How to Migrate a Website to a New Host with Zero Downtime

by Jay Pabs on June 29, 2012

This tutorial is applicable only on a VPS and Dedicated server. This assumes that you will be using WHM in order to change the A record of your domain. This website is hosted at Hostgator.com.

I want to share with you on how I transfer my websites with zero downtime. We move or migrate our website to a new host for the following reasons:

  1. Your old server cannot handle the traffic and it always return a 501 error.
  2. Your old hosting s*cks.
  3. Poor web hosting support.
  4. More bandwidth or space is required.
  5. And a lot more…

Now, to our main tutorial, the important here is you know the new IP Address of your website in your new server. Before you proceed with the tutorial below, make sure that you have already replicated your old server to your new server (you can actually use the Transfer feature of WHM to replicate your old server to new server). Of course, do this at the time when your traffic is low.

As soon as you copied all your files, databases, emails, etc. into your new server logon to your old WHM server and edit the DNS Zone.

Edit the DNS Zone

Edit the DNS Zone

Under the DNS Functions, click Edit DNS Zone.

Choose a Zone to Edit

Choose a Zone to Edit

If you have multiple websites, choose the website that you want to redirect to your new server.

Change all the A Record

Change all the A Record

Change all the A record’s IP Address to the IP Address of your new server.

This step will allow you to redirect the traffic from your old server to new server. Even if you change your private nameserver. Because changing the IP Address of your nameserver takes up to 72 hours to propagate.

Save the Changes

Edit DNS Zone

As soon as you change all the IP Address in the A Record, browse at the bottom of the page and click the Save button.

Ping Your Website Online

just-ping.com

Use just-ping.com to see if the IP Address of your website points to your new server.

I recommend Hostgator if you are planning to transfer your host.

If this sounds too techie to you, don’t hesitate to contact us or add your comments below.

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