host will give you their ‘name servers’ and you would simply go to your domain registrar and point your domain to the new providers name servers.
- Does your current host use the same hosting control panel as your new potential host?
cPanel is the most popular web hosting control panel. Your goal on this step is to find out what control panel your current host uses and also which control panel your new provider uses. We highly recommend choosing a web host who uses cPanel as it is easy to use and very powerful. One major advantage with cPanel is that your new host can make a carbon copy of your entire account and move it to their servers without you loosing anything. They will copy your web site files, emails and email accounts and databases. The process is literally seamless when both providers use cPanel.
If both providers do not use cPanel don’t worry, you can still make the move without any downtime! First contact your current host and get your control panel login details and your FTP details. Once you obtain these logins you will then contact your new provider and give them the login details for the control panel and FTP. Your new host will now be able to download all of your files and databases to your account with them. Almost all hosts offer a free migrations when switching.
Here are a few hosts who all use cPanel and offer a free migration:
Once your website has been moved to your new host you can safely point your domain to your new provider. As outlined above your new provider with give you two “name servers”. You will then take these name servers and go to your domain registrar and simply point your domain to the new name servers. Once your domain has been pointed you will need to wait up to 24 hours for the domain to propagate to your new provider. This 24 hour period is unavoidable however as long as you still have your old host your website will NOT go down.
After 24 hours has elapsed you can go to your website and make sure everything is working correctly. Once you’ve confirmed that your website content is loading and everything looks good it’s time to cancel your service with your old provider.
Switching web hosts may sound complicated but in reality the process can be done in a day or two and is generally handled by your new provider when it comes to the actual migration of the website content. If you have any questions you can always contact us at HostReviewSite and we can help you choose the right host and make the switch that much easier!