Moving Your Web Site To A New Web Host
Changing web hosting services means moving your web site.
or later your going to change web hosting services or your dedicated
server provider. Moving your site during this procedure may appear
to be a daunting task but it's really very easy if you follow
my step by step procedure. You may need to read this article twice
or better yet, click the Print this article link at the
bottom and use this article as a check list.
your old site including any MySQL data
Forget FTP. This important first step will save you hours and
preserve your scripts permissions and MySQL databases. Log into
your old site via shell/telnet. Next, run this command which creates
an archive of your entire site:
tar -cvf - /hsphere/local/home/user_name/domain.com
| gzip -c > /hsphere/local/home/user_name/site_bu/site_backup.tar.gz
tar -cvf - /home/user_name/public_html | gzip -c > /home/user_name/site_bu.tar.gz
In the above command, which is all on the same
line you need to change the path to your site and the path where
you wish to store the archive. Insure that you store the archive
outside the folders/site you are backing up. If you don't have
a special directory for your backups, use the MkDir command in
your FTP client to creat this directory.
In the first example we are backing up all the files in the /domain.com
directory and storing the archive outside/above this directory
in the /site_bu directory. In the second example we are backing
up all the files in the /public_html directory and storing the
archive outside/above this directory in the /user_name directory.
If you have MySQL data you wish to back up, run this command from
mysqldump -uusername -pmy_password databasename
| gzip -c > /home/user_name/public_html/database_backup.tar.gz
In the above example change: username to the username
for the database you wish to back up on your old site, my_password
to this databases password, and databasename to the name of the
database you wish to back up. Depending on the size of your database
this command can take seconds or minutes.
Download your archives
Launch your FTP client and log into your old site. Next, download
the .tar.gz archives we just created to your local machine using
Upload your archives to your new site and MySQL import
Hopefully your new virtual hosting plan includes a dedicated IP
number for your exclusive use. Those with dedicated servers normally
have this. A dedicated IP number will probably cost more but will
permit you to test your new site immediately and may enhance your
Search Engine rankings. Upload your .tar.gz archives to your new
site inside the /public_html folder using Binary transfer. At
the conclusion of your uploads, stay connected to your new site.
your archives via shell/telnet
into your new site via shell/telnet. Issue the following command
to determine where you are:
You should see directory names and files on your screen. The next
step is to change to the directory where your archives are located.
Issue this command:
cd public_html or it might be cd /home/username
Next issue the following command and you should see the file names
of your archives:
Next, we need to decompress your archives with the following command.
Please note, you must be located in the directory which contains
tar -xzf site_bu.tar.gz (or it might be:)
tar -xzf database_backup.tar.gz
Moving files around via FTP
Hopefully, you are still connected to your new site via FTP. Click
the Refresh button and you should see a new folder which is the
result of decompressing your archives. Drill down into this folder
structure which comes from your old site, untill you reach the
web site files. Shift click on all of these files and folders
and then select Move files in your FTP client. In the remote destination
folder field enter /public_html/ and click OK. Note that this
command requires two "/" characters. Navigate back up
the directory tree and click your Refresh button and you should
see all the files and directories from your old site. You can
even test this new site in your browser via the IP number like
If you are moving a MySQL database from your old domain, perform
all the steps in the previous paragraph. Double check your old
sites directory structure to insure you didn't leave any files
behind in the move cammand and then select the folder at the top
level from your old site and issue the Delete files command in
your FTP client.
If you performed these steps correctly all your site files should
be located in the correct directory, including your scripts. You
should still have your .tar.gz archives which you can deleate.
Don't deleate your MySQL "dump" file yet.
Set up your MySQL database for your new site
Log into your new sites Control Panel and create a new MySQL database.
Copy and paste the data for this new database into Notepad for
future reference and use. You will need all of this data in the
Import your data into your new MySQL database
Log into your new site vis shell/telnet. Issue the following command
to see where you are:
Next you need to change directories to the location of your database_backup
dump file which was contained in the archive. Issue this command:
cd public_html or it might be cd /home/user_name
Verify that you are currently located in the correct directory
via this command:
You should see the name of your MySQL data file on the screen
like this: database_backup.sql In the next step
we are going to import your MySQL data into your new database.
Note, you must be in the correct directory for this command to
work. Issue this command:
-u username -p database < database_backup.sql
username with the username for the database on your new site.
Replace database with the name of the database. Replace database_backup.sql
with the name of the .sql file. You will be asked for your password
before this command will run. Copy and paste it from your Notepad
file to insure accuracy. Depending on the size of your database
this command may finish in a few seconds or it could take several
minutes. You will see a completed notice on the screen. Php/MySQL
scripts may require you to edit a file which is sometimes called
config.php or config_include.php. This file should contain the
current MySQL database data on your new host. Copy and paste the
appropriate data you saved in Notepad when you set up the new
database. With a dedicated IP, you can test your
new database via your browser. Navigate to it's location using
your new sites IP number.
Clean up, testing, and tweaks for your new site
If the previous steps worked properly, you can deleate your MySQL
dump file and any remaining .tar.gz archives from your site. If
your new site uses a dedicated IP you can test the pages with
your browser. Some of your scripts will even run properly and
others may not because of the following reasons which may require
Path to Perl is not correct for your new
Path to sendmail is not correct for your
The script includes a domain name variable
so you will have to wait for propagation of your domain.
The script includes a server path variable
like /home/domain/cgi-bin which you must edit for your new site
Php/MySQL scripts may require you to edit
a file which is sometimes called config.php or config_include.php
This file should contain the current MySQL database data on your
new host. Copy and paste the appropriate data you saved in Notepad
when you set up the new database.
not cancell your old hosting account yet. This provides you with
a measure of protection in case you forgot some files and during
the propagation of your new site, some folks will see your old
sites and some will see your new site untill propagation is completed.
Changing your DNS/Nameservers and propagation
The final step in this procedure is to change your DNS/Nameserver
data with the registrar of your domain. You should not do this
untill you are absolutely sure your new site contains all the
necessary files and everything is working properly.
Your new host should have sent you an email with your new nameserver
data. It will look somethingthing like this:
Log into the Admin of your registrar and copy and paste the new
DNS/Nameserver data into the appropriate fiedls. The IP number
is normally not required for virtual hosting accounts since your
host's DNS should be automatically recognized by your registrar.
If this is your own dedicated server, you may have to registrer
your custom DNS/Nameserver data with your registrar before the
change will be accepted. This procedures normally requires both
ns1.host.com and the IP number of 123.4.567.123. Save your setting
and double check them. You have just started the propagation of
your web site. A procedure where the Internet's 13 root servers
notify every ISP in the world about the new location of your site.
This procedure is rolling in nature and starts within 6 hours
but normally takes 24 to 48 hours. In rare cases, it can take
up to 5 days with some ISPs.
After you can reach your new site with the domain name and not
the IP number, immediately test the site again to insure that
everything works. Five days after you started the propagation
procedure you can cancell the hosting with your old host.
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