Its not quite as bad as it sounds. Just some mouse clicks (and lots of
404 errors until you finally get it right!) I should have mentioned
that if your web site needs 24-7 uninterrupted service during the
switchover, you may want to consider leaving the old site the way it
is for the time being. Meanwhile, go out and buy another NEW domain
name (for the shortest and cheapest 1 year period), and then clone
your existing web site to the new web host using this new domain. Now,
assuming your current web host provides this capability, set up a web
proxy on your current host, which forwards all requests for your old
(current) domain to the new domain. Except for some strange looking
data appearing in the URL address window when the browser is accessing
your site, everything should work and appear just like it does now.
Users won't & shouldn't know the difference. That is the acid test, so
make sure your old page is forwarding properly to the new web host/new
domain and everything is working 100% correctly before moving on.
Now, once you have confidence that the 'new' site on the new web host
is working the way it did before, put up still another clone copy of
your existing web site on the new web host, this time using the old
(current) domain. Lastly, reassign the nameservers for the old domain
from the old web host to the new host. If you follow this plan,
everybody on the planet who tries to access your web site should get
either the proxy forward from your old web host & old (current) domain
to the new host & new domain, or else they should be forwarded
directly to the old (current) domain on the new web host. After about
three days, and all the TTL (time to live) DNS cache buffers have
expired, everyone on the planet should now be unambiguously directed
to your new web host. At this point you can finally and
officially 'deep six' your old web host.
It is possible there are simpler, cheaper and/or spiffier ways to do
all this. I make no representation that I am an expert on such things.
Good luck in the meantime.
On 1/02/08, C wrote:
> Thanks for the info, Steve. Doesn't sound like fun. :(
> On 1/01/08, Steve wrote:
>> In short, yes and yes. Changing web hosts generally involves
>> changing the primary and secondary DNS nameservers for a domain.
>> Your new web host will instruct you about the specific procedures
>> for changing the nameservers. This procedure must generally be
>> done with the REGISTRAR for your domain, i.e., the company you
>> purchased xyz.com from, NOT your former web host (although they
>> could both be one and the same company).
>> So what happens is basically this: You tell your current web host
>> provider, Company A, to get lost, stop paying your bill, or
>> whatever. At some point Company A responds by purging your web
>> page data from their system, and so your web page goes down. From
>> that point, anyone trying to access your web page will get a '404
>> not found' page from company A. It will stay that way forever, as
>> long as Company A is still alive and your nameservers are still
>> assigned to them through your domain registrar. Meanwhile, you
>> decide to sign up with a new web host, Company B, who will then
>> ask you to reassign your domain's nameservers to them, a process
>> that is done through your domain registrar like I said before. So
>> you go ahead and do that, but nothing else. Three days later you
>> open a browser and try and access your old web page. Now instead
>> of '404 not found' from Company A, it will say '404 not found'
>> from Company B. Now, you can finally upload your old web page (by
>> FTP or whatever) to company B and everything will work again like
>> it used to with company A.
>> Moving to a new web host is a little like moving to a new
>> apartment. It takes a little while for all the change of address
>> cards to get recorded in all your friend's and relative's address
>> books. If you try to do this address change just through the main
>> post office, it takes forever to finally get all your forwarded
>> mail, so the WWW doesn't do it that way. The reason the web SEEMS
>> to work so fast, and why it may be counterintuitive that this DNS
>> update process should take as long as three days to complete is
>> because all the nameservers, all the address books on the planet
>> that have information about where your web domain actually is
>> (i.e, which specific IP address maps to your domain name) are up
>> to date and ready to serve out information on a moment's notice,
>> as long as nothing changes.
>> Hope this helps clarify a little.
>> On 12/31/07, C wrote:
>>> Thank you Max for the recommendation.
>>> Has anyone ever transferred their domain and hosting to another
>>> webhost? I'm a little apprehensive because I don't know what all
>>> is involved. Would my site go offline during the transfer, and
>>> would I have to manually add everything back?
>>> Thanks again.
>>> On 12/28/07, Max wrote:
>>>> The link didn't show up ..
>>>> It's ... http://www.cleverdot.com
>>>> On 12/28/07, Max wrote:
>>>>> I like this one (see link below) for three reasons ...
>>>>> 1) It's cheap ... about $35 per year!
>>>>> 2) They support tons of things, PHP/MySQL, lots of email
>>>>> accounts and lots of storage.
>>>>> 3) They have "fantastico". That's where you can install
>>>>> WordPress, CubeCart, Joomla, lots of other things with the
>>>>> click of a button ... automatically.