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Getting Ready to Move to CP Webhosting

Changed Website Host?

In many cases, your website is the first and only thing that your customer sees (besides, hopefully, your product after they make a purchase). This is especially true if your company does not have a real-world presence such as a store or office. Thus it is important that your website be available to your visitors (and customers if your site is commercial) twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Not only must it be available, but your website must load quickly. If your host computer is too slow, it doesn't matter how much you optimize your graphics and HTML, cut down page sizes and perform other actions.

Other features must work properly. These include CGI routines, autoresponders, PHP, ASP and SSI scripts, and, very importantly, shopping carts and credit card services. Of course only if you use these optional features, as most peoples sites won't require them.

All of this is so important that you must keep an eye on your site. I have programs running all the time to monitor my servers. These programs ping my servers occasionally to determine if they are up. Any errors are reported to my email inbox. Why do I do this? Two
reasons: (a) it's critical that my servers be online all of the time, and (b) these programs provide a third-party record of any downtime, which is useful when refunding our 99.9% uptime.

These programs also measure response time, which is very useful to determine how well our servers respond to your users browsing requests. These two factors, uptime and response time, are the most critical measures of web site performance. A consistently bad number in either measure is more than enough reason to find another host so we try to do everything possible to stop that from happening.

Of course, if your CGI routines stop working mysteriously or your autoresponders stop responding, then, by all means, shoot off a trouble ticket to us. You have a right to expect these types of issues to be quickly and politely fixed.

Getting Ready to Move to

There are a number of tasks that you should be performing on a regular basis. There can be many reasons to change web hosts. It could be that your old hosts are suddenly sold and their level of service drops or they upgrade their computers which cause a series of new problems. You can be sure that you will only find out about these things when your website stops working or becomes unstable.

Another reason to be performing regular maintenance tasks is the possibility of disasters. A hacker could deface or even destroy your website. Your credit card could be closed, which might cause your host to close down your site until you pay. Any number of other disasters could occur, which make it very imperative that you have a continual set of procedures in place to be prepared for anything.

What do you need to do regularly?

Monitor your site – As I stated earlier, be sure you ping your site to keep an eye on your website. That way you will know immediately if something happens.

Backup your site – You should perform all edits to your pages on your own computer and upload them to your site. Never edit your site pages directly. This, by its very nature, ensures that a copy of your site always exists on your own computer system.

However, you may also have databases stored on your website which do not originate from your computer. These might include mailing lists, demographic data, links and other similar things. These items must all be copied to your own hard drive on a regular basis.

You can set up your favorite FTP program to do scheduled downloads of selected databases, or you can just manually copy them on a regular basis.

In addition, your web host should be backing your site up daily. In many instances, these backups are available to you as downloadable zip files. Be sure and copy these down to your system once in a while – perhaps once a week.

Don't forget about such things as autoresponders, CGI routines and anything else which you may enter at your site control panel. You must ensure that you have a backup of everything.

Keep a log – Be sure you know everything that you've done to your site. You should list all of your autoresponders and their names, track any subdomains which you have set up, and anything else which you may do. This way if you have to change you can recreate your site quickly and efficiently.

Moving To Host

If you are lucky, you get to make the choice of moving. In that case, you can simply upload your new site, get it all working, then transfer the domain and cancel the old site. This gives you a large amount of control because you don't have to transfer the domain and cancel until you are happy with, we give you 30 days money back.

If for some reason your web host has cut off access to your site, then you have to move fast. This is where the monitoring services come in handy – you know immediately when your site fails.

These are the steps to follow.

1) Ideally you are the one making this determination. Of course, if your web host decides for you, then you have to perform the rest of these steps very quickly because you are down.

2) If you need a storefront, shopping cart and/or merchant status, be sure you resolve any issues you may have before laying out any money. You can check out our service after you have signed up.

3)Get the right size package, but the minimum amount of time (one to three months if your budget is tight). This gives you some time to check us out without laying out too much money up front.

4) Once the site is active, start uploading files.

5) Modify any scripts as necessary. Test all of them to be sure they work.

6) Upload any autoresponders and set up your email forwarding as desired.

7) Create any subdomains, if you use this feature.

8) Of course, set up any databases. If your other site is still active, then just load the databases on the new site with data from the most recent backup – you just want the data for testing purposes. If it's not active, then load the databases with the most recent values you have.

9) Set up your storefront, merchant services and credit card processing, if necessary. Test as thoroughly as you can.

10) Once everything works and is tested, transfer the domain to our DNS Servers, NS1.CPWEBHOSTING.NET and NS2.CPWEBHOSTING.NET.

11) If you have the option, freeze your databases on the old site about 12 hours after transferring the domain. Disable all activity to the old databases, then copy to the new site at

12) Once the domain transfers (usually a day or two) test thoroughly again. Unfreeze the databases as soon as you can.

13) Once everything works, cancel the old account.

14) Depending upon the circumstances of the move, demand a partial or full refund. It does not matter what the hosting companies policies are – presumably you moved because they were not fulfilling their contract. This means they are in breach of contract, so demand your money back.

15) If they will not give it back (and they probably won't), check with your credit card company to see what your options are
– if you've paid within 60 days via credit card, you may be able to get the credit card company to get your money back for you. This is where your monitoring logs come in very handy (assuming downtime or response time was the reason you left) – you can prove your case using third party data. Try not to do this too often, as your credit card company will not like this and will then tend to side with the old host.

16) Why the focus on getting a refund? Because the hosting company did not provide contracted services – and no one should be rewarded for failure to fulfill their contract. The only real weapon you have is your money. Demand a refund.

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