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Meet the author:
Jill Olkoski

Jill has a MA in Clinical Psychology, a BS in Computer Science, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

She currently owns Aldebaran Web Design in Edmonds (near Seattle WA) and enjoys educating her clients on topics related to small business website design.

In Jill's previous life, she spent 17 years in the engineering and quality organizations of a Fortune 100 tech company.


This is just a note to let you know that we have moved your account to a new server!

November 15th, 2012

If you have your website hosted with DreamHost and have gotten an email from them that starts off with “This is just a note to let you know that we have moved your account to a new server!”, you may be confused (as some of my clients are) as to what this means and whether you should do anything.

It’s always a good idea if you get an email from your website hosting company that you don’t understand to forward it to your website designer. This is what several of my clients have done recently because DreamHost is apparently moving a good number of folks from one website server to another. Here are some of the things moving your website to a new server might impact:

1. Custom DNS – most clients don’t have a custom DNS setup. Custom DNS records are set up when you have a server (like for email, or FTP, etc) that is not your website server responsible for handling some activity. Most commonly I see people who have these set up for mail, where they actually have a different company’s server manage their email, but they want to still use – You can always login to your website’s control panel and take a look to see if there are any custom DNS records set up.

2. Custom PHP – again, most small business website clients don’t have this set up – it means that on that particular server your web developer installed PHP (a language) and since it’s moving to a new server, they may have to reinstall it. Most web hosting companies have a standard installation of PHP and so the PHP isn’t a local installation. Best to ask your web developer about this.

3. Unique IP – these are generally for eCommerce because you need a static IP address for SSL certificate installation. If you are on a new server, this IP address may have changed, but usually this won’t impact your website.

4. PHP – Inside some php scripts your web developer may have referenced the name or IP address of your server. If this is the case, the scripts will need to be updated with the new server name or IP address.

5. FTP – if you used the server name or IP address to access the website, this field will need to be updated to reflect the new server name or IP address.

Test everything AFTER the server move.

If you get a notification that your server is moving, notify your web developer. If you can’t do this, be sure to note when the change is going to be made and then check all functionality of your website. If you have a contact form, fill it out and make sure you get it. If you have an online store, make a test purchase. If you have a blog, create a new post/page and upload an image. Take a good look around your website and see if this change has broken anything – if you don’t have a web developer who can reassure you that nothing will break – best to double check everything is still working properly after the server move.

J. Olkoski
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.

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