Backup your website fully and download the backup to your own computer. If your new host and your present host both have CPanel you can do it through it much much faster. If not you would have to do it manually. I've done it so much it's almost routine. Nothing to worry about.
Just make sure your new host is good and has positive reviews. Always upgrad, never downgrade.
Thanks, that is the biggie. I am now not sure if the move is going to be an upgrade. So I am pausing and doing more research.
What's holding you back? What control panel are you currently using?
I'd definitely recommend making a full backup, however, you shouldn't have too much to worry about if it's a migration -- *assuming* the host knows what they're doing.
I know that when we do migrations, it's usually just a simple tar of your home directory and dump of your databases. We'll usually leave the original files (ie: the .tar backup & .sql backups) for a couple weeks to ensure a smooth transfer. Unless it's a similar control panel migration, you will most likely need to create email addresses and restore emails manually.
If you have dynamic content, your new host should should be able to help you transfer with a zero downtime solution. If you have any databases, these should be set up to point to the new host's MySQL server so all queries (on your old host and new host) are being read and written to the new host. It's not too difficult, and any host should be able to help you with this.
I've decided to stay with dreamhost for awhile. They really have excellent support personnel - great attitudes. The company stretches their services too thin for my liking, but I am going to give it a bit more time before I cut bait.
However, I have decided to set up a redundant site with another company so all of the migration info will be used.
Has anyone else ever done this - had their site at two different companies?? With prices so cheap, I see no reason not to.
Actually, I had better start a new post to cover that topic.