Transferring a website from one web host to another may seem tedious, but fear not there are other ways than doing it manually, file by file. If you’d like to take the easy way out, check if your new host offers to move your website to their servers. Sometimes they’ll do it for free other times they might charge a fee for it. I personally wouldn’t pay more than $10 for a service like that, but that’s just me. If they don’t offer a service like that you can always ask them and they might do it.
If you’re looking for a new webhost, I recommend Downtown Host.
Doing it Manually
This is pretty self-explanatory. The most basic way to transfer a site is to download the entire site by FTP, and then re-upload it to the new server. Remember to re-CHMOD script files!
Using Cpanel Backups
This is the easiest way to transfer your website to a new server. The one thing that you must have no matter what is Cpanel. Cpanel is an online Control Panel. If you don’t know if you’re using Cpanel contact your host and ask. Also if you’re being hosted for free, chances are you aren’t using Cpanel. Note to all dial-up users, this method is not recommended because of the last step. Oh and to people using the Ensim control panel. You guys can probably do the same thing, but I’m not sure if the backup files from an Ensim control panel are compatible with Cpanel or vice-versa.
First thing you need to do is download a backup. Just find the “Backup” icon or link and click on it. Then download the “Home Directory Backup” or “Today’s Backup,” along with any databases that you might be using. Note, when backing up databases try to get the back up through PHPmyadmin, there should be a link to it on your control panel. The backups will be downloaded in the “tar.gz” or “.gz” file formats.
Next you need ask your new web host to give you the IP address (example: 22.232.291.22) of the server that you’re going to be hosted on and the location of the login to Cpanel. Usually the IP address that lets you login to FTP is the same thing, but add a :2082 to the end of it (example: 22.232.291.33:2082). The reason you need to use the IP address is because you website isn’t going to instantly resolve to the new server, once you change you’re DNS servers, so you need to do transfer the files before hand, to avoid down-time.
Once you’ve logged into Cpanel on your new host. Go to the “Backup” page, and then go to the “Restore a Home Backup” field and click the “Browse…” button right next to it. Find the backup that you downloaded from your old host and select it, and click “Open.” Next, click the “Upload” button, that’s right next the “Browse…” button. It might take awhile to upload the new backup, depending on how large your site is. Once it finishes uploading, upload the backups of any SQL databases that you may have. Finally, login to your FTP and check if the files uploaded and unpacked correctly.
Don’t change your DNS server info until you’ve transferred you website to your new host.
Don’t delete your website from your old host, for at least 4 days or even at all.
Remember to re-lock your domains, once you’ve changed the DNS information.