Switching to a new web hosting company is a common decision made by website owners. The transition is usually simple and easy; however, if you fail to take into account all possible pitfalls, the outcome could be disastrous. These are a few things you should do:
- Make sure your new web hosting company can handle your storage requirements. If you have a moderately large website with a space requirement of 500MB, you should be sure that the new hosting plan can provide similar space or more. Ask your current web hosting company, if you’re not sure how much space you’re using. However, most of the time, it is mentioned in the billing statement and your hosting control panel.
- Find out how the new web hosting handles the storage space. Are your log files and emails counter toward the total storage or just the website-related files?
- Ask what operating system your new hosting company is using? Linux or Windows? Your current and your future hosting company should use the same operating system. Although in most cases, the operators in the new hosting company can transfer your site safely to a different operating system, a slight misconfiguration or glitch can make a huge difference between a working site and a broken one. If your current hosting server is using Windows and ASP scripts, then things will be more complicated, if the new hosting company is using Linux. ASP is a standard Windows-based programming language.
- Compare the bandwidth cost between two companies. In order to simplify the comparison, try to determine the cost per gigabyte of data transfer. Don’t be fooled by cheap annual fee as the company may use higher bandwidth charges.
- Does the new web hosting company offer the same email features? Such as mail forwarding and autoresponder.
- Does the new web hosting company support your scripts? For example, if you’re using a CMS, make sure the version used on the new hosting company is similar or higher. If your version is badly outdated, you may need to upgrade it on your current web hosting company before making the transition.
- If you use the email often, make sure you set up the email account on the new hosting company first before uploading your site. This way you’ll be still in touch with your customers, even when your site is down.
- Look for details in how to upload your site. Make a few backups and ask the new hosting company to upload the site for you. If unfortunate things happen and your files are corrupted, at least you can try to upload them again.