Setting up a site with a new host
How do I set up a new site with another host?
This will vary for everybody, depending on the size of your current site, the features that you use, which new host you choose, and the resources that you have available. In general terms, the process will be something like this:
- Decide on a new host
Although we are not providing recommendations for specific hosts, we do have some advice about what to consider when choosing a new host.
- Move your content
SurrreyCommunity, like many similar systems of its size, does not have the facility to export sites in a format suitable for other systems. This means that you will need to manually transfer any content to a new host. If your new host allows you to create pages offline and upload them, you may find web-mirroring/offline viewing software useful
- Update domain name or request a redirect
If you have your own address for your SurreyCommunity site (such as example.com instead of surreycommunity.info/example) then, once your new site is ready, you can alter the settings to link it to your new site.
If your site uses a SurreyCommunity address (such as surreycommunity.info/example) then, once your new site is ready, let us know and we’ll set up a redirection to automatically take visitors from your old site to your new. All redirections that we set up will cease to work when SurreyCommunity closes.
Although SurreyCommunity isn’t closing until March 2020, we recommend that you plan to have moved your site by mid-February 2020. This will then allow visitors and search engines to become aware of your new site before the old one closes. (This is particularly true if you have asked us to set up a redirection to your new site – we recommend any redirections are in place by mid-February for best results).
What should I consider when choosing a new host?
There are a lot of free and affordable options available for hosting websites. When choosing a host for your site, you may want to ask some of these questions to find the host that is right for you:
- How does the system work – do they provide online tools to build your site (similar to SurreyCommunity) or do you have to create your content using a program on your computer and then upload it?
- Do they limit the amount of pages or content that you can have on your site? If so, is it sufficient for your needs now and can you increase the limit in future if necessary? See 'how big and busy is my site?'
- Do they limit the amount of traffic that your website can receive (how busy it can be)? If so, what happens if you exceed the limit? Is there a charge or is access to your site limited? See 'how big and busy is my site?'
- Do they offer the features that you need, or can you integrate them if necessary? Different systems offer different features, so if there is something that is important to your site (for example, photo galleries or discussion boards) check if and how the system provides it. Some systems will allow you to integrate features from other sites (for example, Flickr for photos or Youtube for videos) if they don't support the features themselves.
- Do they allow you to use your own domain name (website address)? Not all hosts allow you to use your own domain name, so if you have bought your own domain make sure to check that your new host allows you to use it.
- Do you need to commit to the service for a minimum amount of time, or are you free to leave whenever you want to?
- Do they provide support if you have a problem? Some services will provide a support service, others may have communities of users providing mutual support, some services have both.
Search online to find information and reviews about hosting services:
Moving content from SurreyCommunity.info to a new host
Once you have selected a new host, you will want to move content from your SurreyCommunity site to your new site.
Unfortunately, there is no automatic way to do this. For most content to be moved to a new site, it will need to be manually copied and pasted.
There are a few elements of the SurreyCommunity system that do allow for data to be exported:
- Our files: The contents of folders can be downloaded as .zip files. To do this, scroll to the bottom of the folder listing, and click the ‘download an archive’ link.
- Events calendar: Individual events can be exported as .ics files which can be imported into a variety of calendar applications
- Surveys: Survey responses can be downloaded as .cvs files
- Petitions: Signatures can be downloaded as .cvs files
If your new host allows sites to be created offline and uploaded to a directory (rather than being created online like in SurreyCommunity), then you may be able to use 'web mirroring' or 'offline viewing' software to create a local copy (stored on your computer) of your site. You can then upload this to your new host. Note though that some web-mirroring software requires technical knowledge to use effectively. Also, depending on the software you use and your new host, you may need to modify your pages before you upload them, to ensure that they work correctly.
Updating your domain name to work with another host
If you have purchased a domain name for use with your SurreyCommunity.info site, you can continue to use that domain name after SurreyCommunity closes, but you will need to update its settings to make it point to your new site instead.
We’re not able to update these settings for you – you should contact the registrar that you purchased the domain name from. Your new host will be able to tell you the settings that you need to change for you domain name to work with their service.
Note: some free hosting services don’t allow sites to use their own domain name, so if this is important to you check before you commit to a new host.