Fact: the first web server was launched in 1991, and the first-ever web host was concentric, which was later renamed to XO Communications.
Since then, a lot has happened in this field. For those asking what web hosting is and why it is so crucial, this article shall guide you, and even propose a few power points you can put in might while looking for a web hosting company. Also, you can learn how to change a web host if you are not happy with them.
To create a website (something plenty of people are starting to turn to), you need to ensure that it is accessible by online users. To do this, you have to choose a suitable server provided by web hosting companies.
Change Web Hosting Providers
Web hosting does not involve one particular service company. Therefore, you have the liberty of choosing your favored host based on the quality of work you get, charges from the companies, convenience, or service delivery. Fortunately, after you have settled for a particular service provider, you can switch to another if they are not what you thought them to be. This article provides you a guide on this too.
Step 1. Find a new hosting company
Having already tested the services of one company, you already know what you want and what you don’t. Also, you have been here long enough that you might have heard of those companies that are doing great. If not, well, you can start your search a-fresh by looking at the customer review, feedback, and ratings—also, service provision, pricing, how they configure systems, among other factors.
The goal is to do a complete shift and get servers different from where you are migrating from. Therefore, you need to do your due diligence before settling for a company within your budget and offers superior services to your ex-server.
Tip: After finding your service provider, you have to consider the possibility of shifting someday in the future. Therefore, register your domain to a third-party provider. This way, whenever you plan a mass exodus again, your domain will not be affected.
Step 2. Download your website
Since you know who your host is, this would be easy to the point of looking for your own website. After getting where it was stored, find out if it was using multiple servers and see if you can provide backups. Download your website files, store them on your computer, and ready them for a shift.
Step 3. Export your website database
Sometimes, your servers might be differentiated, especially if you are using additional databases for your site. They are mostly used for storing information pertaining to visitors and manage forms. Your goal is to search and find them for transfer as well. Some providers will give you phpMyAdmin to handle your import and export activities for your databases.
It is rather straightforward if you are on cPanel. Simply log into your web hosting account, find the database icon, open it to find the phpMyAdmin. While here, you want to display the interface on phpMyAdmin, where you will select databases at the top of the page. Click to expose the contents there and choose your database. After that, find the export menu on the same page and proceed to export the files by choosing to transfer it as a custom file. Just select ‘Quick-display only the minimal options’
If MySQL is not in your library of techniques, then don’t bother with this option and instead go with the next option.
Store the file on your computer as a SQL file in a folder you can access easily.
Step 4. Upload and import your website and databases
Just like the previous step, here, you need to liaise with the host for details. However, you can use the phpMyAdmin tool to import your SQL database and website to our new account in a public_html folder.
It is easy to do this activity, and it gets even easier when you are a static site user. A static account is majorly used by those with a simple landing page to display. You can manage your transfer using two options: one is via file manager, and the other is through an FTP.
On the other hand, we have the dynamic websites which store tones of data, which means that you have a database alongside the site files—using the same method as in step 3, import the data you downloaded from your previous servers into your new server.
WordPress, blogger, or Joomla have simplified their transfers by including native migration options manageable for you.
Step 5. Testing
After a successful transfer, you might want to run your website. You can do this by using a temporary URL, which will allow you access even when your domain name does not indicate the new server.
To access the temporary URL, log into your site’s management panel > account technical details >> temp.URL. you will see something like this…http://ipaddress/~username
Insert the host’s IP Address then proceed. If you are confident that your account works optimally and set names pointing to the new server host, then do the following.
Inform the users that you are transferring your site. It is imperative that the users be aware of why the site will not be available.
Change your DNS so that the users are directed to the correct page.
Monitor your site’s uptime. Here, you can employ tools such as Pingdom, Uptime Robot, Monitor Us, etc. Calibrate your tools to monitor Ping, DNS servers, TCP port, and HTTP.
The bottom line
Web hosting companies enable you to have your site running and users accessing it by giving you servers to store it. If a service provider is not your preferred option, you can always find one that applies to you.