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How To Find Reliable Hosting as a SOHO

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How do I find a good, shared Web host?

The More Things Change, the More They Stay a Pain

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What is Virtual (Shared) Web Hosting?

Moving to a new Web hosting solution

So, you've decided that your current host doesn't suit your needs and you need to choose a new one. Well, don't worry - it happens all the time. Many webmasters upgrade their hosting services once their Web sites become popular, usually because their current hosting firm cannot provide an effective level of scalability or technical support.

Before you move, it's extremely important to make sure you have copies of everything related to your site. Double-check that all content, including Web pages, databases and scripts, are properly archived. But don't archive your Web sites just in case you switch hosts - always back up your data at regular intervals in case you experience unexpected data loss or hardware failure. This will also ensure that all your data is archived and compressed in its original directories, which is very important if you want to retain the full-working integrity of your Web site when you move.

Once you have archived your site, make arrangements to purchase your new hosting services. Make sure that any new solution you select includes basic services that approximate and surpass the service you where obtaining with your previous provider. Perform a search with our advanced search utility to make sure the companies you are considering offer exactly what you're looking for. It makes no sense to replace your present hosting service with another Web hosting solution that equally cannot fulfill your technical requirements.

When your new solution is activated, upload your archived Web pages, database and scripts to the new host. You will be allocated an IP number from the new hosting company. Take time to debug and test the new site from the individual IP number.

After your site is entirely debugged and you verify that all site functionality is operative, transfer your domain name service (DNS) servers over from your old host to your new host.

During this DNS transition period, which is referred to as the "propagation period," your Web site will be resolved by both your new and old host, as new DNS information about your Web site filters through the Internet worldwide. It typically takes about 1-2 weeks for the transfer to fully propagate around the Internet; so keep your old site running in case you get visitors whose ISP's name servers haven't updated fully.

It is imperative that you retain both your old and new hosting services during your hosting solution transition. You will need to check your e-mail from both hosting providers, since some regions of the Internet will direct e-mail to your original host, while other regions will start sending mail to your new server during the transition.

This same situation will occur with Web server during the period of propagation. For this reason, you must ensure that both hosting services are operating simultaneously during your solution transition.

Once a week or two have elapsed, cancel the account with the previous hosting company. Make sure to only pull the plug on your old account when e-mail stops arriving from your old server.

Remember, when you're shopping for a new hosting company, make sure their services suit all of your needs. Use our enhanced search to find a host that meets your exact specifics. This will reduce your chances of having to search for another host later.

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