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How To Change Hosts without Downtime

Contributed by James Hold    Aug 17, 2005
James is eVerity's President and Lead Account Manager.

Thinking about transferring your site to eVerity? We may be able to do this for you at no charge and with no downtime. After you open your account, please contact your account manager to see if this is possible.

Avoid Web Site Downtime

Transfer your site files exactly as they are to your new host. Once transferred, update any scripts that are IP-dependent. If you have any databases, these will need to be transferred as well. You might also have to convert your data from one type of database to another. Contact the new host to see if this is feasible. In some cases, configuration files may need to be updated to reflect the new host's settings.

Ask your new host for a url at which you can view your site to ensure that everything transferred correctly. Test forms to see if they submit correctly. Do NOT make any changes to your domain name or close your old hosting account yet.

Avoid Email Downtime

Set up email accounts on your new hosting account. All the same email accounts should be created, along with same usernames and passwords, if possible.

Update Your Domain's Nameservers to Point to Your New Host

After you do this, there is a 36 hour period called "propagation." During this time some internet users will be directed to your old host and some to your new host. This means that you will need to check your email at both hosts until propagation has completed. If this is not feasible, you should set up a forwarder for your email at your old host to forward emails to a different email address, such as one you have at Yahoo or Hotmail.

Keep Your Old Hosting Account Open until Propagation Has Completed!

Remember that even though it may appear to you that everything transferred successfully, other internet users may be still be getting directed to your old host. You should wait atleast 36 additional hours to be absolutely sure all internet traffic to your domain name is being directed to your new host. Then, and only then, should you consider it safe to close your old hosting account.
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