How to get your site Online FAST When Your Web Host goes Down

RacksserverIf you already have an active site with a decent amount of regular traffic, you know that switching servers can be troublesome. It takes at least 24 hours for your domain to propagate to the new servers so there’s always going to be downtime on the visitor’s side. The revenue and potential new visitors you could lose from such a downtime is no joke, but has been accepted as the norm and a necessary cost of moving servers. However, there is a way for you to switch servers without waiting more than a few minutes for the domain to propagate to the new one.

However, this is not something that you could do at the last minute. You have to do some things in advance (or before you have a need to switch servers.) You need to follow these steps to the letter:

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1. Make sure the host you are currently on uses cPanel with full standard backups.
2. Keep a recent copy of the cPanel backup on your desktop or on a remote server like Amazon S3.
3. Set up CloudFlare directly via CloudFlare itself, don’t use the hosts cPanel.

If you aren’t already doing these three things or some variation of it, you might want to start now even if you have no plans of switching servers in the near feature, as they’re essentially considered best practice when it comes to managing and developing websites these days. Just make sure you make a backup outside of your host’s server. Move it to your desktop or send it directly to a cloud server like Amazon S3 or Dropbox.

Many hosts these days have CloudFlare integration. It’s a neat feature, but you shouldn’t take advantage of it if you want to follow this tutorial. You don’t have to worry about having a hard time – CloudFlare integration on the host’s side will only save you a few extra clicks, which is nothing compared to the convenience of getting your site online even if your web host goes down.

If you’ve already got the above steps down, here is what you need to do in order to ensure that your site will still be live even when (not if) your host goes down:

1. Purchase a plan from another host if you don’t have it yet.
2. Get your cPanel account restored by uploading the cPanel backup to your new account and open a support ticket. However, you might want to check with the host first before opening an account from them – ask if they can do the restore in minutes instead of hours. You need one that can promise fast restores, otherwise this whole exercise will be for naught because you’d have to wait until someone from their end does the backup.
3. DO NOT, and I mean, DO NOT change your domain’s nameservers. They should point to CloudFlare.
4. Log in to your CloudFlare account and go to the DNS settings, then change the IP addresses to your new server. Your welcome mail should come with a temporary IP-based URL that will let you access your cpanel account temporarily – jot this IP down and use it for CloudFlare’s DNS settings.

Once you change all of the IP addresses on CloudFlare, your domain should now be pointing to the new server within minutes. This is significantly faster than the traditional means of switching hosts because you’re not changing anything as far as nameservers are concerned. You’re just changing an internal setting at CloudFlare, which in turn redirects traffic.

One Response to “How to get your site Online FAST When Your Web Host goes Down”

  1. Prestige Technologies - Best Web Site Hosting Company Says:

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