Putting Your Website on Hold

Most asked question of the year - how can I put my site on hold?  If you're not currently working your website, and it's just costing you money by sitting there, what can you do?

First, you must understand that whether or not you're using your website, it's still taking up space on the server. As long as it's taking up space, you'll need to pay hosting fees. That said, there is no option to turn it off and turn it back on later without monthly fees.

I've lined up some different options. If you have other ideas, put them in the comments!

Restrict Access Until You're Ready

Pros: Your data will be maintained and you'll still have functioning email.

Cons: You'll lose SEO rankings during the down time.

Walk Me Through:

There are a few ways of doing this:

  1. If your site has a Maintenance Mode, go ahead and turn that on. That will restrict access to the catalog portion of your site but the site will still be accessible.
  2. Alternatively, ask our support team to change permissions on your public_html directory to allow only your IP until you're ready to go live. Provide them with your IP so you'll have access during this time.
  3. Point your domain to a temporary page (maybe your Facebook page?) and provide announcements of when your launch date will be. You can do this in many ways, but if you need help ask our support team.

Keep in mind that you may be restricting access to yourself with these methods as well.

Sell Your Site

Pros: You can recoup some funds and your dream site will live on!

Cons: You'll need to maintain hosting payments while the site is for sale.*

Walk Me Through:

  • Register on a website that lets you sell your business, like Flippa.com, and create an account.
  • Click the Start Selling button & follow prompts to create your listing
  • You'll be provided with a verification file that you'll need to place on your website. Our support team will be happy to place that code for you.
  • Once the site sells, just ask our billing team what to do next and they'll provide you with instructions.

* We offer discounted monthly hosting rates to clients who are listed for sale on Flippa.  Ask our billing team for details!

** If you're selling, do NOT terminate your hosting account. We'll transfer it to the new owner.

Make a Backup & Terminate Your Hosting Account

Pros: You'll have a physical copy of your website to restore to any compatible host.

Cons: By the time you decide to relaunch, it may be out of date or incompatible with supported technology versions.  Also, you'll lose any SEO rankings built up.

Walk Me Through:

  • Follow the instructions on backing up your website on our blog post, Backing Up Your Hosting Account
  • I recommend backing up your website to your computer AND another source, just in case.
  • Terminate your hosting account through your host's cancellation procedures
  • Be sure to maintain annual payments on your domain. Changing the domain name on your site isn't something you'll want to deal with when you relaunch.

Bring it Back to Life

  • Contact your web host and let them know you have a backup of a site that you'd like to make live again.
  • Be sure your domain name is "pointing" to your hosting account (support can help)
  • Upload the backup to a large-file host (OneDrive, DropBox, Box, Google Drive, etc.) and give the hosting support team access.

About Earth Girl Hosting

Earth Girl Hosting offers web hosting for any type of website, including WordPress, OpenCart, Joomla!, Drupal, and more. Free SSL, free daily backups, 24/7/365 North American support by phone & ticket.

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