Moving is always a chore. Of course, I wasn’t physically moving last week. I was moving my entire website to a new, improved and more affordable web server. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a chore. Of course, I may have made the jump more complicated than it needed to be. Perhaps the rest of you can learn from my errors.

My first mistake was doing too much research. The web resources I found always included some worst-case-scenario stories about web hosts who punished customers for leaving. Apparently, in the 90’s, hosts would often register a site in their own name (instead of in the customer’s name) so if the customer tried to leave he was told that he could not continue using the same domain name and address unless he stayed with his current provider. These days, a grudging host will just bury the transfer directions and/or stall on sending the necessary transfer codes. It turns out that my old host was very accommodating when I asked for transfer codes and instructions. Unfortunately, my research had put me so on edge that when I finally contacted tech support my help requests sounded like I was making demands in a hostage situation. Sorry, tech support.

Time was my other enemy. I had planned on making the move two weeks before my old contract expired. This way, I wouldn’t be paying for two hosts at once for very long, but if something went wrong, I’d still have some time to make adjustments. It was almost a perfect plan, but a personal crisis or two made me push the move back for a week. It turns out that, while you can change servers in a few hours, it is currently impossible to transfer a domain name in less than a week, so if your domain expires in less than a week, you need to renew for the year before you are even allowed to begin the transfer process. Sigh.

All’s well that ends well. I’m set up on the new server, which has shown little or no signs of disappointing me. You readers probably won’t notice the change, but you might find the site a little faster, more reliable and easier to find on search engines. Keep me posted.

-Marj