If you decide to upgrade to a better web hosting solution or cancel a subscription because you are not satisfied with your current service, read this article before you plan on transferring your website.
Start planning the transfer of your site to a new server well in advance. Go over the terms and conditions of the contract you signed with your first web hosting service. Find out what happens to your domain name and to the data you uploaded to your server if you cancel your subscription. You might not be able to keep your domain name, which is why you should always register it with a separate service when you first set up your online business. Consider subscribing to a cheaper plan with your first web hosting service, so you can keep the same domain name. Change the DNS settings associated with this domain name, so that it redirects visitors to content uploaded to your new server.
Safety might be a concern if you have uploaded confidential information about your business or your customers to your server. Make sure you delete everything before canceling your subscription. It might be best to rely on an external service for your payment system, such as PayPal, so you can keep the same account once your site is on a new server. You should let your customers know that you are planning on transferring your site. Let them know their contact information will be protected and that your site will be back online shortly.
Subscribe to a new web hosting service before canceling your current plan. Make a copy of everything you have on your server, and upload it to your new server. Take the time to test every link, and make sure all your pages are properly named and uploaded. This could be an occasion to make a few changes to your site if you need to. You should have everything ready on your new server before you make changes to the DNS settings of your domain name. It might take up to 24 hours for the changes to be effective; let people have access to your old site meanwhile, or replace your usual home page with an error message explaining that you are moving your website. Give your visitors your email address, and encourage them to contact you if they need immediate assistance.
Once your site is up and running on your new server, cancel your old subscription. Go over the contract you signed to find out if there are any cancellation fees. Do not hesitate to get in touch with customer service if you need help with the cancellation. Delete everything on your server, and make sure you are not billed for this service anymore, especially if you had set up automated payments. If your experience with this web hosting service was negative, make sure you write reviews to help out other webmasters.
Keep these tips in mind when transferring your site to a new server. Take the time to plan this move and to look for a better web hosting solution.