Everyone has their own website these days. Friends and family post a daily diary and photos of what they have been up to and even the smallest business knows the importance of an online presence and has a website. However, as businesses grow and change their websites need to be altered. This can have a knock on effect with their webhosting requirements and may necessitate a transfer of their website to another webhosting company. Whilst this is not overly difficult to do, it is important to get it right to make sure that the website is down for the least amount of time possible.
The first thing that needs to be done is to contact the existing webhosting company to find out what their notice period is. There will be a certain amount of preparation that needs to be made to get a website ready to transfer it to another webhosting service, so the notice period can be anything from a week up to a couple of months.
Before actually giving notice to the existing webhosting company, spend time researching who you want to transfer your website over to. There are many webhosting companies out there and they all offer different services and functions so it is important to make sure that you are choosing the right one for your website. Check consumer websites and read other people’s experiences with each of the webhosting companies and ask the opinion of colleagues and friends that use webhosting services. It is also important to consider your future requirements. For example do you have plans to expand products lines, which will mean that you need more website space, will you need to add more functions to your plan, etc. If you are unsure of your future requirements choose a webhosting plan that you can amend as your needs change. This should hopefully mean that you will not have to transfer your webhosting again too soon.
Once you have found the right company, contact them to arrange a new contract and make sure that you explain that you are transferring from another webhosting service. This will enable the new company to work out a schedule of transfer. Often they will recommend that the new contract starts during the notice period to allow data to be transferred in plenty of time and any problems to be ironed out.
Now it is time to give notice to your existing webhosting company. They will need information from your new contract so that they can liaise with the new company and send over relevant details. However, it is always a good idea to back up all of the files that they are storing for you yourself, just in case anything gets lost.
You should also make sure that your domain name is registered to your new webhosting service. To do this you need to contact the new company and ask them what your dedicated hosting IP number will be. If you are able to manage your webhosting online, then log into your account and look for the new IP number. Once you have this then you need to contact the company that manages your domain name. Again if you are able to manage this yourself online, log into your account and you can change this yourself. Once logged into your account look for the change dedicated hosting IP number option and enter your 11 digit code.
Finally be prepared for your website to be down for a short time during the transfer process. It may be a good idea to place a banner on it informing customers just in case.