All posts tagged “Downtime”

40 Free Web Services & Tools To Monitor Website Downtime

There are plenty of tools and web services are available to check website uptime and downtime. However, it is quite difficult to choose which service or tool provides the most accurate results. Plus, not all of these services and tools are useful. In this collection, we have put together 30 useful web services and tools that can help you monitor website uptime and downtime. Monitoring a website round the clock is not possible. These tools help you determine your website downtime so that you can quickly fix things up when needed.

Here is the full collection after the jump. We hope that you will like this collection and find these web services and tools helpful for you. Do share your views and opinions with us via comment section below.

Pingdom

Pingdom offer website monitoring with the FREE version of the pro service including Real User Monitoring, reports, alerts, analysis and a lot more.

Host-tracker

Be the first to know when your website is down.

Uptimerobot

50 Monitors, Checked Every 5 Minutes, Totally Free.

Monitor.us

FREE Website Monitoring & Monitoring Software from Monitor.Us.

Internetseer

InternetSeer is the world’s largest website monitoring service, providing accurate and reliable free hourly website monitoring to over 2.2 million websites worldwide.

Siteuptime

Siteuptime provides website monitoring services. Receive instant email and SMS alerts when your website becomes unavailable. View detailed uptime statistics and performance reports for your website monitors.

Website-Monitor

Free website monitoring program for Windows. Monitor and log your website uptime with this 100% free software.

Uppanel

upPanel.com is a free website monitoring ser`vice that watches your websites and alert you if one becomes unavailable.

Anturis

The cloud-based monitoring & troubleshooting solution for web services and IT infrastructure. Create your free account and get started.

Free-Backup.Info

Easy and free service to keep an eye on your website. Advanced technology watches your site form multiple locations across the country to ensure that your website stays up 24/7. It literally takes 20 seconds to implement, it’s cost free and spam free.

Service Uptime

Website Pulse

Web server and web site monitoring services. Instant alerts via pager, phone and e-mail. Make sure your eBusiness is functioning 24/7. Real-time web based statistics and performance reports. Global worldwide monitoring stations. Free service.

Basicstate

Free web site uptime monitor service server and network failure alerts.

SDL Website Monitor

A collection of scripts that allow a website to be monitored and/or tested. The monitor allows you to record pages by clicking through your site from your browser. These can then be periodically checked to ensure they are available and correct.

Zabbix

Zabbix is an enterprise-class open source distributed monitoring solution for networks and applications.

Uptimedog

Free uptime monitoring service. Monitors availability of your website every 2 minutes 24/7/365.

Ping Alive

Keep your site loading quickly and monitor its response times.

Ez Website Monitoring

EZ Website Monitoring provides a free online tool for keyword tracking, uptime monitoring, and error checking for your website.

Mazecore

Through the use of modern technologies in the field of search engine optimization, MazeCore can effectively promote your website in the top search engine results with minimal cost in a short time.

Free Web Monitoring

Free Web Site Monitoring. Monitor your web site’s availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with instant email alerts and weekly web site performance statistics.

Up Timespy

Sitebeak

Free service to watch your domain around the clock and ensures that your website is up and running.

Statuscake

Newrelic

Free server monitoring. Monitor server resources that impact application performance with New Relic Server. Runs on Linux and Windows.

Premium Tools

Are My Sites Up

SIMPLE Website monitoring. When your websites go down, be the first to know.

Siteprobe

checks the status of your website hourly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Visual Site Monitor

VisualSiteMonitor.com provides website monitoring services. Receive instant email notices when your website becomes unavailable and view detailed uptime statistics and performance reports for your website monitors.

100pulse

100pulse Monitoring service is to monitor websites for downtime and response time. Keep in touch with your portal’s status and responsiveness through our free and paid services.

Hyperspin

Remote website, web server,server monitoring from worldwide locations with email, SMS and mobile push alerts.

Alertsite

AlertSite – Superior Website Monitoring. Receive up-to-the-second alerts and reports on costly Web, Mobile and API slowdown or outages. Start a free trial.

Servermojo

Free dedicated server monitoring and notification service.

Dotcom-Monitor

Remotely monitor the performance and uptime of your network, servers and applications. Dotcom-Monitor Application Performance Monitoring (APM) SaaS.

Internet Vista

Remotely monitors web sites and Internet services for availability (http, https, smtp, ftp, dns, pop, imap, smtp, nntp, tcp, udp, ping, mysql). Notifications sent via email and SMS. Monitoring centres in United States and Europe. Free service available.

Uptrends

Uptrends hosted website, server and transaction monitoring services. Receive alerts. Maximize uptime. Free 4 week trial.

Wormly

Wormly offers server monitoring, website monitoring and uptime monitoring to keep you online and performing fast. Remote monitoring from outside the firewall alerts you when failures occur, while internal server health monitoring reveals problems before they cause downtime.

Open Tracker

Opentracker is a competitively priced best-of-breed solution for Web Analytics, Mobile App Analytics, Website Lead Capture and other big-data traffic reporting. Our goal is to provide the best, most informative, and most straight-forward analytics solution available.

Montools

Free website uptime monitoring and alert service. Free email alerts, sms alerts, twitter alerts, multiple monitoring locations, and more.

Site24x7

Site24x7 offers both free & paid website monitoring services. Monitor websites remotely and receive instant email/sms alerts if your website becomes unavailable. View uptime & performance graphs of your website monitors.

Livewatch

Server monitoring, Website monitoring, Server-monitoring, Uptime monitoring – Alert via e-mail, SMS and telephone.

Binary Canary

Free 15 minute, or paid 1 minute monitoring service – Website monitoring, Server monitoring, Email monitoring, router monitoring by BinaryCanary.com


SmashingApps.com

How Marshmallow Laser Feast turns downtime into inspiration

Read more about How Marshmallow Laser Feast turns downtime into inspiration at CreativeBloq.com


vimeo: 85673289 Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) is Memo Akten, Robin McNicholas and Barney Steel: a trio working at the intersection of art and technology, creating spectacular shows and installations, both for commercial clients and as works of art.
    




Creative Bloq

5 tips for making the most of your downtime

Read more about 5 tips for making the most of your downtime at CreativeBloq.com


01. Don’t be a martyr Make sure you have some downtime to begin with. If you’re an employee, take all the holiday that’s available to you. Don’t be a hero about regularly working 18 hours a day for a week – it’ll come back to bite you. If you’re self-employed, build in periods for rest or personal projects.
    




Creative Bloq

TemplateMonster Website Downtime – Sorry for the Inconveniences

TemplateMonster website downtime. What has happened?
Template Monster Blog

Freelancers: How To Change Your Professional Focus With Minimal Downtime

As you progress through your career as a freelance designer, you may discover that the kind of work you’ve been happily doing for years just isn’t cutting it anymore. Maybe you’re a web designer, but really want to do consulting, or go from writing front end code to working as a more intensive back end developer.

Maybe your clients have pushed you to the brink, enough to quit dealing with clients altogether and switching to working behind the scenes to produce a product based on your knowledge or personal ideas. Switching over from one type of work to another can alienate potential clients who want to hire you for your normal freelancing work, and that can wreak havoc on your bank account, your reputation, and even the quality of your work, at least in the transition stages.

Luckily, there are a few steps to follow to make sure you aren’t undercutting your own chances of success. Here’s how you can change your professional focus with ‘minimal downtime’.

Save Up Some Money First

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget when you’re nearly at the point of chewing your own arm off to get away from a job or a client roster you hate. Before you decide to go from one area of focus to another, you’ll want to make sure you have enough of a financial cushion to rest on just in case things get difficult.

That may mean you’ll have to take on a couple more of your normal client jobs for the next few months, and also cut back on your spending. Keeping a budget is helpful for many reasons, not the least of which is making it easier to get by without your normal workload.

And don’t forget to adjust your income for taxes if necessary. Depending on what you’re going to be doing next, you’ll need to make sure you’re making enough to pay your income taxes and any other required fees.

Keep The Cashflow Secure

If you’re just making the leap, it’s a good idea to retain some means of income that’s separate from your new business. If a job is relatively painless to do, and you’re getting much needed income from it, there’s really no good reason to discard it before it’s time.

It may seem like you’re wasting your time, but trust me, the longer you take to plan for your new career path, the smoother the transition will be. Which brings me to my next point.

Plan Your Escape

Always have a concrete, specific plan of action when making any major career moves. Don’t just leap from one business venture to another without considering all the possible outcomes. Of course, you want to figure out the logistics of how you’ll be supporting yourself and/or your family but there are other things to consider as well.

Among the most important: your place within your new chosen industry. Is this new service or product of yours in high enough demand that it will sell to enough customers? How are you going to market yourself? Can you use your old networking connections to procure new work?

Sometimes we dream of making the switch to doing something else, and by the time we actually do it, it turns out that we had miscalculated what would actually be involved in terms of selling and marketing.

Start Small and Test Often

A gradual transition is key. Start small and gradually work your way up to your ultimate goal. For example, if you’re planning on writing a book, you can start with a blog, and slowly start compiling your posts into book form.

Take on a few new projects every month; go outside your normal pool of potential clients and start courting the types of people you’d like to work with next. Also, test, test, test. If you’re not sure whether something will actually work, it’s a lot less painful to run a small test for a few months than dive in and devote a year or two to a full-blown development and launch.

For example, if you want to try selling an information-based product, like a course or paid tutorial series, rather than creating the entire thing in one go, try creating a shortened version of it and releasing it quickly to see if there’s any demand. Don’t simply take it on faith that you’re right about something, or that you’re wrong. When in doubt, always experiment.

Change of Identity

If practical, you may find it helpful to change the name under which you do business. This can be your personal alias, or simply your brand name. A name change will make a clear separation between your old and new work, and can also allow you to start over fresh, without bringing over any client-related baggage to your new enterprise.

You’d be surprised at how much of a difference a new name will make, not just for your business, but to your personal sense of identity as a working professional. This is also a perfect time to ditch any embarrassing names you may have felt stuck with ever since you chose it many years back.

Going from “digiboy2000” (worst case scenario) to something a bit more professional will give both you and your business a new lease on life. If you can’t change your name or you don’t particularly want to, you can always adopt a new name under your professional “umbrella” that specifically caters to your new work.

It’s up to you to decide whether to link the old work to the new. Sometimes this won’t make as much sense as you’d think. Some potential clients might get the wrong idea and make requests that are inappropriate for what you want to do next.

Say Goodbye To Your Old Work

So you’ve planned out your goals and your financial ducks are all in a row. It’s time to make your transition permanent. Make sure your past clients know what you’re up to now (it’s a good idea to keep them in the loop with a short email every quarter or so). You never know when they might be able to assist you in some way you hadn’t thought of.

Potential clients need to be aware that you are definitely no longer available for your previous type of commissioned work. It’s can be tough to have these conversations, especially if they’re offering you a tempting paycheck. But waffling on your decision to quit your old line of work sends the signal that you’re wishy-washy and this can have a negative impact on your professional reputation.

In Conclusion

One final caveat: you will likely lose a bit of income at first, especially when you bid your last client goodbye. But it doesn’t have to be as much as many freelancers fear, especially if you follow the steps above.

It’s been said that success in any business is mostly determined by how willing you are to make yourself uncomfortable. The earlier and more often you get the tough stuff out of the way, the easier time you will have in your new business venture. Good luck!


    


hongkiat.com

Microsoft apologizes for Outlook, ActiveSync downtime, says error overloaded servers

In a lengthy update to its service status page, Microsoft has explained the causes and resolutions to the extended downtime Outlook.com and Exchange ActiveSync users experienced earlier this week. The company says that it has “restored service so all customers should have normal access from all of their devices,” though as The Next Web notes, there is still an issue for “a small percentage of mobile users” as of this writing.

Microsoft’s explanation details the triage work system administrators needed to go through to identify and resolve the outage. The main issue was “a failure in a caching service that interfaces with devices using Exchange ActiveSync.” That failure caused a cascade effect where devices flooded Microsoft’s servers…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Nowhere to Nowhere: A rare look at how two professional cyclists handle the mentally exhausting downtime between races

Nowhere to Nowhere


At its core, professional cycling is a beautiful exercise in pairing physical fitness with mental strength. While the majority of media coverage given to the rigorous sport focuses on efforts to cut time and win races, the difference between claiming a stage and…

Continue Reading…


Cool Hunting

5 Steps to Migrating Website Without (or Minimal) Downtime

Numerous emerging technologies make it exceedingly easy to move a website from one host to another. However, no matter how fast the speed of transfer, the average customer may experience some downtime during the transfer process. Depending on what goes on behind the scenes, the transfer of DNS servers between the old and new web hosts can cause a domain to go dark for between for 12 to 72 hours after the request for such a change is submitted to the new registrar.

(Image Source: Fotolia)

Combined with the need to transfer website files, restore important databases, and get every software installations and subdomain configurations in working order, it can take up to a day of inactivity before your site is fully functioning again. There are, however, some pretty great tricks to avoid disaster when transferring a website to a new host server. These tips are relatively easy to do as long as the site’s administrator has a general understanding of cPanel, IP addresses, and more advanced FTP login routines that will enable them to work on a new web hosting plan’s configuration before DNS is altered and transferred to the new host.

At the end of the day, if the average customer is completely unaware of any changes being made behind the scenes, then the mission is a success!

1. Complete Your Move Before Cancelling

Do not cancel an existing web hosting plan before the move is complete.

The most common mistake made by web tie administrators who are new to web hosting in general, or new to transferring their websites between servers, is that they almost immediately contact their old host to inform them of their decision to move their services to a new company’s servers.

(Image Source: Fotolia)

While it’s certainly a good idea to inform the old web host in a timely manner about future changes, doing so before the transition has been expertly executed can result in not just downtime, but a complete loss of files and database information from the moment a cancellation is requested.

Hold that Call

Web hosting companies generally cancel a plan almost immediately – as in as soon as the customer’s call has ended – without waiting for the expiry of the current month’s service or subscription fee. This is seen as serving the consumer’s best interest, as they get an immediate and prorated refund of any remaining fees.

However, it also means that the company will virtually trash every shred of information that has been uploaded to the server during their time with the company. There will be no opportunity, in many cases, to retrieve these files and move them to the new web hosting company’s server or shared hosting plan in time.

That’s the kind of downtime that is extremely hard to recover from, as it potentially means a loss of all content and subscriber data, as well as commercial losses and customer payment details for some websites.

What To Do

Once a new hosting plan has been secured, transfer all files before canceling the existing hosting plan held by the old company. It might be a good idea to allow the website to run on the new company’s servers for a few days just to ensure that nothing was overlooked during the move.

When everything has been verified as properly transitioned, only then should the old hosting plan be cancelled.

2. Downloading your Backup Files

Login to cPanel and obtain compressed backups of website files and database information.

For pure ease of use, customers moving to a new web host should ensure that both the new and old hosting companies employ the same web-based administration technology. Typically, this will be a choice between cPanel and the slightly less-popular PleskPanel website control panel.

Aligning the technology employed by both hosts is the easiest way to ensure that data can be quickly backed up and restored in just as quick a fashion. For the cPanel control panel option, which is virtually the standard in web hosting, customers should navigate to their domain with the 2082 port number attached.

For reference, it looks like this in a web browser’s address bar: http://my-site.com:2082. Alternatively, http://my-site.com/cpanel might work for some websites:

Locate the Backup Page

After successfully logging into the cPanel interface, locate a group of settings and control panel pages labeled “Backup.” This contains tools to backup the site’s main “public_html” folder as well as any subdomains. Additionally, the tools here will assist web hosting customers in the backup of their MySQL databases for restoration to the new server.

Find the “Download Backups” option within this grouping, and click through to the relevant cPanel administration page.

Downloading Backups

On this page, cPanel will break down the available backups by type. A full-site backup is available; they should download that file so that it can be uploaded to a different host later. There will also be backup files specific to every subdomain within the website. These are generally optional, since the full website backup will contain all of that information, but to be safe, you can download these as well.

In a separate area on the same backup downloads page, customers can secure a compressed backup of every MySQL database individually. Each database should be downloaded in its compressed format. These will be uploaded to the new server to create matching database names at a later time.

Do not Decompress!

During this process, be sure not to decompress any of the downloaded backup files. This is because this process will be completed by the new server when the file is uploaded by the customer.

For Mac OS X users, ensure that Safari is not set to automatically open so-called “safe” file extensions after download. Doing so will ensure that the file remains uncompressed and ready for quick restoration. When all of the compressed backup files are secured, log out of the old host cPanel installation and head over to the new host’s version of the popular website administration software.

3. Making the Transfer

Begin uploading the compressed backup files to the new server.

Virtually every web hosting company will, after receiving the first month’s fee, send an email bearing information like the domain name servers and IP address details for the new hosting plan. This IP address can be used to view the website’s content before DNS propagation, and to access the individual FTP account and cPanel administration interface before changes are made.

Logging In

Find this email and look for the relevant IP address. If a cPanel link has not been specifically included, assume that either “/cpanel” or the “:2082″ port suffix can be added to that IP address in order to enable an administrative login.

Upon logging into the new server’s cPanel iteration, locate the backup tools mentioned in Step 2 then navigate to the Backup Downloads page. At the page, locate the file-upload box associated with the full-site backup. This will often be labeled as a “Backup Restore” feature. Select the full-site backup file that was downloaded from the old web hosting company to begin the upload process.

After the file is completely uploaded, the webpage will refresh and file-specific details will be displayed on a line-by-line basis as each file is moved into place. When this second page stops loading, the process is complete. Locate the browser’s “back” button to return to the previous page and begin the database restoration process in pretty much the same fashion. When all of the information is transferred, it’s time to adjust some settings and begin the actual seamless transition process behind the scenes.

4. Make Sure the Databases Work Properly

One thing to note is that the database backup files do not contain information about the usernames, passwords, and permissions associated with each MySQL database. This information will need to be entered within the MySQL Databases interface within cPanel.

Prefix Matter

Also, note the prefix assigned to each database within cPanel. In case of discrepancies, (e.g. "jsmith_wordpress" vs "jsm_wordpress"), the prefixes will need to be changed in the configuration file of each software application which connects to that database.

All Relevant Info

Add all of the relevant users, passwords, and permissions, and then make any necessary edits to system files by logging into the FTP account via the website’s IP address. This will ensure smooth operation of the software once the domain name has been transferred to show the new host’s files instead of those located at the old company. Once that is done, everything is in place and ready to function perfectly.

All that needs to be changed now is the information which tells the domain which of the two hosting accounts’ files to display to the end user.

5. Switch To New Name Servers

Tell the domain registrar to use new domain name servers

The final step of the process is simply to tell the domain name to show files and data on a different server than the one in current use. This is done by logging into the domain registration control panel provided by the domain registrar (services like GoDaddy or Hover, for example).

Within this control panel, a heading or sidebar item named “Domain Name Servers” should show up, and the current information placed into that area should look like this:

NS1.OLD-WEBHOST.COM
NS2.OLD-WEBHOST.COM

These need to be replaced with the new name servers (also found in the email) for the new host. (If this information is not found, navigate to the host’s support section, browse their documentation or get in touch with a representative who can provide the server details.)

Changes to the DNS records will take effect in 12 to 24 hours in most cases, though some have experienced as little as six hours. During this time, both the new and old websites will function properly, and customers will see identical content no matter which hosted files are presented.

Wait For Complete Propagation

Do keep in mind that posting content before propagation is complete might result in lost content or data after the new host files are active. While downtime won’t be an issue, website owners should refrain from making any changes to a site’s design, files, or content, until they’re completely sure that the process is complete and they’re accessing the new host server.

When that becomes the case, the process of transferring a website seamlessly to a new web hosting provider is complete and users will have survived the transition without a second of downtime.

Wrap Up

Be sure to test the website and ensure that all features are working properly; when everything is working just like it used to, then you can cancel the old hosting plan. That’s all there is to it!

Related posts:

  1. How to (Automatically) Backup Your Website into Dropbox
  2. Beginner’s Guide to Website SSL Certs
  3. 5 Essential cPanel Settings for Beginners
  4. 5 Steps to More Accurate and Efficient Google Search


hongkiat.com

Minimizing Downtime: Tips for Transferring Websites to a New Host

It’s certainly not a fun process, but moving a website between servers sometimes becomes necessary. In fact, in recent years, it has become an even more necessary and popular task among many website owners and administrators. That’s because prices continue to decrease for basic shared web hosting, while demand increases among medium-sized and larger websites for virtual servers and dedicated server products. This follows a sort of natural progression online, where websites start with shared hosting products and then slowly “move up the ranks” through virtual and dedicated servers as they require a larger scaled operation. While it’s a great feeling to finally outgrow shared hosting, the process of transferring files can often lead to downtime if a move is not properly planned and expertly executed.

Luckily, there are some great ways to ensure that downtime during a server move is a thing of the past. A combination of control panel interfaces, careful planning, and advancements in DNS propagation technology have all combined to make it easier than ever to move a website from one host to another, or from one hosting product to an even better one.

Before the Move: Make Sure the New Server and Hosting Plan is Appropriate

One of the biggest debates that any web hosting customer faces when purchasing a new plan for their website is the choice between Linux and Windows-based servers, and the technologies that accompany each operating system. Open-source Linux operating systems are most commonly associated with things like PHP and MySQL, and those technologies are instrumental in running popular content management software solutions like WordPress. Windows servers, conversely, are more tightly associated with Microsoft’s own proprietary databases and programming languages. This includes the Microsoft SQL Server and programming languages like ASP.

The best way to prevent unexpected downtime and major technological hurdles during the transfer of files is to ensure that the Windows or open-source nature of any existing plan is maintained at the new host, or on the new server. Windows users will likely want to stick with a Windows-based plan when they move, and the same is true of Linux hosting customers. If a transition between either technology is required by a website operator, then an adequate planning and transition period must be allowed for. This will give the website time to transfer its database information, software solutions, and web designs, to new technology in advance. This kind of foresight is what makes a site resilient even as it shuffles between the major competing technologies offered at most web hosts.

Performing the Move: Create and Restore Website Backups Between the Old and New Servers

One of the great things about both cPanel and Plesk Panel is that they allow for the quick generation, download, and upload of full website and database backups. This makes it easy to create a tightly-compressed backup of website files at the old host, and then upload those files at the new host using the same directory structure. With backups generated within the administration area of the website, the compressed file is simply expanded onto the new server. This means that every file, directory, and subdirectory is perfectly moved from the old plan to the new one, without any manual moves required within an FTP client or file manager.

The same is true of databases within both Plesk Panel and cPanel. While databases are not backed up using the same site-wide file and directory backup process, they can be individually compressed and downloaded for easy transfer. Just like the file backup process, the restoration of these database backups will result in the exact replication of existing tables and cells, as well as the data contained within them. The only drawback of database backups is that they must be done in a case-by-case basis, and restored individually. There is simply no way to backup and restore all databases at the same time. That being said, however, the process is still exceedingly easy in most cases.

More Database Considerations: Ensuring Connections and Information Consistency During the Move

Generally, backing up a database and restoring its information to a new server is the easy part of the moving process. What is a bit more difficult is ensuring that the new database can “connect.” It’s also a bit challenging to prevent lost information as a database is often moved to the new server before the DNS propagates. There are a few easy ways to prevent this type of “crossed wires” when executing a successful, downtime-free website move.

First and foremost, website operators will need to pay careful attention to the database’s name, users, and passwords. The actual name of the database, such as “wordpress,” will be transferred during the restoration of a backup file. However, many hosts will prefix the database name differently. Some prefer to use no prefix, while others will prefix it with the account holder’s username or the primary domain name of the web hosting account. This change will cause applications like WordPress to “lose” the database connection. This, in turn, will lead to connection errors and an inability to display the website’s content, comments, and even the site’s design. Furthermore, usernames and passwords for each database are not transferred via a backup. They must be created and updated manually by the website’s administrator.

Once new users are created, and once the database name’s new prefix has been noted, every application that previously had database access will need to be updated accordingly. This means the manual editing of files like WordPress’ wp-config.php, and similar ones for other web applications that might be in use by a website administrator. Every database name will have to be changed to reflect the new prefix and, if there have been any changes in the username or password, those will need to be updated as well.

Maintaining Consistency: Closing Down Interactions and Edits on the Old Site

One of the keys to a successful website relocation is to ensure that there are no posts, comments, or other data, lost during the transition process. Because altering a DNS record can take between one and three days to fully process and propagate, this often means not posting new content or enabling new comments on the old website for a brief period of time. Instead, authors should focus on posting content to the new website (via an IP address, if necessary), allowing that content to appear to users only when they can see the new website. This not only prevents “crossed wires” and lost communication, but it also is a good indication of when the new website has begun to display to users instead of the site’s old version on the previous server.

Using popular content management solutions, and popular discussion forums, website administrators can close down things like new forum posts or comments on blog entries. This can be done only on the old website, and it can be enacted after the database has been backed up and transferred to the new location. Though it might be considered a minor inconvenience, disabling comments temporarily on the old site is the best way to ensure that all voices are heard and no feedback is lost during the transition.

Avoiding a Common Mistake: Do Not Cancel Old Hosting Before the New DNS Has Propagated

In the 21st century, virtually every web hosting company offers instant setup, or near-instant setup, with a new web hosting product. That’s a great convenience, and it means that the file transfer process can begin almost as soon as payment is processed on the new hosting product or web server. This leads a number of web hosting customers to do what they perceive to be the “responsible” and “affordable” thing. As soon as they receive notification that their new hosting product is setup, they’ll call their old host to cancel services. In some cases, they’ll wait to do this until after all files and databases have been transferred. Either way, however, canceling a hosting package before the DNS alterations have propagated is a major folly on behalf of website administrators.

One thing to keep in mind is that virtually every web hosting company will consider a request a hosting account to be an “immediate” or “urgent” request. To that end, they’ll often close an account as soon as the customer instructs them to do so, whether or not that account is in the middle or beginning of its current billing cycle. That can lead to serious problems for almost every website operator, as all files and databases become instantly inaccessible. It’s a common mistake, and it’s a big problem among those executing their first website move.

Instead of canceling a hosting plan at the exact moment that a new company sets up the new server, website administrators should be patient. There is really no distinct urgency when it comes to closing down an old web hosting account, especially because its files will soon be inaccessible to common internet users anyway. Leave this account open while the file and database transfer process proceeds. Continue to leave it open as the DNS propagates around the Internet. And leave the old web hosting account active and open for a few days after the move has been completed to the new server.

As with any major move — online or offline — there are sometimes things that have been forgotten in the old location. Whether it’s a missing database or email account, or even a missing file or directory, access should be maintained to the old server for at least an extra week. This will allow the website’s administrator ample time to ensure the integrity of the new website. It will also prevent any permanently lost files, which might otherwise lead to downtime, data loss, or visitor inconvenience.

The Key to a Well-Executed Move is Testing, Testing, Testing

Moving a website to a new server or hosting package isn’t necessarily difficult, but it is certainly quite tedious. Because large websites can often involve hundreds or thousands of files, and virtually countless database records, website administrators and authors should extensively text the new server before the domain’s DNS record is even altered to point to the new account. This is crucial to the overall success of the website, especially as it concerns preventing downtime and ensuring easy access to the site’s old and new content.

Be on the lookout for things like 404 error pages or resolution errors, as well as any error messages that might be thrown by a PHP, ASP, or database instance. Remember that moving files to a new sever can often cause their paths to change, and this can lead to misplaced data and a whole host of problems that, while easy to fix, are also intrusive and inconvenient.

It’s probably a good idea for at least one website administrator to go through each web application installed to the server and verify every single path and setting, ensuring that everything was properly carried over from the previous installation. In fact, in some cases, it might even be a good idea to install a “fresh” copy of each application like WordPress and major discussion forums, manually setting the options and reinstalling plugins. This eliminates any chance that the server’s old settings are having an impact on the software’s performance at the new web host or server setup.

Finally, Be Open About the Website Relocation Process with Readers

Some websites try to perform a server move “under cover of darkness,” making the entire process a secret. They figure that this is possible because they can expertly prevent downtime and lost data, and users will never know the difference. Of course, if any small thing goes wrong, users are caught off guard and they’re generally less than understanding.

Rather than performing a top secret website relocation, interact with readers directly and inform them of the upcoming transition process. Explain that any downtime would be against the odds, and that the site will likely not suffer any outages or modifications in its functions during the process. Ask them to be understanding during this time, and they likely will be. Open, honest communication, is the key to success in this area.

With all of the above bases covered, the website will be able to transition to its new environment with ease. Administrators will enjoy their better value, bigger space, and increased scalability, while users will appreciate a well-executed transition and a website that successfully grows to meet their demands.



Speckyboy Design Magazine