Web Hosting - Transferring My Existing Site
Apply for a Web Hosting account today if you are interested in migrating your site!
When transferring an existing website over to the Web Hosting Service, we create the space for the site on one of our servers under the proper production domain but also include a “preview domain” alias (example: preview.mysite.wisc.edu) that allows you to publish and view the site. See Web Hosting - Site Migrations to New Servers.
For more accurate testing and checking of functionality with your applications (for example Shibboleth, WordPress, etc.) we will also instruct you on how to update your local hosts file. This will allow you to point your production domain to the new IP on the new server so that you can interact and test with the site as though it has migrated to the new servers.
When the new site is ready and meets your expectations on our platform, we'll schedule a DNS migration with the Campus Hostmasters (or another DNS authority) so that the production domain for your site resolves to the one on our server. The entire process is seamless from the site users' perspective.
Production DNS changes are generally scheduled 24 hours in advance. The time-to-live (TTL) on the DNS records is lowered in advance to five minutes prior to migration, enabling the changes to propagate quickly. All DNS changes can be reversed in a matter of minutes if there are any unforeseen problems.