Tag: site

How to Transfer Your Web Site

Occasionally I am asked by potential customers how they can transfer their website to our web hosting. There seems to be a lot of confusion as to how to go about doing this, so I figure this would make a good how to article. The first thing you need to do is decide what web hosting package you will need. Once you decided on a package you can begin to do the following steps:

Domain Registrar

In order to move your site you will need to change DNS Servers. It is not necessary to transfer your domain to your web host, but if your previous host is also your registrar, you might want to move your domain registration to a third party registrar to avoid conflicts with your previous host. It is never a good idea to move a domain that expires in less than a month, so always renew your domain at your current registrar and then move it. This way you do not risk losing your domain due to expiration.

Purchase Hosting Package

Your next step is to purchase the hosting package you want. This way you can have access to your new account via the IP address, right away. You want to get the new hosting account ahead of time. Most hosts expect you to renew before your account expires, so if you know you are moving your hosting, it is best to get the new account three to two weeks ahead of time, so you have plenty of time.

Transferring Your Files

There are multiple ways to move your files over to the new account. If your current host is a standard cPanel web host, cPanel’s Backup Panel offers the best possible way of moving your site. In the Backup Panel you can do two types of backups: Full backups and Home Directory backups. A full backup file can only be restored on your new host by your web host. For most small sites, a Home Directory backup is good enough. You can download the Home Directory backup to your own home computer. You will want to make sure that the backup file is less than 50 megabytes. It is best to have a 15 megabyte backup file, because large backup files will timeout when you try to restore them. If you have a large gallery or directory with image files, it is best to FTP these down to your home computer and remove them before creating a backup. This way your backup file is smaller. Once you have your backup file, you will need to connect to the new cPanel account by IP address and in the Backup panel, restore your backup file. It is important to note, that it is best to use the same username on your new account, this way setting files will not need to be changed. If your username is different you will run into some unexpected problems. If you are using any databases, these databases must be backed up individually and restored individually on the new account as well. Lastly if you have any subdomains these cannot be added in your new account until your old account is deleted, so you must wait to set these up.

If you are not transferring between cPanel host accounts, then the default way to transfer files is via FTP. Download all your files down from your current host and then transfer them via the IP address of your new account through FTP. Databases will still have to be backed up and restored individually.

You should add database usernames, so that your web site scripts can access their respective databases.

Changing DNS Servers

Now that you have moved your site files over, you need to change DNS Servers. This is done at your Domain Registrar. Each registrar uses their own custom site panel, so all I can say, is you need to find out how to do this exactly. It is best to change the DNS Servers overnight, so initiate the change in the evening hours and let the changes propagate around the Internet overnight.

Delete Your Old Account

At this point all that is left is to delete your data from the old account and notify the host that you are canceling the account. Once your account is removed from your old host the new account will show up immediately since DNS was already changed.

Final Changes

Once your new site is up, you just need to verify that all your website scripts work, that all pages are accessible, and that there are no errors. You can now also setup your subdomains and any email accounts you had. Once you are satisfied that everything is working, it is a good idea to make a backup.

Filed under: Web Site BasicsTagged with: , , , , , ,


Webmasters undeniably rely on web site statistics to give them a clue as to how their respective sites are doing. Statistics become important in evaluating site changes and even adding new content. For the do-it-yourself webmaster, clear and easy to use stat packages become a necessity, so obviously you want to pick the right web stats program for your site. Your choices range from web services like Google Analytics, to programs that analyse your webserver logs, such as AWStats, or you can choose a script that concentrates on what your web site activity is at the moment. Mint concentrates on just the essential statistics you need, in this way it is a good stats program for webmasters who are not interested in long term analysis. Bloggers in particular will find Mint to be a good alternative to AWStats or Google Analytics, since it can be integrated with most major web blogging scripts like WordPress. If however you are in the need of more in depth reports or eCommerce tracking, then Mint is not for you.

Unwrapped Mint

There are two ways to setup Mint. You can simply add a single line of javascript code to the head tag of your html, or in the case of WordPress, to the header.php template file. The advanced method requires that you have PHP installed as an Apache module and is harder to implement if you are not an experienced webmaster. Since Mint requires javascript, it is unable to track any visits if javascript is disabled. This is usually not a problem for most people, since javascript is now a pretty common requirement. At the time of this writing, Mint also requires Apache, PHP, and MySQL in order to run properly. Most Linux and UNIX based web servers will satisfy these requirements, but Windows servers will not work. Even with all these stipulations, I still found Mint to be an interesting and worthwhile investment.

For $30 per domain, Mint can provide real time stats and unlike other stat packages, it totally ignores bots and spammer scripts. This gives you a more accurate picture of actual hits on your site. Compared to other stats packages, I would say Mint is actually more conservative about hits. On the other side, the standard Mint stats are not very spectacular, fortunately, Mint is expandable. Its plugin architecture allows for new search panes to be added to the standard Mint stats view. These plugins are referred to as peppers. I highly recommend XXX Strong Mint, Sparks!, and Fresh View. You can find more peppers on the Peppermint Tea page.

WordPress & Mint

If you run WordPress and use ShortStat, you might be wondering if Mint is worth the price of admission. The advantage of Mint is that you can track static html pages as well as your WordPress blog. Other than that, the other big difference is that ShortStat registers way too many hits from search engines and bots as regular hits. Mint is more accurate or you might say conservative in its hit tracking. In my opinion, if you receive moderate traffic above fifty actual hits from actual visitors you probably could benefit from Mint. Technically, thirty dollars is not a lot of money these days, so Mint is a pretty good value considering how much commercial web site tracking software costs.

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Filed under: SoftwareTagged with: , , , , , ,

Yahoo! Site Explorer

Yahoo! has a new search tool for webmasters. Site Explorer lists out any site’s pages according to their popularity in the Yahoo! database. This is a good way to see how your site’s individual pages rank on Yahoo!.

You can also setup a sitemap and submit your site to Yahoo!. You can now submit feeds as well at Submit.Search.Yahoo.com/Free/Request.

For sitemaps Yahoo! accepts a plain text file at the root of your domain name. Each line should include only one url and you can name the file: urllist.txt or urllist.txt.gz (if you are using gzip compression).

Filed under: SEOTagged with: , , , ,