January 8, 2015
Why it's so difficult to move a website to a different host
There are two parts to having a website, the host, and the domain name.
• The host is the easy part, it's simply a computer that connects to the internet, called a server. Just think of it as a place to send all your files to that allows them to be viewed on the internet. Back in old the *wild west* days of the internet, a lot of people did this themselves, but I never did. I have always worked with a host. The company that hosts my website, by the way, is Bluehost. And they're great. Been with them for over ten years and their service is outstanding. Highly recommended.
• The domain name is the tricky part. And it's tricky for a reason - you don't want just anybody taking your domain name! So, while it's easy to change to a different host, it's a complex process to transfer a domain name, or, as they say *point* it to a new host.
So, no matter how frustrated you get with a particular host, relax. In order to move the files to a different host, you will have find out where the domain name is registered, and deal with those people, who may or may not be the same as the host company. If you're lucky, and the hosting service also handles the domain name, you still have to work with them to get it all transferred over.
I've been working for the last couple of days with a host for a client of mine whose server is not accepting uploads of my Dreamweaver files. What started as a small update for my client has now turned into several hours of technical trouble-shooting, which of course, I can't charge for. If I could, I would just move the files over to another host, and be done with it. But, well, to do that I would have to do a lot of stuff that would take even more time, and would involve my client. I don't want to do that.
I haven't taken on new web clients for many years now, and now only support existing clients. I've seen the web grow, and evolve, and it's always been what I call *hitting a moving target*. That everything works so well is what really surprises me. There are a lot of hard-working people behind the scenes connecting wires, flipping switches, and writing code just to keep it working. I do appreciate these hard-working people, and would prefer to not be one of them.
Problems with computers tend to appear for no particular reason, and disappear for no particular reason. Relax, get a cup of coffee, and it will sort itself out! Keep trying! When it's all over, you can write something funny about it.
Posted by Brad Hall