Change of hosting provider of a site

Change of hosting provider of a site
In this post we explain the issues to take into account when changing a hosting server.

# Introduction

Whenever there is a change of hosting provider, there is always the concern of maintaining, first of all, the constant operation of the emails and the site, and secondly, of safeguarding the existing emails, if any.

Before explaining both points, it is important to understand what happens in a change of hosting provider .

Each hosting service has a defined Server Name ( DNS : in English Domain Name Servers ) that identifies it within the entire Network. And this name is the one that we must define in our own domain so that anyone can enter it.

This information, that is to say that DNS has defined our domain, is found in a registry base distributed throughout the world.

When making a change of hosting provider, the main task that we will carry out will be to change the DNS in our domain for those of the new server to indicate to the world that "we are moving".

Now, this change takes time until this information is finally updated in these registry databases . Time that is generally estimated at 48 hours, although this update is faster each time.

#1 Achieve smooth operation

To achieve a completely smooth operation of our site and the email accounts that we have configured, the following actions must be carried out before changing the DNS in our domain registration:

  1. Upload a copy of the site to the new server.
  2. Preconfigure email accounts on the new server.
  3. Point the site to the new DNS from the control panel (check with your current hosting provider )
  4. Have the information of what is the IP of the current server and if they have a provisional Web address (URL) to be able to continue accessing once the migration is finished
  5. Know how is the configuration of the email accounts in the new server to be aware of possible changes to make once the migration is completed.

To achieve total effectiveness in carrying out all these tasks, it will be necessary to have access data to the control panel of the current hosting to be able to make a complete backup of the site and see which email accounts are configured.

And also, what is the way to contact technical support to make the necessary queries according to the points expressed.

Data for the configuration of emails on our servers

Regarding point 5, these would be the points to take into account for the configuration of the emails:

  • The user is the entire e-mail account. Eg info@your-domain.com
  • The server name for all cases is: mail.your-domain.com (POP/IMAP/SMTP)
  • and outgoing mail authentication must be active (with the same data as incoming mail)

Access by Webmail is done from the following address: http://webmail.your-domain.com

NOTE! of course, you should replace your-domain.com with your own domain name.

IMPORTANT!

Finally, the only thing to keep in mind once the migration is finished is that we may have to change the email settings in our email clients: Outlook, Window Live, Thunderbird, Mail (mac osx), and/or on our cell phones .

In the first place, it can happen because the way of configuring the emails differs on both servers. And secondly, because the key that we have configured in the new server will be different from the one that each user had configured in the previous server.

In general, the only thing that happens is an entry error and because the key is not the same. To solve it, the steps would be:

  1. Enter the webmail through http://webmail.your-domain.com
  2. Place your e-mail account and the "new" password that we gave you before the migration as a user
  3. Once inside, in the footer you will have a link that will allow you to configure the key to the one you had previously and before the migration. If you don't remember it, don't worry because the important thing in this action is that you define a completely personal password for your email account.

Once you have defined your new password, you can update it on all your devices: PC, Notebook, Mobile, etc.

#2 Backup existing emails

There are 2 ways to receive emails on our devices. One of them downloads the emails that are on the server to our device (POP3) and the other allows them to be reviewed and managed directly from the server (IMAP).

In the POP3 protocol, emails are "deleted" from the server unless one in your mail client (Outlook) specifies to leave a copy.

In the IMAP protocol, the emails remain on the server.

In general, the most widely used now is IMAP, since it allows you to use your email on several devices at the same time and, above all, on mobile phones, since it would be impossible to download and store emails on them. However, it may happen that on your PC, you have configured the mail with POP3 and activated the option to leave a copy of them on the server to be able to also pick them up on your cell phone, for example.

The issue is that in server migration and depending on your particular configuration, you may need to migrate all emails to the new server as well.

If, for example, you use IMAP on all your devices when the migration is over, you will find empty boxes on all your devices since, logically, there is no email stored on the new one, or rather, there will only be the new ones that you receive.

On the other hand, if you only use one PC and you chose the POP3 protocol, you will already have a backup of all the emails on your machine and you will not have to take any action.

# migrate emails from the old server to the new one

If your case is first, that is, you use the IMAP protocol, luckily there is a tool that allows you to transfer all your emails from the old server to the new one.

What do you need to be able to use it?

  1. The IP number of the old server (must be provided by our current hosting)
  2. Your email username and password from the old server.
  3. The IP number of the new server (will be provided by the new company)
  4. Your username and email password of the new server.

With these data, you will be able to use this tool in a very simple way. In the link below, we leave a detailed instruction of the steps to follow with it:

http://www.3naves.com/blog/como-migrar-correos-de-un-servidor-a-otro.htm

# An important issue to consider

If your PC or another device is configured with the POP3 protocol, and you are also going to perform the migration with the suggested tool, we recommend that you make a backup of what is known as the data store , delete the account and return it to create with the IMAP protocol.

If you leave it configured with this protocol, when migrating your client will download all the e-mails again, generating duplicates of all the ones you already have on your machine!

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