During the lifetime of a website moments come when need arises to move the site from one domain name to other. This migration process is painful for bigger and more active websites. If hosting control panel on both servers are same then migration becomes easier. However, sometimes you need to migrate your site to a server having different control panel. In this scenario, to ensure smooth migration of an active web site from one server to another follow the steps given in this tutorial:

  1. Ask your web designer for a copy of your website on a CD. If you are not in touch with your web designer then download it from existing web server. For this you need to have FTP user id and password. If you don’t have the FTP details then ask your existing hosting provider for the same.

  2. Also, take a backup of database. Most of the hosting control panels provide some option to do this. Ask your service provider for control panel details.

  3. Once you have the current website with you on a CD, note down all the e-mail ids currently running on existing web server along with space allocated to same.

  4. Get your site uploaded on new server either yourself or through new web hosting provider. Also create all e-mail ids on new web server. Note down the new passwords of email ids.

  5. Don’t forget to upload / restore the database, if any. If your database accepts inputs from your site visitors (e.g. Resumes on a jobs site or orders on a shopping site), you may like to close the process temporarily. However, if this is not feasible then let it be working.

  6. Pull all your mails from existing server to your computer. If possible activate an email forwarder for all your email ids. However, in case your business has too many mail ids then you can skip the email forwarding option.

  7. Initiate a Name Server Change for your domain name. If you have the domain control panel you can initiate this change yourself or can ask your domain name registrant (company / person who registered the domain on your behalf) to do the needful. It is advisable to initiae the Name Server change after COB (Close of Business) on the eve of a weekend or holiday.

  8. Once Name Server change request is initiated, it takes approx. 12-48 hours, depending on the registrar Company. In case of some registrars the change is noticed almost immediatly. However, to reflect the changes globally you should wait for at least 24 hours. One the Name Server changes are propogated globally, your site and e-mail should be running from new server.

  9. Once you are satisfied that your site and e-mails are running fine at new location, check mail ids at old server once again to ensure that no mail is lost in this transition.

  10. If you didn’t pull down the database on old server as suggested in step 5, then check the database for any new data in it. If there is some new data then take the backup again and upload / restore on new server to sync the database.

  11. Once you are sure from all angles that your website is running from new server and there is no apparent problem visible, you can delete e-mail ids, database and site contents from old server in order to make sure that there is no misuse of your data at old server.

Have a safe web site migration.