Every webmaster is going to experience this problem at least once. You either get tired of your web hosting company, they don't support a new feature that you need, or they will stop responding to your queries. So you set out to find a company that would provide a new home for your web site. But, how a smooth transition to the new server can be ensured? The following steps would help you to seamlessly undergo the transition.
- Set up a new account and upload : Obtain a login name and password for your new account from the webhost company. Do not transfer your domain name immediately rather, wait till everything is working properly. Replicate your current directory structure on the new server and upload everything except for your CGI/PERL scripts. You'll have to ask the new hosting company where PERL is located on the server and the directory where your site resides. If it is different, the scripts need to be edited manually for the changes to reflect on the site.
- Transfer the Domain Name : Once everything is on the new server and working properly, email your hosting company and tell them to transfer your domain name. Once the transfer has been completed, you'll have to wait up to two weeks for the DNS servers around the world to be updated.
- Test a few pages : Make sure that everything is working after the domain name transfer takes place by testing a few key pages. This will require you to manually type in a few URLs. This is also a good opportunity to test your scripts, although you'll have to change any domain name references in the script to the IP address of your site on the new host.
- Cancelling the previous account : Before cancelling the previous account, wait for some time, say, like two weeks and then cancel the account. A good way to determine when it's time to pull the plug on your old account is when the email stops coming into the account on your old server.
Once you have moved everything to your new site, be sure to test everything-find out the bugs before the users do. Make this absolutely certain that you don't lose users from your move.