Transferring a website with no downtime

Categories Web Hosting Tags migrationweb hostingsite transferchange hosts

It is possible to transfer a live website from one provider to another without experiencing downtime. Below, we have described the process of how to transfer your website from another provider to Netregistry hosting servers step by step.

Static HTML websites or those without a backend Database can be transferred without any time constraints. However, Dynamic websites, which are those that continually write information to a Database, require fast processing by the webmaster, to ensure no loss of records during the transfer.We usually recommend that Dynamic site webmasters disable access to their Databases for the duration of the transfer to ensure that there is no loss of data after switching over to the new provider. For example, if your website runs a busy online store - close the store for the duration of the move, or perform the move during a quiet time (perhaps overnight). 

First of all, ensure that you have purchased a hosting plan suitable for your website. If your website requires Database access, you need a Business Hosting plan or above. The entire transfer process takes four steps: backup of current site, upload of the data to our servers, test of the website and, finally, modification of the domain DNS to point to our servers.

Step 1 - Take backup of the current website

Ensure to download all of the data from the current hosting provider. This includes:

  • Website files to be downloaded using FTP;
  • Email associated with your domain name (if applicable) to be downloaded using POP connection in your email software (review full details on Email Migration);
  • Database to be exported from the current provider using either the tools supplied by the hosting provider, or a 3rd party Database application suitable for your database type.

Step 2 - Upload the website files

Website files

Your FTP details were emailed to you when you setup your hosting service at Netregistry. By default, the FTP hostname supplied to you will not work, because the domain name associated with your website address is pointing externally. Use ftp.netregistry.net as the FTP hostname when connecting to our servers.

  • FTP hostname: ftp.netregistry.net
  • FTP username: your FTP username
  • FTP password: your FTP password 

Please review Uploading files via FTP for further details on uploading.

Database (if applicable)

Depending on the type of database your website requires, you will either use our web interface phpMyAdmin, or a 3rd party database software application (e.g. MSSQL Manager). However you first need to create a database on the server, and then import the data from your computer into this database. Review the article on Creating a Database.

Once a database is created, Import a MySQL database or a MSSQL Database using the tutorials supplied. 

Note: While your domain name is delegated elsewhere, the Database server hostnames are going to be as follows. You can leave those hostnames in your code after this process or change it, either way there will be no impact to current data in the database: 

  • MySQL 5: mysql-5.netregistry.net
  • PostgreSQL: pgsql.netregsitry.net
  • MSSQL 2005: mssql2005.netregistry.net
  • MSSQL 2008: mssql2008.netregistry.net

Step 3 - Test the website and verify it works

Review the article on Using Staging URL to access your website on our servers prior changing the domain DNS. Test all critical areas of the website and ensure they operate as expected. If errors occur and you're unable to resolve them, contact our Support team to assist, however, if uptime is valuable to you, do not re-delegate until the Staging URL is working correctly.

Step 4 - Modify the domain name DNS to point to our servers

Delegate the domain DNS to us as provided in your hosting setup email notification. Review the article on Modifying DNS records for details on how to delegate your domain name to us, and for our Nameserver information. Please note that standard DNS propagation times apply. Note: For details on migrating your email service, please review the Transferring email to our servers without downtime article.

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