On more than one occasion, I received a message such as this:

Client: We are having difficulties with our web company and we’d like to move the website over to Kolbeco. See below for my domain name. So, when can you have that done? Should be just a a day or two, right? Will you let me know when it is completed?

To most, moving a website seems as though it should be as easy as moving files from one folder to another, much like you do on your computer. While at its core, moving a website it is just that –moving files from one place to another – it is more involved. A website is more than a set of files. It is your presence online and that means there are a lot of components to consider.

Here are just a few of those components:

Domain name – This is your www.[yourbusinessname].com or web address. To point this address to your new site location, you need access to what is called the registrar account. If you do not have it, there are some tools for figuring it out. You can use sites like, Better WhoIs.com, mydomain or Network Solutions  to look up your domain registry. This will work if your account is not marked private. You should get some information about the company through which your site is registered. Next you will need the login to the registrar account. If you do not know the login, make sure you have access to the e-mail address the account is setup with so you can reset the login information.

PRO TIP: When purchasing a domain always use an e-mail address that is assigned to key personnel or that you and owner of the company would have access to. Do not let someone set it up with their personal information. If you let the summer intern set up the registration with a personal email address, gaining access becomes a drawn-out process.

Web Hosting – Your site files are hosted on a web server. This could be via the same company you used to register your domain name or a separate hosting company. If you’re not sure where to start, you are most likely paying a recurring fee for your web hosting. So reviewing credit card statements and bank accounts is can point you in the right direction or try using a resource like WhoIsHostingThis? (http://www.whoishostingthis.com/) to discover the hosting company. Again you will need to have access to the e-mail account that was registered with this hosting company to gain access to the hosting account.

PRO TIP: Always store account login information in a place that is easily accessible. I have an encrypted file on my PC that has a lot of my login information. Having it at your fingertips is a huge time saver for any web-related projects.

Web Files/Platform – It is important to know how and with what platform your site was built. The platform will determine the type of web hosting service you may need UNIX vs. Windows server environment. Is your site language PHP or ASP based? You will need to get a backup of the site files and database. Your web hosting company can often do this for your our can talk you through how to accomplish using the CPanel (control panel).

PRO TIP: Most hosting companies can help you to determine the platform your site requires, or you can rely on a web development company to assess those needs
A half-tip for good measure: Get the help you need. Many web hosting services offer some assistance as part of your hosting package and some for a fee, so don’t be shy about calling them and asking for assistance. You can also seek help from a local web developer and build a relationship with a professional who can advise your move and maintain your site through into the future.

A half-tip for good measure: Get the help you need. Many web hosting services offer some assistance as part of your hosting package and some for a fee, so don’t be shy about calling them and asking for assistance. You can also seek help from a local web developer and build a relationship with a professional who can advise your move and maintain your site through into the future.

Article written by

web developer/Wordpress strategist/herder of office personalities