Web Hosting: Steps to Changing Your Host Provider
In the event you do want to switch web hosting providers, there are several steps to follow to make the process easier. First, don’t think that your site will be down for days, weeks and months if you switch providers. Just like any business provider you switch, have the relevant information stored and ready to go, and then make the transition.
Begin by backing up all your files from the present web hosting provider to your hard drive. Next create a hosting account with your new hosting service, and then move all your files to the new server. You should also be sure to set up email accounts at that time. You may or may not have to point the name servers to the new provider (a number of hosting services handle this matter for you). Either way, the goal is to have the DNS pointing to the new server as soon as possible.
Next, test out the new site, put in place all the added features and let it run for several days. Then, remove your files at the old hosting account and cancel your hosting with them.
When cancelling an old hosting account, an easy way to determine if they have updated is to make a subtle change to the old Web site. Once you don't see that any longer, then you know it has transitioned over and you can terminate your old account. With a seamless change, your customers will never notice the difference.