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How To Change Web Hosts Without Downtime

There are a handful of reasons that anyone will opt to change web hosting providers. Some will find a better deal with another company, some will find that the original server is not meeting the terms of their contract, and others need to increase the size of their site and are choosing a new provider.


These, and many other factors, are valid reasons for changing web hosts, but it is important to remember that a shift in servers can translate to a significant amount of “downtime”, or a period when your site is unavailable. While this instantly means a loss of communication with current customers it also means a loss of potential new customers and money.


So, how do you change web hosts without any downtime? Well, the answer requires a few considerations:


· Time
· Organization
· Effort


Time – when you have decided that you need to shift from one provider to another it is critical to remember that your original host may not be happy with your decision. It is advisable to wait to let the current hosting service know of your decision to terminate service until all files have been transferred and the new site is fully operational. Why the secrecy? There are many reasons, but the most important is that they may end your service at the moment you make the call. This could mean a loss of data and files, an inability for customers and visitors to find your site and worse it could mean a loss of credibility and money.


Organization – once you have made the choice to change web hosting providers and have located your new service it is time to begin transferring and copying all of the files from your original server. You should all ready be making all changes on your own equipment and then posting them, usually via FTP, to the server. If not you will need to begin doing this in order to always have the hard copy files on your own equipment. Once everything is copied you can go ahead and test the site operationally.


Effort – You may run into a few issues with files or you may find that you need to perform a few annoying tasks in addition to shifting files. Like what? You may need to remove your domain name from the original server, who may serve as the registrar, in order to avoid forwarding fees. You may need to address all of the code on your site to ensure the old URLs are not embedded.


With some planning and hard work you will not experience any downtime, but ultimately the responsibility is on your shoulders.


Author: Leon Belenky
Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/web-hosting-articles/how-to-change-web-hosts-without-downtime-779618.asp


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