- What’s the Difference Between a Domain and a Website?
- Free Website Transfers by Hosting Plan
- What are the Correct Steps to Move Both my Domain Name and Website to Avoid Downtime?
In an ideal world, we would never have to worry about switching web hosts. But the reality is that people tend to seek a happier place for their website quite often. There are a lot of reasons someone could decide to do that, such as a sluggish website, a lack of quality in customer support, etc. Moving from a different hosting provider to our services is one of the most common requests here at Gif Webhosting. Switching web hosting providers usually involves transferring both your domain name and website. Still, many first-timers feel confused about whether these are two separate processes. This post aims to provide you with a clear understanding of the difference between transferring the domain registration and website content and the needed steps on how to perform the painless switch.
What’s the Difference Between a Domain and a Website? #
It’s somehow natural to think a domain name and a website are the same. While they are closely related, they require separate services. To open your website, by typing its name in the browser, you need a domain name. Our domain name, for example, is https://www.gifwebhosting.com/. Note that you can, however, register a domain and choose not to use it for a website or create an email account with it but you can’t have a website or an email account without a domain. You register a domain name with an accredited company as a domain name registrar.
Registering a domain, however, doesn’t automatically create a website – it only means that you’ve registered the domain. Web hosting, on the other hand, is what is the service needed to make your website appear online. Behind every domain, there is a web hosting service address where the files that compose your website are being stored. Thus, to create a website you would need to seek a web hosting company. The website hosting company enables you to lease space on their web servers where you can store your website files and make them available for visitors to view.
Because you have registered your domain, you can use it at any web hosting company you want. The same is true for your domain – regardless of where you decided to host your website’s files, your domain remains yours for the duration of your registration.
Gif WebHosting is a web hosting provider and allows for you to choose from 20+ top-level domains (TLDs). This means you can register your domain name, build a website for it, and get it on the web – all in one place. With each of Gif WebHosting’s web hosting plans, you also get one free domain transfer, as well as a free domain name renewal for one year.
Free Website Transfers by Hosting Plan #
You have multiple websites – no problem. One of the great features about Gif Webhosting is that we will transfer up to 3 websites per account at no extra cost and our technical support team would be glad to assist you with that. Additional websites will be transferred at an affordable price. Gif Webhosting come with one free professional website transfer.
Total Free Migrations – the total number of websites that Gif Webhosting will move for you.
Full cPanel Migrations – the number of cPanel to cPanel transfers included. Full cPanel transfers include all domains, addon domains, subdomains, and cPanel settings. This will also include your email accounts and emails. Please note, that this does require your old host’s cPanel backup generator to be active.
Manual Migrations – the maximum number of manual transfers included with your account. Manual transfers include most things that are not cPanel to cPanel transfers. Additionally, this includes work such as splitting addon domains into cPanel accounts.
What are the Correct Steps to Move Both my Domain Name and Website to Avoid Downtime? #
Transferring both your domain name and website to a new web host doesn’t have to be a painful process. When moving a website to a different web host, you need to:
- Purchase a new hosting account;
- Move all website files – including databases and email accounts;
- Point your domain DNS records to the new web host;
- Transfer the domain name to the new host or leave it with the current registrar.
Choose a Web Host #
Making the switch to a new web host can be a stressful time – which is why many site owners prefer not to switch web hosts unless it’s necessary. After all – why waste time and energy when everything is working alright?
So when is the right time to start looking for a new host? How do you know that your web host is the root cause of your website problem? Here are a few hints:
- Your site is constantly going down;
- Your site is too slow;
- Customer service is not helpful;
- You need more space, functionality, or other resources;
- You are paying too much;
- You have been hacked, more than once;
- You have heard about a great service elsewhere.
If you don’t feel that level of comfort or are bothered about negative reports you’ve seen on your web host, it may be time for a change. You can transfer either your website, your domain name or both.
Consolidate Your Web Hosting and Domain Management Into One Place #
It makes sense to house your site in the same place where you got your domain, especially since many service providers offer seamless user interfaces for managing both and some will also throw in free domain transfers when you purchase hosting.
Consolidating both your domain name and web hosting services at one place is a convenient way to protect your domain names from unplanned expiration and unauthorized transfer – which saves time as well as money.
Here are some of the main reasons you might want to transfer your domain and website to Gif Webhosting:
- Free 1-year domain renewal upon transfer (for certain domain extensions);
- Better renewal pricing. With almost everything in life, better prices are always welcome. However, it’s not recommended to choose lower prices over crucial features.
Request Site Migration and Provide Website Details #
After signing up for one of our hosting plans, you may now need to get your site moved from your old host over to our servers. Don’t panic! We can get that done for you. Our support agents have broad experience in this as they move hundreds of websites every single day. We just need a bit of information from you and we can get started.
In order to request the transfer of your website all you need to do is to provide us with access to your website files and database.
You should provide us with the following credentials:
- control panel URL from your old host;
- username for the old control panel;
- password for the old control panel.
You will be updated regularly on the transfer progress. The process takes time according to the size of data that needs to be relocated. You can always check the website transfer status in the Support Ticket via this link: https://hosting.globalinternetfortunes.com/submitticket.php?step=2&deptid=1.
Final Check & Troubleshooting #
Gif Webhosting is committed to making it easy to transfer your site to your new hosting account. In case the provided information required for the successful website migration is sufficient you will receive a confirmation that your transfer has been initiated.
Upon the website transfer, we will copy your content on your new server with us while you will keep the site up and running with the current host. It will be the exact same mirror copy of your Hosting Account with the previous Hosting Provider. Once the transfer is completed you will have your website running on both servers like mirrors. Our technical support team will update you via ticket and request you to double-check and verify its successful accomplishment.
You can test your web pages using a hosts file modification on your computer, to make the DNS requests for domains go to a specified IP address. By using the Hosts file modification, you can fake your local computer to go to your website allowing you to see a live view without allowing access to the site on the web. Once you verify your website working on a hosts file modification, you can proceed and point your domain to Gif Webhosting nameservers and there will be absolutely no downtime for your website.
Pointing Domain DNS to Your New Web Host #
Once you have reviewed the website on your end, you will need to point your domain to the Gif Webhosting nameservers or via A record to the IP address, provided in your ticket.
When you make changes to your DNS, please allow up to 24 hours for propagation after making the change. Thus, we recommend performing no changes on your website during that time as once the propagation is over, they may not be saved on the new server.
Transfer Your Domain Name to Gif Webhosting #
If you consider transferring your domain name to a new domain name registrar, the very first step would be to make sure that your new registrar not only supports but also registers your domain name extension (TLD).
Even if some country-specific domains or uncommon TLDs are not supported by a registrar, that does not necessarily mean it won’t support the domain name. Despite the fact that you won’t be able to transfer your domain to your chosen registrar, you can still use it by changing your domain’s name servers to point to the said registrar. However, most common domains (.com, .net, .org) are usually supported.
Gif Webhosting supports more than 20 domain extensions and we will transfer one domain name for free per newly purchased account. Domains transferred to Gif Webhosting will be automatically renewed for free for a full year from the date of transfer as a value-added extra. You can request the free domain registration transfer any time within the life of your hosting account. Note that when signing up for our services using the “I already have a domain” field, this does not automatically post a domain name transfer order on your behalf.
What if I Don’t Know Who Мy Domain Registrar is? #
If you don’t remember who your domain host is, search your email archives for billing records about registration or transfer of your domain name. Your domain host is listed on your invoice. If you can’t find your billing records, you can look it up by performing a search for your domain name.
The “Registrar” field shows you who your registrar is. Alternatively, you can look this up through the WHOIS search.
By transferring your domain name (or website) to Gif Webhosting you’ll be benefiting from one of the Africa’s fastest and most reliable hosting platforms, backed by our 24/7 support service. Make the switch today and our team will help transfer your website’s content for you at no additional charge. Simply get in touch with our support team and provide us with your provider’s logins to get the ball rolling.