Welcoming a new web host

Written on 27 July, 2015 by Emily Rice
Categories Web HostingTags dnsweb hosting

Choosing a new web hosting service provider requires a fair bit of research. You want to make sure they tick all the boxes your old provider wasn’t able to – they’re cost-effective, provide adequate bandwidth and disk space, have top-notch customer service and are well-reviewed online. However, once you have found the perfect provider, you can’t just dust off your hands, sit back and let the transfer happen. Here are a couple of things you should do to make sure that the transfer goes smoothly from the moment you decide to make a change, to the grand debut of your new website.

Keep customers in the loop

Once you have committed to a transfer, put a message on your old web page to inform your customers. This will prevent any customer confusion or frustration in case of downtime during the transfer, and let them know that you value their web-browsing experience.

Back it up

There is always a risk of file loss during web hosting transfer – images, plugins, scripts and apps can disappear somewhere along the line. To prevent the loss of valuable content, back up your files in a separate computer.

Wait before cancelling

If you’re well and truly fed up with your old provider, you might be tempted to cancel your old account right after you start the transfer process. However, it’s wiser to wait – the old provider will most likely cancel your account as soon as you call and tell them you’re transferring, which could result in the loss of any data you haven’t backed up yet. What’s more, traffic will still go to your old website even after the transfer process begins. In the first two days, the majority of visitors will be directed to the old page, and a small amount of traffic may go there for up to a month. If you cancel the old account straight away, DNS servers will direct your visitors to a black hole, and they will assume that your site is down.

Check out the new site

You’ll want to give your new site a thorough check-up as soon as the transfer is complete, to ensure that everything is working as it should. Check the links, forms, images and plug-ins so that you can find any faults before your customers do.

…And wait some more

DNS (Domain Name Service) propagation is the time it takes for every DNS server in the world to update after a DNS change (which is part of the web hosting transfer process) is made. New technology means that propagation can occur within twenty minutes; however, in many cases it can take up to six hours. While you may be keen to use your new website straight away, be aware that content changes you make before propagation is complete may be lost.

If you want more information on web hosting service transfers, or are interested in finding out about the web hosting packages Netregistry provides, contact us on 1300 638 734 to speak to a Netregistry consultant.