Transferring a Domain Name During a Web Hosting Transfer

Transferring your web sites from one web hosting provider to another is a fairly simple process when done correctly. However, it is important to understand the various steps and protocols of a web hosting transfer before beginning the site migration procedure.

One commonly overlooked aspect web hosting transfers is the transferring of a domain name. In some cases, this is not necessary.  However, some domain name registrars and web hosts will require you to transfer your domain to their servers when you transfer to a new hosting service.

What is A Domain Name Transfer?

A domain name transfer is simply the transference of domain records from one domain registrar to another. In no way does a domain name transfer affect the content of a web site or server. When you purchase a new web hosting plan, in many cases, the web host may also be a domain name registrar.

Some of these hosting companies require you to transfer the ownership of your domain from the previous registrar to their DNS servers. A DNS server is simply a web server that is designed to store information about domain names.

How is a Domain Name Transfer Completed?

Transferring a domain from one registrar to another is as simple as filling out a form on the current domain registrar’s web site. Most of the time, you will be able to find an option on their site that says “transfer domains.”  If you are unable to find this option, then you may need to contact your web hosting support staff for assistance.

After you have filled out the necessary information, you will be contacted via email by the new registrar to confirm the domain transfer. If the domain is not more than 60 days old, then many domain name registrars will not allow you to transfer your domain form one registrar to another. Thus, if you are looking for a new web site and your domain name is not older than 60 days, then you will want to make sure the new host does not require domain name transference.

How Much Does it Cost and How Long Does it Take?

The cost of the domain name transfer will usually depend upon the specific domain name registrar and a few other factors. Some hosting providers/domain name registrars will allow you to transfer the domain for free, while others will offer a discounted package deal. Some registrars will offer free domain name transferring if you decide to register your domain with them for more than a year.

The process usually takes about a week to ten days, however sometimes it can be shorter or longer, depending upon the hosting provider. If the domain is currently involved in a dispute, it can take much longer because the dispute has to be resolved before the domain can be transferred.

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How to Minimize Site Downtime During a Web Hosting Transfer

Changing your web hosting provider can be a very stressful and confusing process without the proper guidance. Most people simply rely upon their web hosting support staff to walk them through the process; however, there is always the chance that the support staff member may miss a step or cause you to lose crucial site data. As the old saying goes “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”

One of the most common problems that occurs during a web hosting transfer is site downtime. When you transfer your web site from one web server to another, there is always the possibility that your site could go down during that time. The following information can help you prevent such a mishap.

Don’t Cancel Your Plan

The first mistake that many webmasters make is canceling their current web hosting plan as soon as they purchase the new one. This can cause site down time, as there may be a waiting period as the domain names are transferred to the new host’s registrar and the DNS servers are updated.

Instead of canceling your current hosting plan, let it expire on its own, or better yet, purchase an additional month to ensure complete uptime during the transfer.

Prepare the New Hosting Account

Another way to minimize site downtime is to prepare the new web hosting account for your sites. You can do this by setting up any necessary cron jobs, becoming acquainted with the new control panel, and performing any other prep tasks.

Make sure you are satisfied with your new web shot before switching your main web sites to them, as this will prevent any unnecessary additional transfers. You can test the waters of your new host by setting up a small web site and experimenting with it before the actual web hosting transfer. By doing this, you are ensuring that your web sites are being transferred to a reputable hosting provider that does not experience site downtime.

Backup All Files

Now that you have two fully functional web hosting accounts, you will need to back up all of your files as an added precaution. Use an FTP client to download all of your sites files to your hard drive. Now that you have a complete backup of your site, you can begin uploading all of the files to your new web hosting account. This means you will have your entire site uploaded to the new hosting account; however, the old hosting account will still be hosting your web site and keeping it active.

After you have verified that all of your files are backed up and all of your site links are accurate, you can then transfer your DNS servers to the new web hosting account.

By keeping both web hosting accounts active and creating a complete backup of all of your site files, you can ensure that your site experiences minimal downtime during your web hosting transfer. If you are having trouble performing any of the above steps, then you may want to contact your web hosting support staff.

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Making a Site Backup Before a Web Hosting Transfer

Moving all of your web site’s files to a new web hosting account can be a confusing and intimidating process for the novice webmaster, especially if you do not know how to ensure the safety of your site’s file during the transfer. The main problem that occurs during the site migration process is data loss caused by server errors and the lack of an adequate site backup.

It is important to note that your web site’s information is simply a database that exists on a web server. When you move to a new web hosting account, you will be using a completely different web server, which will not automatically carry over the contents of your web site. If you transfer your domain to this new server without transferring the files, you will be left with a blank site.

Why Should I Make a Site Backup?

Making a site backup is extremely important because it ensures the safety and continuity of your site throughout the web hosting transfer process. Without a site backup, any data loss or damage that occurs during the transfer could mean the permanent loss of a vast amount of hard work and dedication that is required to build and maintain a professional web site. Keeping a copy of your site’s database is the best way to insure your hard work and prevent a terrible mishap that could greatly affect your online business. Check out to find out different options to backup your data online.

How Do I Make a Site Backup?

Making a site backup is actually one of the simplest web hosting functions. In fact, every web hosting control panel includes a special module that was specifically designed to help you make a comprehensive backup of your site. The name of the backup utility will differ depending upon your web hosting control panel, however a quick survey of the user interface should lead you to the correct tool.

You can choose to make a single backup of your site, or you can even schedule automatic backups that will eliminate the need for manual site backups.

If you are having trouble finding or using the backup utility within your control panel, you can contact your web hosting support, or you can use an FTP client to download all of your site’s files to your computer’s hard drive simultaneously.

How Are Site Backups Restored?

Restoring a site backup is perhaps the most important part of the web hosting transfer process, as it is ultimately responsible for placing your site’s database on the new web server.  If you used the control panel tool to create the backup, then you should be able to restore it using the same tool in your new control panel.

It’s best to configure your new backup utility to create automatic backups so that you do not have to worry about this process in the future. If you used an FTP client to download all of your web site’s files, then you can simply upload them all to the server simultaneously.

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Step By Step Guide for a Web Hosting Transfer

Conducting a web hosting transfer can be simple and quick process if done correctly. However, even the simplest mistake can result in immense frustration and countless hours of work lost.

If you are planning on moving from one web host to another, then you will need to take steps to ensure you do not lose data or damage your web sites. Fortunately, the following guide can walk you through the process step by step.

Step 1 – Finding a Transfer Friendly Hosting Provider

The first step in the web hosting transfer process is finding a new web host for your sites. This is perhaps the easiest part of the entire process because it can be done by anyone with basic web hosting knowledge.

It is best to choose a web host that provides tools and resources to facilitate and simplify the transfer process.  However, keep in mind that some web hosts will charge fees for transferring domains and other actions associated with conducting a domain name transfer. If you are unsure about the fees and procedures involved with transferring to a new web host, then you may want to contact the customer service department to clarify these matters before continuing.

Step 2 – Backing Up Your Web Sites

It is extremely important to backup all of the information on your web server before continuing, especially if you have larger web sites or sites that took a long time to build. Your web site is basically a database that is stored on a web server, and without this database, your site would cease to exist. When you transfer your site to a new web hosting account, you are simply moving this database to a new web server.

Thus, before continuing, it is best to make at least one copy of all your databases. To make a backup, simply use the backup utility within your control panel, or use an FTP client to download all of your site’s files to your computer’s hard drive.

Step 3 – Conducting the Transfer

The third and final step is perhaps the most difficult, as you will actually need to navigate through various areas of your web hosting control panel.

First, you will need to restore the backups that you created in the previous step. You can do this within the same control panel application used to create the backup. If you used an FTP client to download the database to your computer, then you can simply re-upload it to the new web server in a few simple steps.

In some cases, you will need to transfer your domain name to the new web hosting provider/domain name registrar as well. To do this, simply log into your current domain name registrar account and locate the “Transfer Domains” section. Within that section, you should be able to find all of the necessary information for transferring your domain name to a new registrar.

Once you have successfully restored your site’s backups and transferred the domain name, you will have completed the web hosting transfer process.

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Performing a Web Hosting Transfer in 3 Easy Steps

Performing a web hosting transfer is one of the most stressful events for a novice or inexperienced webmasters, as many believe it could result in the permanent loss of their web sites. If you have been researching the process, then you have probably read some of the horror stories about people losing entire web sites during a web hosting transfer. Fortunately, such terrible mishaps can be avoided with a few simple precautions.

Step #1 – How to Find the Best Host

Every web hosting provider has different terms and conditions that apply to web hosting transfers. It is important to consider these terms and conditions when selecting a new web host, especially if you are planning to transfer your sites to your new hosting account.

Ideally, you’ll want to find a web host that will help you with your web hosting transfer by providing tools, resources and support that will simplify and expedite the process as much as possible. Sometimes there are fees associated with web hosting transfers, so it is important to enquire about such fees before deciding upon a new web hosting plan.

Step #2 – Creating Site Backups

Creating a site backup is the next step in the web hosting transfer process, and many would consider it to be the most important step of them all. Creating a site backup will keep you from becoming another sad webmaster that lost their web site due to a simple mistake.

Within your web hosting control panel, you will find a module that is devoted to site backups. In this simple utility, you can schedule routine backups or create a custom backup manually. On the day of your web hosting transfer, you will want to make a full backup of everything on your site. When you transfer to the new web host, this backup will prevent data loss in the event of a server crash or other technological lapse.

If you do not want to use the utility provided in your web hosting control panel, then you can simply use an FTP client to download all of the files from your web server to your hard drive.

Step #3 – Performing the Transfer

The final step is performing the actual transfer, which will require you to navigate through your new control panel in order to restore the data that was backed up in the previous step. If you used the integrated control panel utility, then you should be able to restore the backup using the same tool in your new control panel. If you used an FTP client to download the files, then you can simply upload all of the files to the new web server.

Most experts recommend using both the FTP client and the control panel tool to create the backup, so that there are redundant backups available. It is also wise to store the backup on external media such as a disc, which will protect you from hardware damage.

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