Easy Steps to Switch Hosts Without Downtime

switch hosts

Are you unhappy with your current web host? Maybe you have found a better hosting option. *cough SURPASS cough* Whatever the case may be, there’s no reason to experience downtime when switching to a new host. Here’s a few quick, easy steps to ensure a smooth transition.

Stay with your old host

If you don’t want your website offline, stay with your old host about 48 hours after everything has been transferred to the new location. Do not tell the old host you are leaving as they may shut you down prematurely.

Join the new host

You want to find a host that has uptime guarantees and multiple hosting plans for when your website grows. Compare the specifications and features carefully, as bandwidth and disk space are very important.

Move your website files

This is an easy step but it can be time consuming based on how big your website is. Connect to your old host’s FTP and download all your website files to your computer and hard drive. Upload these files, with the same file and folder names, to your new host’s FTP. Back up your databases, then reload them to the new server.

If your current host uses the cPanel software, the Surpass transfer team can move all of your data to your new account with us free of charge as long as you purchase a hosting package which comes with cPanel. You are responsible for moving the files on your own if your former host does not use cPanel.

Avoid Lost Mail

Create all of the same email accounts with the new host that you previously had with the old host. This avoids any lost email once you change your server address. If done correctly, the email addresses with the new host will match up to the old account.

Change Your Domain Names DNS

Now you should have a copy of your site on both hosting accounts. The next step is to point your DNS to the new host. Your new host will provide you with their domain name servers. DNS usually looks something like:


Go to the company you purchased your domain from and ask them to make the DNS changes for you. Have them change your DNS from ns1.yourwebsitehere.com to ns2.yourwebsitehere.com. DNS propagation can take 24 to 48 hours to get across the internet.

Cancel Your Old Host

Whether we assist you with the data transfer or you handle the data transfer on your own, we recommend that you do not cancel your old hosting account until after all of your data and email has been setup on your new account. Also be sure DNS has been pointed to your new server and has propagated around properly. Check any broken links or anything else out of the ordinary. If you bought your domain from the old host, do not cancel the domain registration.

If you have any specific questions not covered here, please contact us as we are always here to help. Any other tips and suggestions for a smooth switch are welcomed in the comments or at our Facebook.

Jared S is Surpass’ technology writer. Follow me on Google+ and Twitter.


  1. David Pinson says:

    It’s also a good idea to make a backup of what is on the old host once the site is pointing at the new location. The reason being because mail may have come in just before the switch started to reflect. The same goes for database information. If you’re running a site that has content added by users (messageboard, image uploading, or something else along those lines), either shut it down before moving so nothing new can be added, or back it up before finally shutting down with the old host. This way you don’t lose anything that may have come in during the move.

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