A Checklist for Moving Your Site to a New Server

If you have decided to move your website to a new hosting company, there are many different things that will need your attention to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. Here is a handy checklist to help you make this transition even easier.

1. Coordinate your switch. If you have a month-to-month hosting account, try to purchase your new hosting package about a week before your old account will expire. This will save you from paying for two hosting packages in one month, but still give you enough time to get everything done. However, if you need more time, than you may need to have more of an overlap.

2. Back-up all of your data. This is the most important thing to do when you are moving your server. Unless your new host offers a transferring feature, you will need to take care of all of this yourself. You will need to save all of your data to your computer’s hard drive, including any directories that may contain scripts, images, or other important information.

3. Check on your paths. If your new server has a different path to perl or a different way of handling PHP or CGI, you may need to tweak your current scripts to make sure that they function correctly.

You may also need to check your SQL paths to make sure that they are up-to-date. Each host handles SQL creation differently, so it is important to make sure that your script files contain the correct information.

4. Back-up your SQL or other databases. If you are on a Unix platform, you can use phpMyAdmin to easily back up the entire contents of your SQL database. If you are on Windows, you may need to use a different method or contact your current host to make sure that it will be saved.

5. Begin transferring files. Once you have your new IP address, you can begin uploading your site’s back-up to your new server. If you do this right away, there will be less downtime during the switch.

If you have scripts that call certain directories, make sure that you name the new directories on your new server so that they will match. Don’t forget to upload the contents of the directories you have backed-up from your old server.

6. Load your database back-ups on your new server. This will be the reverse of step 4. Most databases offer the ability to easily add your existing data to your new account.

7. Change your nameserver. Once you have all of your data on the new server, you can change you nameserver with your domain name registrar to reflect your site’s new home.

8. Thoroughly check all of the files on your site. Make sure that there are no dead links or scripts that are not functioning correctly.

Although transferring is never easy, with a little work on your part, you can make it through with the least amount of hassle and the least amount of downtime for your visitors.

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Posted on 12/14/05 10:42 PM

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