Changing to new web hosting provider has so many reasons behind. It could be due to limited features they are offering or it could be due to bad customer service.
Transferring your website to another web hosting provider may sound like a complicated task, but there are few things to consider to make the process simple.
Do not cancel your current web hosting account
It is highly recommended that your current hosting account should stay active until you have completed the transfer process. (ie. new host setup, domain addon, DNS propagation, email accounts creation and files transfer). It is mandatory to keep your website and email accounts will not be down during the transfer process.
Things to consider when choosing a new web hosting company
a) Type of operating system – it is dependent on technologies website requires. For instance, if your website requires MSSQL, ASP or any other microsoft specific technology, then you will need a windows based web hosting service.
b) Disk storage and monthly bandwidth requirements
Take a backup of existing website
Download database and files from old hosting account. Do not change the file names and keep everything as it is to upload to a new hosting server. Files downloading is fairly easy task using FTP.
FTP access is not offered by some free web hosting services especially when you are using drag and drop website builder service like WIX or Weebly.
In this case you will not be able to download existing website files and will have to create new website. You have to check if your new web hosting company offers a free website builder.
To avoid facing same issue in the future, make sure your new web hosting company provides FTP access. Sometimes they offer in one plan and not in the other.
Setup same email accounts
To make sure that emails arrive into inbox properly, it is mandatory to keep the same email addresses, including email forwarders and aliases.
DNS modification and propagation
After you upload the existing website files to the new hosting server and create email accounts, you can make required DNS changes.
DNS is usually provided by new web hosting company when you sign up for web hosting plan. You will need to update DNS to propagate for new server – this option is available in domain management account.
The new DNS usually takes 24 to 48 hours to propagate, this is why canceling old hosting account is the last thing to do.
Cancellation of old hosting account
After your new web hosting account is fully active and your website is up, you can cancel your old hosting account.