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Changing Web Hosts - part IV
(click here to go back to part III)

Step 1: Find a New Host
Step 2: Find Your Registrar Info
Step 3: Back Up All Data
Step 4: Set Up New Host
Step 5: Test, Test, Test
Step 6: Prep Email
Step 7: Switch Hosts
Step 8: Cancel Old Host
Step 9: Check Scripts
Step 10: Check Links

Step 8: Cancel Old Host

Now that you have successfully made the move, it is time to cancel your old account.  We recommend keeping your account at least one week after the DNS change.  If money is not a factor, then you may want to keep the old site for up to a month (some servers around the world will take more than the standard 24-76 hours to propagate).

Some hosts will make canceling your account as difficult as possible.  You will need to follow their cancellation instructions closely and even then, you might get the run-around.  The key is to be persistent. Sometimes picking up the phone works better.  If it is a big company and the reps give you trouble, ask to speak to management.  If it is a small company, let them know you are serious and are willing to report them to the better business bureau or pursue legal action if necessary.  Chances are after some resistance, the old web host will cough up the money.  As mentioned earlier, it is usually better to keep the current hosting company in the dark until after the DNS changes.

Tip: It is a good to keep your old host account for at least a week to make sure the site moved correctly and to give all the servers in the world time to recognize the move.

Step 9: Check Scripts

Once the DNS changes take affect and your site name is now showing your current site, it might be time to check your scripts again.  It is possible that your scripts worked on the new host only because they pointed to your old site.

If you had to change your scripts temporarily to point at the IP # rather than the site name, this is your chance to change them back.

Step 10: Check Links

It is always a good idea to run a link checker after the move is complete.  If you made temporary link changes, including links that point to the IP address or relative links that you would prefer to be absolute links, then you will want to make the appropriate changes.  Besides internal links, you may need to check external sites linking in.

If you changed your domain name or didn't have one, you will want to notify any site linking to you.  The best way to discover these sites is to look are your referrer log files and stats or do a reverse link check in google or alltheweb (these two search engines are considered the most comprehensive).  Contact any of these sites to make sure they point to your new site.  Unfortunately, some site operators are either lazy or run a stale site, so you can be sure that not all referrers will make the change. 

Pay close attention to your stats or log files and look for any errors and how they occurred.  Your users may also email you if they have any problems with the site.

Congratulations!  You successfully moved your site.  Assuming you chose a good host, you can now relax and enjoy your better service or cost savings.

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