Relocating a website can be a nightmare for any site owner. The process is notoriously prone to database corruption, error, and data loss. For a large database, or a community with a lot of user-generated content, this kind of event is often a nerve-wracking experience. The availability of VPS hosting frequently tempts existing site owners to make the effort regardless, due to the service’s considerable advantages; VPS hosting allows superuser access to the operating system associated with an account, allowing a website owner to install virtually any software that is capable of running on that OS.
By following a few simple guidelines, of which many people are not aware, site owners can relocate their websites to a VPS account without a lot of the hassle. There are a number of ways in which the danger of errors and data loss can be reduced, allowing for a smooth transition without any hassle. Here are five easy steps to relocating to virtual private server hosting, which will help make any webmaster’s headaches a thing of the past.
- Use a Straightforward Control Panel Interface
Manual setup is available, but is also the origin of many common problems with the relocation of a website. Most site owners are better off opting for a control panel. Simple Control Panel, cPanel, and other popular control panel options allow for powerful, structured account maintenance, with all of a site owner’s options right at their fingertips. Adding a domain to a dedicated VPS hosting account through a control panel is a simple point-and-click exercise. The control panel will offer an easy-to-follow setup wizard with a few pages of instructions, which should be followed exactly and in order. The most frequently missed step comes at the end: many website owners forget to save their changes, resulting in confusion, not to mention their having to repeat the step over again.
- Use the Control Panel’s Built-in FTP Option
Each control panel option available to you will have its own built-in file transfer protocol. Such FTP interfaces often seem lightweight and limited, but this is due in part to certain aspects of the interface being handled automatically. When using an FTP option that is packaged with an account holder’s specific account, certain information will be automatically recorded. Hiccups in the process become less of an issue, and everything flows more smoothly. There may still be situations where it is desirable to use a third-party application; if the use of a particular favorite has been mastered by the VPS account’s owner, they should feel free to use it, but make sure to look up their host’s documentation and follow all steps exactly. Sometimes, a simple error (such as entering the wrong port number) can result in prolonged frustration as the error is tracked down.
While setting up files and accessing a new site for preview, the server’s IP address must be used. Nameservers have yet to be updated with the relevant information, so the domain name won’t work.
- Set Up Your DNS: Register Two Domain Hosts
This is one of the more confusing points in setting up a virtual private server. Unfortunately, the specific instructions differ somewhat depending upon where the VPS account is hosted (and where it is emigrating from). In going over this, it is important to remember that the guidelines presented by a specific hosting provider must be followed, in order and exactly.
As a general rule, two domain hosts will need to be registered with your hosting provider, which will later be used to create nameservers. At this point in the process, there may be delays, as domain host registration can sometimes take up to 48 hours to go into effect. It will often, though not necessarily, take at least one full day; this wait time varies somewhat, within a certain range, depending upon the hosting provider being used.
- Set Up Your DNS, Part Two: Register Your Hosts as Nameservers
Here again, this step is simplest when using a straightforward control panel interface, like cPanel or Simple Control Panel. The account holder will need to login to their hosting account, and expand their list of registered domains. The two hosts registered with their hosting provider must have completed the registration process before this step can be accomplished. At that point, the account holder can usually select a straightforward option, most often labeled Manage DNS. From there, they need to change their nameservers, redirecting them to the domain hosts they’ve already prepared. Nameserver type should be set to “default,” if it isn’t already.
- Set Overage Protection
Any changes made to DNS can take up to 48 hours to be reflected on the Internet, but once everything is set up, there is still the step of overage protection. Overage protection avoids costly account overruns by automatically suspending an account once its bandwidth limit has been reached. The account is, likewise automatically, restored with the start of the next month’s billing cycle, or when additional bandwidth is purchased. During the early days of a VPS hosted website, it can be difficult to know how much bandwidth to allocate to the site’s function; overage protection is an excellent option for avoiding costly overruns.
More Information about VPS Hosted Accounts
A virtual private server is an excellent way to exercise as much control and flexibility as possible with regard to a highly functional and interactive website. For more information on VPS and how it works, click here for detailed and up-to-date technical information, along with a glossary of related terminology. In addition, here is a high-quality article on things you can do with a virtual server.