Changing to a new web hosting company sounds like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be that bad - there are just a few things to keep in min so just follow our steps to ensure that your move is smooth and painless.
Backup all of the websites
As most of web hosts provide file management and database management web user interface in the control panel, the first step for you is to back up the databases and copy the whole website to a backup folder in the control panel via the file manager. It'll compress the folder into a ZIP file and copy it to the FTP service mapping folder. Then use your any favourite FTP tools to download it to your local disk.
Get the authorization key of domain name
In the case that you’re using the domain name with the hosting plan, you should contact customer support to get the authorization key of the domain so that you can transfer the domain name to the new provider. Don’t tell them that you will change the provider because some web hosts may reject the request to keep you with them. You can word it in such a way that you will still use the hosting plan for other new websites but you intend to host the transferring website from your another VPS or dedicated server because it has grown a lot.
help for transferring a TLD Domain (.com) can be found here.
help for transferring a .UK Domain (.co.uk) can be found here.
help for transferring a .EU Domain (.eu) can be found here.
Choose new web host
You can find the best web hosting deal here with me at The Hosting Guy. After reviewed hundreds of web hosting in the Internet, we had come out lists of best web hosting in different categories. When you sign up to a new hosting plan, you will have the option to transfer domain name instead of asking for a new one.
Upload all files to the new web host
As most web hosts provide an internal URL based on their domain name for testing - often referred to as a 'Domain Reference', you should not change the domain name server (DNS) until you have fully tested your website on the new host. The appropriate angle is to upload the backup ZIP file to the new host via FTP, decompress it in the control panel and copy the database files to separate folder and restore the database in the control panel. You can then test the database connection via phpAdmin with the control panel for MySQL or via MS SQL Server Management Studio remotely for MSSQL. Then create the website based on the backup files and fully test it through the testing URL.
If you have used the absolute URL to internally link web pages in the website, they may have some problems with the link testing. But it’s not the key problem. They will be resolved automatically after you resolve the domain name later. The key of the testing is to ensure the database connection correctly.
Change Domain Name Server
Back with your current host, change the domain name server (DNS) mapping to the new web host DNS information. It needs up to 72 hours to take into effect and to propogate all servers, so it’s better to keep the websites on both hosts for 3 days. When you add new content to your website via the administration interface, you should ensure you’re updating against the new host NOT the old one.
- Back up old website and database
- Request Auth Key to unlock your domain from current domain holder (host).
- Start hosting plan with new provider
- Upload 'Backup and Database' to new host - don't cancel or take the current site offline.
- Test new site to make sure it works and if you have a database, make sure it communicates.
- Once happy change the DNS settings for the current domain to point to the new server - see here for help on transferring domains. Don't cancel current host.
- Allow UP TO 72 Hours for the switch to complete - DO NOT cancel old host until this is migrated.