Surviving A Web Hosting Switch

Posted on June 25, 2013 by

As a small business, what type of service do you receive from your web hosting service? If you’re not receiving the service you deserve or the service you’re paying for, it is time to make a switch. The task of switching providers can often provoke feelings of fear and hesitation due to the complexity of the task. Several companies feel as if potential downtime isn’t worth the pain of making the switch, but the recipe for success is simple, easy and allows for a painless transition.

Back-up Your Files

Prior to switching service providers, back up all of your data. Whether you utilized cloud-based storage or traditional hard drives, back up your information to a different source. Remember to also back up email accounts. Additional services to look for from your provider include management tools, connection speed and customer support.

Choosing the Right Service Provider

Several considerations come into play when selecting the right service provider. The first consideration is what you need from the provider. Investigate the types of services offered and correlate those services with your business model. A huge consideration with any service provider is safety and security. If you’re switching service providers, you want the reassurance that your information is safe and secure.

Testing Your New Site

Testing your new site appears obvious, but skipping the step is potentially disastrous. Your new web hosting service provides a temporary IP address or URL. Review each link on your website and ensure the URL shown in the browser is the correct temporary URL.

Point Your Domain Name to the New Server

Don’t assume your new service provider points your domain name to the new server. The DNS modification process presents its own set of challenges for a service provider, so prepare to initiate this process yourself. Review the timeframe needed to perform the modification. Downtime on your new website results in lost traffic. Update the names if the new servers with the registrar of the new service. After the update, your information propagates to the new server. The amount of time varies, depending on the service provider, but the timeframe is typically several hours.

Termination of Service

Prior to getting the green light with your new service provider, check with your existing provider to ensure termination of service. A common misconception is switching service and assuming the prior company cancels your old services. Wait approximately two weeks to cancel service with your old provider in the event your new service experiences hiccups. You don’t want to risk losing information. When canceling service, keep records and communication from your old provider as proof. Remember to follow-up to ensure your account closed as planned.

Transitioning to a new service provider appears daunting from the onset. Allow time for mistakes and follow-up, but in the end, the time is well spent.

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