Changing Web Hosts Made Easy

Changing Web Hosts Made Easy



It is​ recommended you start the​ process at​ least a​ few days before the​ time runs out on the​ account with your present host. This will keep your website from experiencing any downtime between the​ moves.

The first thing to​ do, after you have searched and​ found a​ new web hosts, is​ create a​ backup of​ your website. Make a​ new folder somewhere on your computer. Using your favourite FTP program, such as​ WS_FTP or​ Cute FTP (these and​ other FTP programs can be obtained at​ download.com), download all the​ files and​ folders on your website to​ the​ new folder you just made on your computer while maintaining the​ same folder and​ file structure (this will be important when uploading your files and​ folders onto your new host's server later). Make a​ note of​ any special CHMOD permissions you have set on any file or​ folder (look in​ your FTP program's help documents for​ information on checking a​ folder or​ file's CHMOD permissions). You will need to​ reset the​ permissions after you upload your files and​ folders to​ your new web host's server.

If you have any scripts or​ programs that you made a​ database for, make a​ backup of​ each database. if​ you have a​ database other than MySQL, check with your present web host for​ instructions on backing up your database. if​ you don't have any databases. if​ your web host offers phpMyAdmin, log in​ to​ your control panel and​ go to​ the​ database section. Look for​ a​ link to​ phpMyAdmin and​ click on it. if​ required, log in​ using the​ username and​ password you gave for​ your database. if​ you assigned a​ different username and​ password for​ each database, you will have to​ repeat this process for​ each database. After you log in, click on "databases" and​ then click on the​ database you want to​ backup/export. Click "Export" on the​ top menu.

If you are using phpMyAdmin 2.4.0, highlight all the​ tables under "View dump (schema) of​ database." Make sure the​ "Structure and​ data" radio button is​ selected. Check "Save as​ file" and​ select either "zipped" or​ "gzipped." Click "Go" and​ save the​ file (it would be a​ good idea to​ create a​ new folder in​ which to​ save all your databases).

If you are using phpMyAdmin 2.6.0-pl1, highlight all the​ tables under "Export." Check the​ "Structure" and​ "Data" boxes and​ select "SQL" under the​ tables you highlighted. Check "Save as​ file" and​ under "Compression" select either "zipped" or​ "gzipped." Click "Go" and​ save the​ file. (It would be a​ good idea to​ create a​ new folder in​ which to​ save all your databases). if​ you don't have phpMyAdmin, you can backup your database using MySQLdump.

Next, setup your databases.

If you have MySQL databases, log in​ to​ your control panel. Go to​ the​ database section and​ create databases. Also, assign usernames and​ passwords for​ the​ databases (if you have a​ database other than MySQL, check with your new web host for​ instructions on creating and​ importing databases). Now, find the​ link to​ phpMyAdmin. if​ required, log in​ using the​ usernames and​ passwords you just created. if​ you assigned a​ different username and​ password for​ each database, you will have to​ repeat this process for​ each database. After logging in, click on "databases" and​ select a​ database by clicking on it. From the​ top menu, click "SQL."

Go to​ the​ folder you saved your databases in​ and​ select the​ database that corresponds to​ the​ one you have open in​ phpMyAdmin. Open the​ file and​ copy and​ paste the​ database in​ the​ large text area in​ phpMyAdmin. Click "Go" under the​ text area field. You can also use the​ browse button to​ find the​ file on your computer and​ click "Go" below the​ browse field. if​ you don't see any errors, with whichever method you chose, you have just successfully imported the​ database. if​ you have more than one database, go back and​ repeat this process for​ each one, starting with logging in​ with your database username and​ password. if​ you don't have phpMyAdmin, you can use this method to​ create your databases.

You may need to​ edit some files before uploading them in​ the​ next step, by changing MySQL database name, username and​ password settings within the​ files, if​ any information has changed. if​ you don't remember which files contain MySQL settings, check the​ installation instructions for​ each script/program.

Next, upload the​ files from the​ folder in​ which you saved your website content onto the​ new web host's server, maintaining the​ same folder and​ file structure, using your FTP program. the​ only difference in​ structure may be the​ location of​ the​ cgi-bin. Some web hosts have your cgi-bin inside the​ www or​ public_html directory and​ some have it​ placed outside. if​ you had any programs or​ scripts on your website, you may need to​ edit some files by changing paths within them. if​ you don't remember which files contain paths that may need to​ be changed, check the​ installation instructions for​ each script/program. Also, change any file or​ folder permissions as​ needed (look in​ your FTP program's help documents for​ information on changing a​ folder or​ file's CHMOD permissions).

The final step is​ to​ point your domain name to​ your new web host's name servers. This information probably came in​ an​ email from your new web host soon after you registered with them. if​ not, send them an​ email asking them what the​ name servers are for​ your domain. Once you have this information, go to​ the​ website where you have your domain name registered. Log in​ to​ your account and​ set the​ name servers for​ your domain. Please note that changes to​ name servers may take as​ much as​ a​ couple of​ days to​ take effect. if​ you still have a​ few days left on your old account, your website shouldn't experience any downtime. Once the​ name server’s change has taken effect, cancel the​ account with your old host (this is​ so you don't get charged for​ another term). That's it. You have successfully switched web hosts.




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