- Canada's Leading Web Hosting and Domain Name Provider

How to Avoid Downtime when Migrating Web Hosting Providers

As a website owner, you should continuously be evaluating the quality of your web hosting provider. Are you happy with the performance? Are there features that competitors now offer that your host perhaps doesn’t? Eventually, you may decide that it’s time to switch hosting providers to go with one that has better performance, better pricing, or both.

As CanSpace Hosting Solutions, we want to make it as easy as possible for website owners to choose us over the competition. That’s why we migrate all clients’ websites free of charge, and we test thoroughly to ensure there is no downtime whatsoever during the migration.

We make this as simple as possible. Once you have signed up for a web hosting plan with us, all you need to do is provide us with the login details for your old web hosting provider, and we will migrate all of your content to our servers and test to ensure that everything is working.

Once we have confirmed everything is working on our servers, we’ll then update the nameservers for your domain to point to your web hosting account with us (or let you do this step yourself if you prefer). That way when the switchover is made, everything will already be functioning.

The risks of downtime are serious — every hour your site is down, you’re losing out on potential customers. It could also lead to confusion, if your customers think your site has permanently shut down and choose to go with a competitor.

If you are trying to make the transfer yourself, there are a few things you need to know. First, remember this: “first move, then cancel”. Most website owners’ inclination is to let their existing web host know about the move as soon as possible, but the correct strategy is actually the opposite. Many web hosts will discontinue your service as soon as you tell them you’re switching hosts, or become uncooperative. The proper way to do a transfer is to move the data to the new host before anything has happened on the existing host, to avoid losing any information in the transfer.

To move your site, we login to cPanel on your previous host and then obtain the compressed backups of your account which contains all of your website files, databases, emails, and all other custom data. Absolutely everything will be preserved during the transfer including the passwords for all your email accounts.

If you are coming from a non-cPanel based host, we can still of course complete the transfer for you, but this would be more of a manual process.

Once everything is migrated over, we will test to ensure everything is working.

At that point, we’ll update the nameservers for your domain to point to your web hosting account with us. If you prefer to keep your domain with a separate registrar, you’ll need to tell them that your site has moved to a different server. In this case, when you log into your domain registrar, go to the control panel and look for a heading of “Domain Name Servers”. Replace the existing information with new name servers we provide you. It will typically take a few hours for the changes in the DNS records to be reflected. Once done, your domain name will be pointing to your new server. 

Now is another great time to do some testing and make sure that your website is behaving as it should. Note that at this phase, you still have both your old and new websites on the two different servers. If something goes very wrong, you are still able to go to your old site and retrieve any necessary information.

In an ideal scenario, you would even want to keep your old hosting account for a few days after the official switch (even though URLs will point to your new host), just in case something goes wrong and you need to obtain your original website files again.

At CanSpace we handle hundreds of site migrations per week and have streamlined the process. In 99% of cases this is handled completely by our staff and there are no hiccups at all.

Have a question about transferring your website and domains to CanSpace Hosting Solutions? Get in touch with us!

CanSpace Team

CanSpace Solutions is Canada's leading domain name registrar and web hosting provider. Keep an eye on our blog for expert information on domain names, websites, and running a business online.