Changing to another web host is not something uncommon and it might occur for a number of causes. Some of which may be related to disk storage or simply to a poor or inexistent costumer service.
Not so simple? Although the idea of moving to a new hosting company may feel crazy and unsafe is not really that complicated, you would only have to remember some important details.
- Continue your account with the host that you are working with.
The best you can do is keeping the account that you have until the moment when you do not need it any longer, by this we mean; when you have already finished the transition from one host to the other. If closed earlier, you will spend some time without your website and email accounts running.
- Find another web hosting company
Take into account the following:
a) The type of OS (Windows or Linux) – this will depend on the technology your website entails. For example, if your website requires Microsoft-specific technologies (like ASP or others), then you will need to find a Windows-platform web hosting plan.
b) Bandwidth and storage space needed.
- Old account files should be downloaded just in case, to have a copy of your website.
For a better organization, you may want to download files in the order in which you are planning to upload them later on. Chmod permissions or files that are needed to set any other file or folder should also be taken into consideration. FTP will help you with this assignment and it is not very difficult to do.
The problem might appear with some of the free web host services that do not have FTP. This usually occurs when you are working with free drag-and-drop or flash website creator (like weebly or WIX).
If this happens to be your position, downloading preexisting files will not be possible for you and therefore, you will have to create new ones. In this case, you would want to see if the new web host service offers a free website builder.
Also check that this new host offers you FTP access, this way you will not have the same problem again if you decide to change hosts again.
- Create new, but the same, email addresses
You want to make sure that emails are correctly received, to do so you will have to maintain email addresses and forwarders the same.
- DNS: Changing and propagating
The Domain Name Server changes can be made only after having uploaded all files to the new web host and having confirmed the new email accounts.
Once you have signed with the new web hosting company, you usually get the DNS. Replacing your existing DNS settings for the new DNS is something that is most commonly done through the domain management panel.
It will probably take something between 24 to 48hs for the new DNS to spread and within those hours, the old web hosting provider will be in charge of the website and email accounts. This is why it is so important not to cancel the old service before.
- Finally, cancel the account you had.
Having the old account cancelled is the very last step which you can take after having activated the new website and email accounts and made sure that all you need is properly working.