There are several measures you’ll want to take in preparation for switching from one cheap hosting provider to another. To start with, do not under any circumstances cancel your service with your current cheap hosting provider until you’ve completed the switch to your new one and made sure that your site is live on the new cheap hosting company’s servers. If — heaven forbid — any problems arise in the transfer and you’ve already cancelled your current cheap hosting service, visitors to your site will find it “temporarily” down — and that is a humongous webmastering no-no.
Here’s another don’t to start off the transferring process for you: Don’t do anything until you’ve backed up your entire website. This is probably the most important step in the process and one that is all too often embarrassingly overlooked. Backup every last page, every graphic, every hotlink. If you’ve never performed a backup of your site before, it’s easy to do — just use your favorite FTP program (any will do) and download all the files from your current cheap hosting company.
Once you’ve got this critical step taken care of, it’s time to start hunting around for the cheap hosting provider you’ll switch to. Maybe you’ve already got one in mind. If not, there are numerous cheap hosting portals and review sites that exist solely to help you navigate the densely populated landscape of cheap hosting providers.
Decide ahead of time why you wish to switch cheap hosting providers — is it cost? Bandwidth? System compatibility? Customer support? Features? Plugins? Scripts? — once you’ve identified the exact areas where your current cheap hosting provider is lacking, you’ll have a much easier time examining the breadth of cheap hosting offers out there for the one that will serve you best.
Don’t rush into any decisions here. The last thing you want to do is hop from cheap hosting company to cheap hosting company — if you did, then transferring will be about the only administrative duty occupying your time. Take the time now instead to find the best possible deal — competition is fierce in this industry and you should have no trouble finding all the services and features you need at a heavily discounted price. Don’t settle either — same reason. If one cheap hosting company doesn’t have absolutely everything you’re looking for, keep looking — surely at least one does.
Once you’ve decided on a new cheap hosting provider for your site, you’ll need to take down a few pieces of information, namely:
— Your domain name (such as “the-best-website-ever.com”)
— The company name where your domain is registered — If applicable, the username and password for your domain name registration
— The name server info of your soon-to-be new cheap hosting provider (this will more than likely be emailed to you when you sign up with them — if not, or if you lost it, you can find it in the Help documents on the new cheap hosting provider’s site).
Now that you’ve got all this done, you are finally fully prepared to transfer from your old cheap hosting company to the new one. To do so:
— Login to the website where you currently have your domain name registered;
— Locate a link for Domain Name Servers or DNS Information;
— Change the information in these fields to reflect that of your new cheap hosting company;
— Submit your changes.
And voila! You’ve done it! Easy, wasn’t it?
Once you’ve completed the above listed steps, it’s time to get your website live online. Simply upload the files you backed up at the beginning of this process to your new cheap hosting provider. Then take a visit to your site (preferably from several different browsers) just to ensure your website still appears as you want it to now that it’s hosting on your new cheap hosting provider’s servers. If you notice a problem in how your site appears, it’s time to delve back into the HTML code and find out what’s causing the discrepancy. It could very well be that a portion of the code simply didn’t transfer properly. If this is the case, all you need to do is reenter it as it should be, and that should take care of the problem.
Lastly, once you are certain that your website is live and looks like it should regardless of browser, it’s finally time to cancel your previous cheap hosting service.