The financial and technical challenges of a hosting account upgrade

There might be different reasons about having your hosting account upgraded. And when the necessity sets that change your expectations for a painless process might get disappointed if you just leave that go with the flow.

Here are some advices about the aspects you should observe so that to have a trouble-free hosting account upgrade with no aftermaths

The directions to look in can be divided in to two major groups – financial and technical but what exactly to pay attention on and how to manage it you can check

How to set up the new price

 1. Get the off-price fixed the same way

When upgrading and continuing to use the same range of services – for example – from a shared hosting account to another – then it is better to assure that the new plan has the same discount. The possibility of the old discount not being supported with the new package exists especially for new plans, which have been offered to you because the shared hosting package you have been using till that moment does not exist anymore.

If the new package is completely the same – offers you the same range of services and just has a new name you’d better make sure that it has been included to the new billing with discount applied.

If not – do not hesitate to emphasize the fact you have been with the hosting provider for quite a time and bargain for a better billing settlement

2.Observe the contract renewal period – it does affect the monthly price

In this case there apply two situations depending on your readiness to pay upfront:

When you are ready to pay upfront – and settle a contract and conditions for semiannual, annual, or biannual  period. In this  case one of your expectations should be that you will get a huger monthly discount (a lower monthly tax), the longer the renewal cycle is.

You can expect that there will be by default only a monthly fee settlement of payment with providers of business hosting packages like the so called semi-dedicated solutions or the VPS (Virtual Private Servers). In cases like that – go ahead and check out if there are other payment options for upfront payment with monthly discount and if not- you can offer your conditions for purchasing a package for an year and get a cut off from the monthly fee.

When you are not ready to pay upfront – make sure your renewal cycle is at least on each one or three months


Technical Aspects to be observed when upgrading your hosting account

The technical aspects mentioned below are to be looked at in the cases when for upgrading your hosting account there is a transfer required. Transfers are usually necessary in the following cases:

- when there will be a change in the range of services  – like upgrades from shared hosting to reseller, business or virtual or dedicated server;

- when there is no change in the range of services of the new package – but a more powerful server is needed, there is lack of space on the current one etc.

There might be different reasons for a transfer, it however bares certain risks which can be avoided if observing the following technical aspects:

1. New nameservers are first thing to be observed

When transferred to a new server one of the first things to do is to check the new nameservers and make changes at your domain registrar accordingly as soon as you can. Thus until your account is transferred a good part of the DNS propagation (which takes alone 24-72 hours) will pass. Alternatively you might not pay attention on the nameservers – but that will mean increasing the downtime of your website.

If your domain is hosted on the DNS cluster – you should not worry as the nameservers respond from all servers within the cluster and the propagation may stay unnoticed.

2. Configuration differences

As already mentioned – when a transfer is involved with upgrading your hosting account it carries along a lot of technical risks. A huge part of those risks might come from the configuration differences of the new server. That is why it is important to know all the software peculiarities of your current one and study what have the non-similarities with the new one might have. Directions you can focus your attention in are: 

Operating system differences – the problems which might come from there are:

- when the operating system of the new server has a completely different platform – for example from Windows hosting to Linux-based server and visa versa – this inevitably will have as an effect extra manual work on  bug fixing;

- when moving within different distros of same operating system – you can have minor problems like folders and files permissions, corruption and script disability.


Differences in control panel – this might cause problems when you switch to business, virtual or dedicatedservers with more powerful control panel then the shared server you have been using till that moment. In that case you might have to do manual file extraction and moving.

Differences in PHP modes – PHP-based scripts are used by blogs, CMS, forums – in general – by dynamically developing websites. PHP is a processor which makes those scripts work. The disadvantage of a transfer here might come from the fact that on the new server the PHP might not be configured in the same mode  (it has several modes) as on the old one, thus causing script disability. So the advice here is to check if there is such a difference, and if yes – if it is going to cause issues. 

Differences in Database services version – however the Database services type is one of the points to be checked here - it is slightly possible they might differ within one host. But their versions can- for example from MySQL 4.x to MySQL 5.x. This might lead to manual refix of character sets (charset) and tables.

Following those advices is a trouble-preventing way of performing your next hosting upgrade. It is a good bases for being active and curious when having your website upgraded so that it can be a reasonable and business only-helping process.

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