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In Section 1.3, we described why you should move your website to a hosting company in Canada and why we recommend a relatively small Canadian web hosting company called CanHost. In Section 1.4, we will review the exact steps to transfer your Domain Name to CanHost and the steps to migrate your small business web hosting to CanHost. While these are independent processes in that you can transfer your domain name without transferring your web hosting – or transfer your web hosting without transferring your domain name, there are some steps common to both. We will therefore start with the common steps.

Create a Plan of Action
Your plan of action should include unlocking your domain names at your current web host.
But do not update your domain name contact information. If you change even one thing on your domain name contact information, your current web host can lock your domain name and prevent it from being transferred for 60 days! You therefore may want to transfer your domain name even with outdated information and then update it AFTER it has been transferred to CanHost. After your domain is unlocked, you can change your domain name registration to a Canadian registrar and select one of several migration methods to your new web host.

Step 1: Unlock your domain names if you have them at a different web host
Ideally, it is best to purchase your domain name from the same company you want for a web host. So if you do not already have a domain name, it would be best to first set up a shared hosting account at CanHost and then buy your domain name from them. However, because GoDaddy accounts for well over half of the website hosting market, I will describe the process if you already have your domain name through GoDaddy of transferring your domain name to CanHost. If you have a different US web host, the process is about the same. Before you change, log into your account and make sure all of the information is correct. Click on My Account at the bottom of the page. Then click on the green Domains, Launch button. A list of your sites will appear. Click on a domain name to open it.


If lock is set to On, click on Manage and change it to Off.

Step 2... Update your Applications
lick on Actions, Details to get the name/number of the database associated with each application. Write this number down or copy paste the database names and numbers into a document as you will need them later.

Step 3... Update your database passwords
Next, update your database information. From your control panel, click on Databases to bring up a list of your databases. If you are like most business owners, you lost the passwords to your databases years ago. You can recover your old password by selecting the database Actions, Details option. You can also change the database password to something you can remember. But if you do this, you will need to go to the File Manager for your account (from the Control Panel), change the permissions to Read/Write and then update the password in the configuration.php file. Once we have updated the domain name information, the applications and the databases, we are ready to backup our websites.

Step 4... Backup your website
The method you use to backup your website(s) will depend on the type of tools you used to create your website(s). There are three common types of small business website creation tools. The most well organized small business websites are built using a free Content Management System (CSM) called Joomla. Unlike a personal blog, a small online business might have hundreds of pages, thousands of images and dozens of addon tools such as web forms, video players, shopping carts and Enewsletter organizers. Joomla does a better job than any other system of organizing and displaying all of this content.

If you are using Joomla or Wordpress, nearly all of your content will be stored on an interactive database. You will need to backup or make a copy of both your website static files and your dynamic database. The database files are backed up in the databases screen and the static files are copied from the File Manager screen. A lot can go wrong with this process. If you had the wisdom to use Joomla to build your website, you are in luck. There is a free tool called Akeeba Backup that can quickly make a complete copy of your Joomla files and database and also migrate them to a different web host in a matter of minutes.

If you are using any of the other options, you have two choices. You can either follow the backup options provided by your web host. Or you can manually copy the content from your website into a folder on your home computer and then install Joomla on your new web host account. I strongly recommend manually copying your files and images off of your current site and considering this migration your opportunity to switch to the Joomla web building tool. It may take a few more minutes now but it will save you years of headaches down the road.

This is simply a matter of going to each page on your current website and copy/pasting the pages and images and links into folders on your home computer. This way if everything else fails, you can use this information to completely rebuild your website using Joomla on your new web host.

Another thing to be aware of is that there are two main types of computer server operating systems, Linux and Windows. Linux is much safer than Windows which is why the Canadian web host I recommend uses Linux. If your current host uses Windows, you should make a manual copy of your website and use Joomla to build a new website with your new web host. There is no way to make a Windows hosted website safe from the NSA or other potential hackers.

All you have to do is open an account at Canhost and send them a ticket. CanHost will make transfer your website files and database for you in a matter of minutes and you are good to go.

For excellent videos on how to install and use the free Akeeba Backup Core tool with any Joomla website, see this website.

Be sure to move Akeeba Backup files and all other backup files to your home computer so you can access them even if your website no longer loads. Then delete the file from your website backend with Akeeba Backups, Manage Backups, Delete.

Step 5: Get a securely encrypted Business Related Email Address before getting your web host

When you set up your web hosting account and/or your domain registrar account, you will need to provide them with an email address. You could give them your personal email address. But it would be more secure to provide them with an encrypted email address associated with your online business.

The simplest free encrypted email service is called ProtonMail. We describe in more detail how and why to set up a free ProtonMail account at the following link:


Here is a brief review of these steps: Go to the Proton Mail website. https://protonmail.com/


Then click on Get your encrypted email then click on the drop down arrow for the Free Account.


Click Select Free Plan. Then see if the email address you want is available. Be sure to select the protonmail.ch option and not the protonmail.com option:


Here is the URL for the Log In screen: https://protonmail.com/login

Practice sending and receiving emails from Proton Mail to your prior email service to better understand how Proton Mail works.


As an added benefit, Proton Mail also by default will track all attempts made to log into your email account. You can read these logs by clicking on Settings, Security.


When you have your Proton Mail account, you can use this as the email address to create your Canhost account and also use it as the email address to set up your Joomla website. Treat your new email account with care. Never open any attachment from anyone that you do not know.

Step 6... Open a shared hosting account with a Canadian Web Host.
In Section 1.3, we described the benefits of a Canadian Web Host called CanHost. To open an account with them, go to their website, CanHost.ca.
Hover over the Hosting tab and you will see that Canhost offers both Web Hosting and Virtual Servers. If you do not have the time to learn how to create your own VPS, then choose their Shared Hosting option. But be aware that the VPS option is significantly more reliable and more secure.

With either the normal Shared Hosting or the VPS account, click on the Order Now button. This brings up a page to indicate the primary domain name to associate with the account. Either get a new domain name at this point or select “Transfer your domain from another registrar” if you want to transfer the domain you want to use for your primary domain. If you transfer the domain from other host, a screen will pop up where you should enter the EPP Domain Transfer Authorization Code. Then fill out the billing information using the email address you want to associate with this account. Then pay for a few months with a credit card. Before migrating your websites to them, you should also move your domain names to CanHost. It may take a few days to transfer the domain name. If the website is currently live, you can email the folks at CanHost and they can transfer the contents of the website for you. Alternately, you can build a new Joomla website after the domain name has been transferred.

Step 7... Protect your Business Website Domain Name by moving it to a non US registrar
Next we will describe the simple steps for changing your domain name registrar from GoDaddy.com to CanHost. As mentioned above, your domain lock must be turned off and your domain contact information must be current. Go to your current registrar, such as GoDaddy.com, and log into your account. Then go to Domains. For GoDaddy domains, click on the green launch button to open the domain. Click on the Lock/Manage button to unlock each domain. It will take 15 minutes for the change to take effect.

Then click on the Contacts tab and edit any contact information so that it is correct and up to date. Some information can only be changed in the GoDaddy account “settings” area. Next, verify that the domain name is not listed as “not paid.” Speak with a customer service person at GoDaddy and verify that your account is current.

The charge for domain name registration at CanHost is $15 per year per domain name – which is about $3 per year more than at GoDaddy. But at least they will protect your online business from being taken down! Once this is done, we are ready to move our domain names to CanHost. Log into your CanHost account and scroll down to the following section:

Enter your domain name and click Transfer. After the transfer request has been submitted, the Administrator Contact listed for your domain name will receive an email asking for confirmation of the request to transfer the domain to CanHost. If you have privacy enabled on your domain name, you may need to turn this off in order to receive the confirmation email. After the request is confirmed, it will take up to 5 days for the domain registration to transfer from your old registrar to your new registrar. Transferring the domain name should not affect the appearance of your web site on your web host. The benefit of having your web hosting and domain name at the same company is that it is easier to control.

Why Register Your Own Domain Name
A domain name, such as myinteractivewebsite.com, is what you use to advertise and promote your online business. While it is possible to have a “free website” without having your own domain name, it is generally not a good idea for anything more than a personal blog. The reason is that your domain name is your online presence. It gives your business credibility if you have your own domain name. As your online business grows, you want links to your website to remain stable. Therefore the time to secure your domain name is when you first start your online business. You can and should secure your domain name before you officially organize your online business. Since each domain name is unique, your first choice in a domain name may have already been taken. Therefore the availability of a domain name may determine what you call your online book or business. Having your own domain name also means that should you move your website to a new web host, your domain name and customers and visitors to your website can move with you.

How to Register Your Own Domain Name
To secure your own domain name, simply register it with a domain name registrar. The world's biggest registrar is GoDaddy.com. In a previous article, we explained several serious drawbacks of registering your domain name with GoDaddy – including the fact that they have “taken down” and destroyed many online businesses without any court hearing or court order. We then explained the process for registering your domain with a more secure registrar called CanHost.ca. The cost for your domain name will be about $15 per year.

Choosing your Domain Name
Before registering your domain name, there are a three things you should think about. First, you should research the domain names of businesses similar to the one you would like to start. There is a drawback in getting a domain that is too similar to your competitors. But domain names of other successful online businesses can give you ideas of what you can call your business. Second, consider the extension you want to use at the end of your name. Most businesses tend to end with dot com. However, a non-profit social organization should choose dot org. There are dozens of new extensions which you might want to consider such as dot info. Next you want to see which of your domain name options are actually available. Most domain name registrars have a “search” box which tells you if a domain name is available.

Step 9: Point your new domain name to a name server
One question your domain name registrar is likely to ask you is the names of your web host primary and secondary domain “name servers.” The domain name servers, also called DNS1 and DNS2 are the address where your domain name is linked to or pointed to the data in the folder or directory on your web hosts servers. This is why you should secure your web hosting account before getting your domain name. Your web host will give you the DNS names to provide to the domain registrar.

What is a DNS?
When you type the name of a website into a browser window, then click GO, you are magically taken to the website associated with that domain name. But the internet does not actually use website names. Instead, it uses a series of numbers which are associated with the location of the server which your website is hosted on.

There may be as many as a thousand websites on a single shared server. Domain Name Server is the name/number/address of the server(s) used by your web host. The IP address or Internet Protocol address of the server is a number such as However the DNS numbers of your web host are often listed as simply ns1.mywebhost.com and ns2.mywebhost.com. These are the names that you give to your domain name registrar.

DNS translates your domain name to the actual numeric IP address used by routers that control traffic on the Internet. If one domain name server is overloaded, having a secondary DNS can help insure that folks are still able to reach your website. This is why you web host should provide you with two DNS addresses which you then provide to your domain registrar. If you ever transfer your website to a new web host, you will need to contact you domain name registrar and give them the two new DNS numbers of your new web host. For safety reasons, it is a good idea to have an overlap period when you have hosting at both your old and your new web host during the transfer process.

Move your domain related email
It is common for website owners to have their domain related email accounts at their web host. If you decide to move your website to a new web host, you should also move your domain related email accounts to your new. If you have domain related email hosting with your former web host, you would lose them when you change the name servers associated with your domain. Thankfully, you can recreate the same email accounts at your web hosting account. First, recreate each existing email account, such as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at your new host including forwarding and assigning sufficient storage for each account. Ideally, you should also have all email account at your old web host set to forward your email to an independent email address so you can continue to receive all of your email during the transition. Once you change DNS for your domain name, you will receive new email through your new host. But you will no longer be able to reach your old mail host to retrieve email.

Step 10... Get an Email Address Associated with Your Primary Domain
Anytime you have a new domain name or are transferring a domain name from another web host, you can and should get one or more email addresses associated with your new domain name. To set this up, in your Cpanel and scroll down to the mail section.

Click on Email Accounts. Then fill out the new email address form:

In the Email field, type the name you want and select the domain name from the adjacent drop down menu. Then type in your password twice. My primary domain name at my hosting account is davidspring.org. So the above new email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Then click Create Account.

To forward email from this email address to your normal email address, scroll down this same screen after the email address has been created.

Click on More to show more options. Then click Access Web Mail.


Then log in to your email account with your email password.
Click on Forwarding Options. Then click on Add Forwarder. Add the email address you want your email forwarded to. Then click on Add Forwarder. After your Joomla website is created, we will add this website related email address to the administrator configuration section.

You are done!
Congratulations! You now have both your domain name and your web hosting on servers no longer under the direct control of the NSA! Sign up for our email list and I'll keep you posted for more updates!

What's Next?
Now that we have our domain name and web hosting with Canhost, the next step is to install Joomla and a few important additional free tools called Extensions. In the next chapter, we will show you how to install Joomla with the CanHost one click installer and describe several of the best free extensions to add to Joomla.