Okay, so you have a website already. Maybe it was started and never finished. Maybe it was done a long time ago and you want to start with a fresh site. Maybe the company you hired to do your website skipped town and you don’t know what to do. Here are some tips to help you understand the process of moving your site to another server or developer.

  1. Make sure you evaluate the new company to see if they have the skills and capabilities you are looking for. Once you decide on a new developer or web host, meet with them and share your project with them along with your expectations. Explain any problems you may have had in the past.
  2. Contact whoever set up your website in the first place, if possible. Often when people register a domain name(IE – pageprogressive.com), they set themselves as the technical contact for your site. This means they have ultimate control over your domain settings. Usually developers will agree to hand over total control of your site, but sometimes this can be touchy. Remind them that it is your site and that you paid them for their work–the domain belongs to you, not them. They should give you the name of the registrar where your site was registered and a username and password to edit your settings. Your new developer can help with these things if necessary.
  3. Once you have control over your domain name, your new developer can most likely take it from there. Your domain will need to be pointed to your new web hosting company’s DNS server. This makes sure that www.yourcompany.com actually takes someone to the server with your website on it. It can take from 1 – 48 hours for the DNS update to take place – be patient, sometimes this can take a while, and it has nothing to do with how good your developer is. All of the servers on the planet have to be notified and updated to point to your new server and that takes a little bit of time.Email:
    During this transition downtime, your email may cease to work if it is tied into your domain name. For this reason, it is usually a good idea to schedule the switch over the weekend or during a time that you expect to have little business going on. If possible, notify people that you think may try to contact you and let them know that your email may be down temporarily and they they should contact you by phone if they need you.

    Once the transition occurs, you may need to change your email settings if you use a program like Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Mail, Pegasus or other email program. You will most likely have to change your POP3 server, your SMTP server and your username and password. Your new web host can provide you with this information and assist you with this if necessary. If you only use webmail, just use the new company’s webmail site after the transition.

  4. Now that your site is up on your new web host provider’s server a big part of the frustrations are over (breathe deeply). Now you can work with your new designer to get your new site online.