Avoiding the Web Hosting Nightmare - Moving a Site, Dedicated IPs and SSL
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Moving an existing site
Moving a new web host is almost like switching bank accounts. You don’t want that lapse in “funds” while you are moving your “money” to another account, especially if there are outstanding payments. This analogy may be a bit off, but there is a point here where it is related. It’s a royal pain in the derričre to move your bank account or your websites. Nobody likes having to do either.
You should find out if your files are first compatible with the new host’s server, operating system, even script versions. You don’t want to find out later that in order for your files to work, your host will have to upgrade their version of whichever script is a problem.
If you’re not especially technical, you may find that a new web host that requires you to move your own files and configure them is really not going to be in your best interest. You will want to ask whether or not the new host will transfer your websites for you. Some will, while others will not. Many times, these questions are not answered until AFTER you’ve paid them, so it’s a good idea to ask them before you shell out the dough.
Dedicated IPs and SSL
One thing that may not occur to you to ask is what the new web host’s requirement on getting a dedicated IP or whether they will configure the SSL to be on your root account only, or for all domains; use your own https domain or a shared SSL account. These issues are important to you especially if you have an e-commerce website. If a web hosting company is stingy with dedicated IPs, then find out why.
The host my friend went with told her in live support beforehand that she could get a dedicated IP for only an extra buck a month. But what they failed to tell her is that they don’t issue dedicated IPs for any reason other than if she had her own SSL certificate, which had to be installed on the root. You might want a dedicated IP for the sheer reason of not being able to know which websites were also associated with my IP. From an SEO standpoint, you could really be paying for someone else’s mess. It shouldn’t make a difference why you want a dedicated IP. It should be available to you if you want it.
Another point here is to ask if they can install SSL certificates on addon domains. Many do not. If you are thinking about moving your website to a new host as an addon domain, and have your own SSL certificate, then stop and ask the question.
My friend could have ended up having to have another hosting account so that she could have the domain that needed the SSL certificate which she owned set as the root domain. She cancelled the account instead.
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More By Jennifer Sullivan Cassidy