Handling Dynamic Content During Your Web Hosting Migration
, Jan 14, 2013

Handling Dynamic Content During Your Web Hosting Migration

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Moving any type of mission-critical data from one web hosting plan to another can be daunting, but it is dynamic, database-driven content that causes the most problems. Increasingly, websites are powered almost entirely by their databases, and if a database goes offline for any period of time, you could be losing out on sales and revenue.

In most migrations, professionals recommend a crossover period. During this time, you will use your existing web hosting plan alongside your new one as domain nameservers update their records. But how should you handle your databases during propagation?

To make the migration process easier, JaguarPC provides free web hosting migration with every web hosting plan, including shared hosting, virtual servers (VPS hosting), and dedicated server hosting plans. Read on to learn about the stages involved in successfully migrating your dynamic content, and how JaguarPC keeps your database safe and your website online throughout the entire process.

Successful hosting migration begins with database backup

As with most things in life, preparation is the secret to a stress-free migration. Even with the best expertise and a clear, organized strategy for migration, things occasionally go wrong. When this happens, make sure you can retrieve your database intact.

Sometimes, a full server backup can be initiated from your browser-based control panel. Alternatively, you may need to use FTP software to manually download your files and folders onto your home desktop.

In the case of MySQL databases, phpMyAdmin is the leading tool for exporting the content of your database. phpMyAdmin is available from your cPanel installation and features clear, on-screen instructions for exporting records.

Before you remove your database from your original web hosting plan, download a copy and store it safely away, ideally on an external storage device.

Does your dynamic content still work with your new web hosting plan?

With a safe copy of your database in storage, you can transfer a copy to your new hosting plan using your browser-based control panel.

Some webmasters, and even some hosting companies, consider the hosting plan transfer the end of the migration. However, after the transfer, it is crucial to exhaustively check that your applications and pages still work correctly on your new server before it goes live.

Change application settings on your new server to point to your new database, and check every function of your website. If your migration is being handled by your hosting provider, they should give you an opportunity to check that everything works before the site goes live, or the provider should check on your behalf.

Once you are confident that your website still works, it is time to launch it. Upload a fresh copy of your database that exactly matches the one on your old hosting plan.

How to avoid data loss during domain name propagation

Whenever someone types your domain name into their browser, it is checked against a nameserver. A nameserver points the user to the hardware server that stores the website. The final stage in migration is updating nameservers so they direct visitors to the new website location.

However, when domain name settings are updated, it can take between 24 and 48 hours for settings to propagate around the Internet. During this time, some users will be sent to your new website, while others will be sent to the old one.

As a result, some users will still be adding content to your old database while others are already working with the new one. This severely damages your data integrity, and, although database merges are possible, they put your data at risk.

The secret is to configure your old web hosting plan to use the database on your new server. With this configuration, every visitor will connect to the same database, even if they access your application from different websites.

You can then confidently shut off your old web hosting plan with complete peace of mind, knowing that your data is safe, secure, and up to date.

Free migration with web hosting services from JaguarPC

Using the guidelines above, you will be able to handle your own web hosting migration, transferring files from one server to another without interrupting the availability of your website. But why spend your time on migration when we can take care of it for you?

At JaguarPC, we provide free migration with all our web hosting services. Whether you choose a shared hosting plan, a virtual private server, or a dedicated server solution, we can seamlessly move your data on request.

Of course, if you decide to carry out your own migration and need some extra help, you can always contact our technical support team 24/7/365.

For more information on JaguarPC web hosting services or to get started on your hosting migration, call 1-888-338-5261 or visit jaguarpc.com today.

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