Is there a way to transfer my site in whole?

Is there any way to transfer a site in whole without access to the physical files?

I want to switch to dreamhost, but my old site is hosted by the web designer that built the site. They’ve never provided a back-up copy to me and though they’ve promised repeatedly to send me the discs, I’ve not received them.

Now, they don’t respond to email or phone calls.

It’s a dynamic site that has scheduling and media pages, etc. It cost me a pretty penny when it was first designed and I’m paying way too much for hosting ($30.00 a month) and for site maintenance ($50.00 a month) that I’m not getting.

I realize I’ll have to invest in having some portions reconfigured, but I can’t afford to have it rebuilt from scratch.

Any suggestions?

It’s the being “dynamic” is what makes it difficult. Traditional tools such as wget, curl , etc. could get you most, if not all of the static content, and you you could retrieve any graphics that are displayed, but the database stuff is different.

Have you tried telling them you want (initially) to keep the hosting but take over the content/maintenance yourself? To facilitate that, they will need to provide you with access credentials to your site, and from there (depending upon what they actually give you) you could back everything up yourself to prepare for a “subsequent decision to find new hosting”.

It can be tricky when you have problems like this, particularly if you don’t have a clear contractual arrangement. If you do have such an arrangement, there is where you should start to work on first getting a full backup of the work you have paid for. You don’t need a “disc” necessarily, if you can get access to the management of your own site. :wink:


the problem is that their company has moved off into new directions and they just “don’t have time”. They suggested I move to a new host because they’re too busy to fulfill their commitments to our site as their big clients, their pro gaming sponsorship and a new software product they’re working to bring to market demand all their attention.

Repeatedly since August they promised to send the discs. The last time was at the end of October. Now they don’t answer phones, they don’t respond to emails.

I asked them to give me access so I can get all the components without draining their time, but that request has been ignored as well.

From what you are describing as their circumstance, there is another thing you might consider trying. Often developers in their situation are reticent to give you credentials because they (often correctly) believe that you will then screw things up or demand assistance they do not have the time to give, only exacerbating the situation.

Have you considered having a friend, or acquaintance, who is highly knowledgeable about web development, approach them on your behalf offering, if you will, to “take you off their hands”.

I have had several clients come to me in similar circumstances and with similar stories. I have found that when I contact the other developer in a professional manner, and explain that once I am given either tarballs of the site and the database, or sufficient credentials to retrieve the site as it presently stands, they will never hear from the client again, because I am taking over the site management responsibilities, they are only too happy to provide me with what I require. It gives them a “way out”, and they will generally take it. :wink:

You may well need someone of this type to help you anyway even if you get all the “discs” or other backup, as moving a dynamic site between hosts that may have very different environments can be challenging at times. This is particularly true with PHP based sites, as there are so many different configuration issues that can come into play.

You also need to make sure you don’t have major database compatibility issues (MySQL versions differences, does the site use postgreSQL , etc.), so that you can plan for any necessary conversions or modifications of your data and/or code.

I only mention these things because they are they types of problems many users in your situation commonly encounter when they change web devlopers/hosts, and I’m trying to spare you any avoidable frustration. :wink:

I’m not trying to avoid your basic question. Try to think of it this way: If your site is truly “secure” there should not be a way to get “everything” via a remote connection without credentials. So, I guess, the answer to your question, “Is there a way to transfer my site in whole?” is, in the practical sense of being able to have it work when you are done “transferring it”, “No, not without access to credentials and tools on the other server.”

You can get parts of it, and with enough effort maybe even get all the content (“save as” on each page after it has been dynamically displayed), but that is not the same as “transferring the site” so that it “works” the way it was designed to work.


Hi, thanks for your help.

Just a few minutes ago, after a concerted email and phone barrage to all the addresses and phone numbers I received a reply promising that the discs would be shipped tomorrow and that I will have the tracking information by noon. We’ll see.

If they really do send the data, I am aware that the reconfiguration will need some expert work. I do know it’s currently aspx and mysql and will need to be porting to php. I’ve been told that this is doable.

Here’s hoping that you get your disc(s) soon, and that you have a “painless port” from aspx to php! :wink:

I have to wonder though why they didn’t just tarball them up and make them available for you to download? Hey, whatever works, right! Good luck!


a mystery to me as well. It would certainly be less expensive and much quicker.

I don’t know that it will be completely painless. But hey, it’s better than starting completely from scratch. At that point I’d have to build a static site and start learning joomla, etc so I could do it myself.

I’m hot sure, but I don’t think you can have asp sites in dreamhost. You would have to look somewhere else. Even if you’re planning on porting to php, it would take a while (and with so many problems, I don’t see why you would want that).


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