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How to transfer a website from another web host

By Staff

There are five easy steps involved in transferring your Web site.  Simple and easy if you make sure to be thorough about each step.  Take the time to make checklists, ask questions and have your plan of attack ready for before, during and the time period immediately after your move.  The five steps are:


  1. Backup

  2. Transfer

  3. Upload

  4. Monitor

Select your new Web Host.  Decide first what you want your web site to do.  How will it support your business goals?  From there put together a list of services you would like to have from your ideal cheap hosting provider.  Do you want all-in-one design and development service and maybe some marketing help?  If you are a web designer yourself, you might like a provider that offers reseller packages so you can offer hosting to your own clients while you design their site. Learn how social media marketing services can effectively spread the word for your company.

Back up your web site.  This means everything!  Be sure to check for scripts that you might have added to your Web site’s functionality that are server side versus sitting on your hard drive.  Look at the menu of your editor if you are using one (you probably are).  FrontPage uses the IMPORT feature to accomplish this.  If you are a Dreamweaver user, the GET command is what you will use to copy everything.  If you have a data driven Web site and use a database, create a copy that you can work with and one that your will archive.  Label carefully so you don’t lose track of what is what.

Transfer your domain name.  You might have gotten your domain name through the new Internet Web hosting provider you have selected.  If you did, they will give you the numeric URL for the primary name and secondary name server.  If  you did not get your name through the new provider, get in touch with the domain name registrar where you did register your domain name and give them the new information.  Propagation through the Web’s WHOIS servers takes 24 to 72 hours.  Because of this time delay you will want to maintain services such as email forwarding, web pointing and website hosting until the transfer is complete.  Any domain name search facility, for example can give you status as you wait for the change to take effect.  Another trick people sometimes use it to make slight changes to one of your web pages so you can tell from just looking at your site once it is uploaded.

Upload your Web site. Common sense dictates that you should move the most

Monitor.  This applies to your Web site as well as checking on traffic at the old site (you should leave the old account active for several weeks while you are doing this).  Go through you site to make sure that things look like you expected them to.  Even with successful transfer of all files and pages, things happen.  Test that all services work on the new provider.

If you have informed your customers and put up the appropriate notices that you have moved, you are done!


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