How to Transfer Your Site to HostW3

The Basic Steps
Here are the steps that may be required to transfer your web site from your existing hosting company to HostW3.

1. Make a backup of existing web site
2. Open account with HostW3
3. Copy web site to new server
4. Test web site on new server
5. Create E-mail boxes on new server
6. Change DNS
7. Close old hosting account after being sure everything is working

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Make a Backup of Existing Web Site
You’re going to have to have something to put on the new server. If you don’t already have a copy of your web site on your local computer you should make one.

Open Account with HostW3
Now you’re ready to open the new account with HostW3. You can sign up over the phone but this is not the recommended method. The reason, typos. People make mistakes and a domain name is not something you can afford to have a typo in. Therefore, if you order it on line you’ll have written documentation of the transaction and proof that it was entered correctly.

Copy Web Site to New Server
Many software packages enable you to upload your site to the server. Still, the most effective method is using an FTP program. This will enable you to become familiar with the directory structure of your new host and FTP is the most efficient method of transferring files over the net.
*Note: You can modify your hosts file to make your domain resolve to our servers from your computer.

Test Web Site on New Server
Now your web page is on two servers. The old and the new. Make sure all pages are working on the new server and upload again if needed.

Create E-mail Boxes on New Server
When the old server is taken off line, where is your e-mail going to go? Hopefully you will have already set up e-mail boxes on the new server so that the e-mail will have a home. While the Internet pointers (also known as DNS or Domain Name Services) are being updated to point from the old server to the new in the next step you there may be a time when your e-mail doesn’t know where to go. Homeless e-mail will wonder the internet for about 5 days before it returns to the sender. Hopefully during this time you will have everything ready and waiting for the e-mail to find you.

Change DNS (Domain Name Services)
Domain Name Services point browsers to the right server so that people can find your web page. Think of them as a an information booth in a mall. You say, I want to know the address of Sears. They say that is store 5B over on level two. They translate the store name (the name of your web site) to the exact location of the store (the address of the server). In the case of the DNS, there is a large government appointed organization called Internic (www.internic.net) that manages the world-wide database of internet addresses.

Right now the DNS points the world to your existing web site on the existing server. They need to be changed to point to the new web page on the new server. This is done by requesting a transfer of the DNS to the new server. This will be done through your "Registrar" (the company you purchased your doman through, such as Network Solution/Verisign, Register.com, GoDaddy.com....). Typically you will have a user name and password assigned to your account in which you can login and make updates to your DNS.

Once the DNS information is changed it can still take a few days for this information to be acknowledged by all of the web servers and ISP’s on the internet as they update their records to match that of the Internic database.

Close Old Hosting Account
At some point, the transfer of the DNS to point to the new server will take place. When? Nobody knows the exact moment because this is handled by Internic. But when it does, you want it to be as transparent to the people browsing your web site as possible. One moment the pointers are going to be pointing to the page on the old server and then to the new one. If you’ve followed these instructions there should be no problems. Fortunately, if there are, you can always ask to have the DNS changed back to the old server to minimize the interruption.

Finally, when all is working well on the new server it’s time to contact the old hosting company and shut that account down. Please be courteous and let them know that you’ve found another service for your web hosting needs.

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We hope that this guide has helped you plan and that your move will be trouble free. If you have any questions, please direct your questions contact us.

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