Shared hosting is the choice of many small business websites as well as a preferred option for many bloggers and individuals maintaining low-to-moderately trafficked personal web sites. Shared hosting has a number of advantages, but obviously first and foremost among these for most small businesses is cost. Unfortunately, shared hosting has a number of disadvantages, particularly for sites experiencing large fluctuations in traffic, performance issues, or for those sites that really require lower-level access to the underlying operating system and/or server hardware. On a shared host, your site can be affected by one of the other dozens – or even hundreds – of sites and web applications that may be running on the same physical hardware.
The best hosting providers will offer support and a documented migration plan for moving sites and server configuration from your shared or virtualized environment to a dedicated server. For hosts that offer control panel packages – such as cPanel – migration tools allow you to move configuration options between servers, which can greatly improve the time it takes to migrate between server installations, as well as improve the overall results of the migration process. cPanel allows site administrators to configure a plethora of common operating system, memory, storage, and application options, including:
- Basic and advanced email configuration, including account management, spam blocking, authentication, and mailing lists
- Search engine optimization (SEO) tools, optimized for search engines such as Google
- File management utilities, such as disk space usage, FTP administration, and backups
- Application management, including handy configuration tools for managing popular apps such as Apache and MySQL
- Server security configuration, including SSH, SSL, and IP Deny management
If a tool such as cPanel is used to migrate configuration options, the overall migration process becomes much easier. In addition to that, the “standard” steps required to migrate between hosts require application software in use to be installed and individually configured and, of course, DNS settings will need to be updated so your server can be found at its new IP address. As mentioned earlier, the best web hosts will support every step of this process and answer questions (and even solve problems) as you move forward in this process. It is always important to complete testing of the new environment before DNS records are updated, which will allow you time to test and resolve any issues before the public hits your new host.
A recommended Approved Host Dedicated Server provider is DedicatedNOW.com. For more information on DedicatedNOW and the FindMyHost consumer guarantee included with your purchase, please visit: www.findmyhost.com/dedicatednow.