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Online Home Business Owners: It's Moving Time!

Copyright (c) 2006-2020

One of the more important choices handled initially by home business owners is the task of choosing where to host your business website. Or it could be possible that you did make this decision, but it was setup or highly recommended for a particular provider as part of an affiliate program or network marketing opportunity you joined.

However your initial business website was first setup, eventually many online business owners are faced with the task of moving their website to another hosting provider.

The move can be like having your business finances audited. If you are prepared in advance, there is nothing to it. If not, it could be painful.

For those who have not been through a move before, or those who need a refresher, what's involved?

MAKE SURE YOU OWN OR HAVE RIGHTS to your domain name. You'll need to change this so that it points to a different hosting provider. More specifically, you will have to be able to change the name servers for your domain name. If you do not have rights to do this, you've hit a show-stopper in the move or at the very least a big bump in the road.

It could be that your existing hosting provider registered the domain for you, but you are still the owner. In this scenario, use the services of an independent domain name registrar and have your domain transferred to them. Be sure to request them to keep the existing name servers as active when transferring and not to use their parked servers after the transfer. You do not want your site to go down during the transition.

As part of the transfer procedure, the new registrar will email the owner of record to have them verify the transfer is ok. You should be the owner of record, in which case you will receive the email with the verification procedure and the transfer will be simple. If not, then you will need work out the transfer with the "owner of record".

DETERMINE WHO YOUR NEW hosting provider will be. Sign up with them for an account and they will provide you an IP address, username and ftp account to connect with.

DO NOT CHANGE your existing domain name servers at this stage. You will want to make sure your site is working on your new hosting provider before you allow the rest of the world to access it.

YOU WILL NEED A COPY OF ALL FILES in your website. Hopefully you have been making backup copies all along, so this is not an issue. If not, you'll need to download everything using an Ftp client program running on your PC. Save them locally on your own PC.

YOU WILL NEED A RECORD of all third-party or add-on software products you installed on your site. Especially important will be any licensing requirements and configuration instructions. As time goes by, we forget how this software was originally installed so having a record helps refresh your mind when the time comes to install it again.

Examples of additional software could include reciprocal link management, article management or link tracking. Simply copying the software will be sufficient in most cases, but there may be special configuration required that could keep it from working correctly if you can't remember what needs to be changed.

ALONG WITH YOUR ADDITIONAL APPLICATIONS are the SQL database(s) you may have created. FTP will not be used as these are transferred differently than the normal site files.

You will need to copy both the database definitions, including tables, and also the data itself. There are database management tools available, usually as part of the hosting package, which make this easy to do, but you'll need to understand how to use them or find someone who does.

phpMyAdmin is an open source database management tool which is most commonly used by Linux hosting providers. It has an Export option which works well for saving the definition and data from your existing site as a SQL script. With the same tool on the new site it has a SQL query option which you can then use to execute this script, creating the database tables and data.

MAKE SURE YOUR NEW PROVIDER HAS THE SAME SERVER operating system and programming languages you use. This probably seems very basic: Linux versus Windows or PHP versus ASP. Make sure the versions are the same also.

For example, I recently had to switch one of my sites and thought I had confirmed everything only to learn later that PHP is not necessarily the same PHP for all providers - even though the version was the same. There is software called PHPSUEXEC which some providers are now using instead.

PHPSUEXEC works the same as regular PHP, but is more secure. The result however, is that installing your software may require different permissions or other adjustments to your files on the server. Fortunately I found this out during testing and was able to easily correct any issues.

WHEN MAKING CHANGES TO YOUR SITE, try to keep from coding your domain name directly into your html pages or scripts as part of the directory path name links to images or other pages in your site. This can usually be accommodated by using relative directory names in html or by using variables in your scripts.

One reason for doing this is that after your new hosting provider sets up your new site, they will send you an email message with either an "IP address" or a combination of "IP address plus your username". This is what you will use to reach your new site during the transition time until you change your domain to point to the new service. While testing your new site during this time, links which have your domain name hard-coded will revert back to your old site making it more difficult to test the setup of your site on the new hosting server.

GIVE YOURSELF TIME FOR THE TRANSFER before changing your domain name servers to point to the new hosting provider and turning off the old host. Get everything setup on the new host first and try to test as much as possible. This will keep you from seeing critical errors when the new site finally goes live.

Your website is the lifeblood of your work at home business - the last thing you need is extended down time.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
You are free to copy this article to your site as long as you include the following resource information with an active link to my site:

Craig Ritsema operates a successful part time home business and resides in Michigan, USA. For more details visit his site at: http://part-time-work-at-home-opportunities.com/ to learn more.

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Top-Level Category: Business Online Articles

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Last Distribution Date:
2006-08-15 11:24:00

Internal ID: #3338





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