Where Is My Site Hosted
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The domain & site host can be the biggest hurdles when it comes to the development of a website. This information is good to have prior to the start of development. I have web development clients that struggle with the understanding of what is it that the developer will need to make a site live. Here is a breakdown of what is needed or what should be considered when it comes to both the hosting of the site, and how it relates to the domain host.

Hosting Considerations:

Domain Host:

The domain & site host can be the biggest hurdles when it comes to the development of a website. This information is good to have prior to the start of development. I have web development clients that struggle with the understanding of what is it that the developer will need to make a site live. Here is a breakdown of what is needed or what should be considered when it comes to both the hosting of the site, and how it relates to the domain host.

Website Host:
The website host is where the site is hosted and the site files are made live. This may or not be the same provider as the domain host. It is important to determine what type of server the website host is using. Not all codes will efficiently run on all systems. While PHP may run on Microsoft Server, the features might be limited based on what plugins are added. These larger hosting companies all follow the same server setup standards. What will work on GoDaddy and will most likely work on blue host.  Many of these smaller companies have server restrictions that make the task as simple as a WordPress migration considerably more time consuming.

Pricing / Timelines:
The domain and site host are good to determine upfront when it comes to pricing and timelines for a web project. With a “standard” hosting company and ALL the correct information, I normally spend less than 2 hours for a complete migration, including error and link checking. A Non-Standard hosting company and not having the correct information can stall a project infidelity as it continues to eat up hours.

What login information is needed after the domain is successfully pointed from the domain host?
The login information needed will be determined by the set up. I like to request the least amount of information for the sake of practicality and security for my clients. I will break down what is needed in the major WordPress scenarios, but this will apply to any PHP CMS/Cart.

  1. WordPress/CMS/CART Installed & FTP
    This is the best case scenario for everyone as all major website hosting companies will have an automatic install of the latest version of WordPress. This will save time, and it puts the burden of proof on the hosting company to verify if a “standard” WordPress will function on THEIR piece of equipment. A WordPress install would not take any competent development significant amount of time.
  2. FTP &  Database Information
    This is less desirable than an installed WordPress/CMS/CART  because it means that the developer will burn hours on a “Non-standard” host to figure out how a server that was never in their control was setup.
  3. Hosting Login/cPanel/Plesk
    Full hosting login is better for the developer than database information, provided that the way the server is set up is known. In cases where the clients do not have the knowledge needed to provide the information in #1 / #2, then this is the only option.  Once the site migration is complete, this password should immediately be changed.

What FTP Information is Needed?

Full hosting login is better for the developer than database information, provided that the way the server is set up is known. In cases where the clients do not have the knowledge needed to provide the information in #1 / #2, then this is the only option.  Once the site migration is complete, this password should immediately be changed..

FTP Host: ftp.website.com
FTP Name: user
FTP Password: Password

This information is not enough to determine what URL is needed to view the files at the root of the FTP provided. I should be able to drop a test.txt file in the root and freely browse it.  I first drop my test.txt file in the root and try www.website.com/text.txt. When that does not work, I know that the FTP is setup to browse through a different folder or directory as the root. When requesting FTP information, I ask for the “URL path to the root.” In the above example, this may be a shared host that is set to browse through a different folder then the FTP host.

The correct way to provide FTP information is make sure you add the extra field for the URL path as seen in this example.

FTP Host: ftp.website.com
FTP Name: user
FTP Password: Password
FTP Path: www.website.com/sitefolder

Be Careful of Emails.

When re-pointing a domain, make sure that you fully understand how the client’s email is set up. The client may be setup for email hosting in a hosting server that would be lost if the hosting is switched. How the email for the domain is being handled should be determined up front.

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