July 25, 2013 | Rob Spurlock

4 Steps to a Successful Website Hosting Migration

Keep Your Hosting Migration Headache-Free

Here at VIEO Design, we provide a year of free website hosting for all new clients, and beyond the initial year we offer various plans to support client hosting needs.

As part of that process, we have found that moving new client web hosting services to VIEO to be quite a hurdle, even for the most Internet savvy client. Having been in the hosting industry for over a decade, we have a unique toolset to help our clients get over this hurdle, so they can show off their brand new award winning website to the rest of the world.

Based on our experience, here are 4 simple steps to a painless migration:

Step 1: Grab a backup of your old website from your old website hosting provider

They may have a simple one-button create/download backup in the hosting control panel, or you may have to actually contact their support team and request a backup file for download. Regardless, we recommend that you keep a copy for your archive purposes.

Step 2: Download ALL of your e-mail from your old web host

When you migrate from one host to another, the e-mail typically doesn't move with you. In our case, VIEO does not migrate e-mail from old clients, so you have to figure out how to get it moved, or at the very least make sure you have a copy for backup. For this part, we do recommend that you contact a professional IT company, and we can recommend 1 or 2 if you need one. It is common for users to simply log into a webmail and "view" their e-mail from a web browser. By viewing your e-mail this way, you are only taking a look at the mail while it lives on the server.

The alternative is to use a mail program (Mac Mail, Outlook or Windows Live Mail) and setup your e-mail account as a POP3 account instead of IMAP account. By doing this you will be downloading the e-mail off the server and directly onto your desktop or laptop and now you are storing it locally instead of on the server. Keep downloading your mail like this up until the site is moved or launched. As a failsafe, to make sure you don't miss any mail during the transition, we also recommend that you forward your e-mail to an account with an alternative mail provider (free or not) such as Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo. This can be a temporary thing until everything is moved over to the new host/server (VIEO). Once completed, you or your IT person can help you get everything back to normal.

Step 3: Change the Domain Name servers

Making a new site live involves pointing the DNS servers of the domain name (e.g. mywebsite.com) to our DNS servers or manually make the changes at the current registrar. If you want to do this yourself, VIEO will provide you with the necessary changes to launch the new website, or if you provide us with the login info will make the changes for you. We will setup your website in our DNS servers then log in to your registrar/old host and change the DNS servers to ours. Between 1 and 24 hours later, the new site will begin showing up on the Internet and e-mail will start flowing into and out of the new server. Regardless of whether you're transferring your domain name to VIEO Design or keeping it at your current Registrar (GoDaddy, 1and1, etc.) you'll need to make sure you have the username and password to log in to the registrar.

Step 4: Transfer the domain name to the new website host (VIEO)

This step is purely optional, but if you transfer your domain name to VIEO, the yearly domain name renewals will be FREE. Regardless of whether you're transferring your domain name to VIEO Design or keeping it at your current registrar (GoDaddy, 1and1, etc.), you'll need to make sure you have the username and password to log in to the Registrar. If you have to transfer it from an old host and they cannot (or won't) provide login info, then you need to ask them for the AUTH KEY or EPP CODE from them and make sure the registrant e-mail is a valid working e-mail. Otherwise, we'll help you to get the info to complete the final step of migrating your hosting to VIEO Design.

Changing website hosting companies isn't easy and it isn't fun, but VIEO provides comprehensive hosting services for our clients and we can certainly help make the process as painless as possible.

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Rob Spurlock

Rob Spurlock

Principal and Founder of VIEO Design™, LLC. Rob has a love for the East TN community. Server environment, web functionality and WordPress expert. He has extensive expertise in the Internet industry and related Internet software with over 15 years experience.

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