Website hosting may not be the most rock and roll of subjects, but it's an important issue that many businesses only become aware of when it starts to be a headache.
Without the right hosting in place you can encounter all kinds of problems that affect your marketing and business as a whole. For those that don’t know, hosting is effectively a parking space for your website on the Internet. The files for your site are stored on a server that allows your web page to be viewed online. Your hosting is linked to your domain, or web address, which enables to the site to appear when the address is typed in by a user.
Issues can arise when a company wants to switch suppliers and find someone else to take care of their hosting. Many people find it such a confusing and stressful process that they end up staying in unhappy relationships and not getting the most out of their websites. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few things to consider and help you achieve a smooth transition.
- Keep a record of where your website is currently hosted. Is it with your creative agency? Or perhaps you have an account with a third party supplier like Go Daddy or 1&1? Having these details readily available can save a lot of time trying to locate it. It also means that you know who is responsible for the hosting and who to report any issues to.
- Who is your website domain registered to? You should always look to register your website domain in your name so that there are no questions of ownership raised somewhere down the line. If you have a .co.uk or any kind of .uk domain then you can check this at www.nominet.uk/whois
- Get a backup of all of the files. Your new supplier will most likely want access to the files so that they can do a backup of all website files and any associated databases. Access to the control panel where the site is stored is ideal but FTP access is also an option. If your existing supplier is unwilling to provide this access then you can ask them to do a back up of all files and a ‘database dump’ if required. These files can then be given to your new supplier.
- Are there any emails linked to your domain address? Transferring emails can be a tricky business so make sure you check if you have any emails linked to your domain and where they are hosted.
- Check that your hosting set up meets your requirements. Before you commit to a hosting package, make sure that it offers you enough space, bandwidth etc. If you’re running a content management system like WordPress, is the server compatible? Your supplier should be able to answer all of these questions but it is good to know what to ask them.
We hope you find the above useful. Transferring your website hosting to another agency or supplier needn’t be an uphill struggle. Above all, good communication is key. Most providers will be cooperative when they are kept in the loop.
If you’re experiencing any hosting-related issues then feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll see if we can help.