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Switching to a New Cheap Web Hosting Company

Switching cheap web hosting companies can be a daunting task, and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. Many things could potentially go wrong if you're not adequately prepared for the switch. So follow these steps, and exercise care and diligence to ensure nothing gets missed (see also How to choose the right Cheap web hosting.).

The following should be done BEFORE you do anything with the hosting account your moving FROM, and BEFORE you do anything with your domain name:

  1. Order a new hosting account from the cheap web hosting provider of your choice.
  2. Once your new account is setup and the login information has been sent to you, login to your new account and setup all your email addresses. When doing this, take note of your new POP3 and SMTP email settings that you will eventually have to enter into your email client.
  3. Upload your web files to your new hosting account. You will have to use the account's IP number to do this, since your domain name is still pointing to your old hosting account.
  4. Test your website in the new hosting account to make sure everything is there and working properly.
  5. Once you're satisfied that you've got all your files moved over to the new hosting account, you can change the DNS settings of your domain name to point to the new hosting account's nameservers. You do this through your domain name registrar. Once you make these changes, it may take up to 48 hours or more for propagation to finish. Once that's finished, your domain name will be directing traffic to the copied version of your website on the new server. Also, your email will all be going to the new hosting account.
  6. Modify your POP3 and SMTP email settings in your email client to the new settings for your new hosting account. As soon as you make these changes, any email that was sent to you after the DNS propagated would have been stored on the new server.... and should now download into your email client.
  7. Check and double-check to make sure that everything is running smoothly on the new server, and that all your files, images, databases, etc have been successfully loaded. You should check in the old hosting account to make sure there are no new database entries, form submissions etc, that could have arrived in the 48 hours prior to propagation being completed. If you find anything that is not in the new account, copy it over. Also check to make sure you have all your server-side scripts running OK, as often times it is necessary to make adjustments in the scripts based on the relative locations of certain files.
  8. Once you are satisfied that you have everything you need from the old account, and everything is running smoothly with the new account, you can cancel your old account.

You have successfully switched to a new cheap web hosting company :)

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