So its time to switch web hosts… Step 2
If you have not reviewed Step 1 (preparation) you should do so now. Some of the items you need for this step are covered in Step 1. Though the process of switching web hosts can be fairly straightforward, if you can find just one item that deserves better scrutiny it will be well worth while.
2) Select the new hosting company and order the appropriate hosting package
This step can be difficult because you are probably coming off of a bad experience and want to be sure you aren’t going to get into the same situation. At this point you may want to click here to review our “How do I select a web host” article.
When selecting your new host, keep in mind the following items:
- What features do you currently have and what features do you actually need?
- What programs are you currently running and will they work on the new host (if you are not sure always ask the new host’s sales rep… have them look at your current site to check the pages you have questions on). If you have a sales rep help you determine the plan, double check to be sure you aren’t going to be missing a feature that you need and check to see if their next lower plan will not work for you, if so, discuss it with the sales rep.
- Is there a 30 day money back guarantee? Are set up fees included in the guarantee? There is always the chance that something won’t work the way you’ve been told or expected.
- Does the new host have a “site moving” service that you might want to take advantage of? If so, consider using it since they are more familiar with their server set up and if you are moving any programs or need to use their alternative programs they could make the move much easier.
- If you have your own SSL certificate (accessing your site using HTTPS such as “https://www.yourdomainname.com”) make sure the package you are looking at with the new host has this ability. If you accessing your site using your hosts domain name (or a domain name other than your own provided by your host) using HTTPS, make sure the new host has the ability to do this also. Note if there are any additional charges for these features and include those in your decision.
- If you have any other concerns or questions, now is the time to ask your prospective new hosting company. Ask them if there are any special considerations you need to take into account before switching hosts. The new company may offer additional suggestions.
- Expect to pay a fair price for your hosting service. If you are moving because of poor support it may have been due to inadequate business practices (including adequate revenue generation) by the old host.
Order your new hosting account and note to the new hosting company that you do not want the domain moved yet. Pointing your domain to the new host will be done later.
Though hosting package pricing is firm for most web hosts, many will waive the setup fee if asked. Go ahead and ask.
In most cases, if you are currently using a Unix based hosting account or a Windows based hosting account you will want to have find the same type of web server for your new service. For example, if you are using Windows based .asp files you will not be able to run them on a Unix account, likewise if you are using perl scripts on a Unix server you might not be able to run them on a Windows server (depending on the hosting company installed programs).
If you are moving hosts because of high traffic issues with your current host and they are requiring you to move, be sure to let the new company know this and have them confirm that it will not be a problem on their servers.