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  1. #1
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    Looking for a little help in planning a domain migration strategy

    Hello all,

    Happy to find this site--I have a couple of sitepoint books but never investigated these forums before now...they seem as friendly and clear as the books are

    I'm hoping someone might be willing to give me a little advice with my current project. Here's the overview:

    Client has an existing site, example.com. Content is dated and so is the host, both have got to go. However, domain has some functioning (and often-used) email accounts, ie client-at-example.com.

    I've set up a plan with a different host, one that will allow me to host multiple sites. I've already put a separate small site on it, but that's not relevant here.

    I would like to build an entirely new site (wordpress) for example.com on the new host. I am trying to figure out the best way to bring example.com over with minimal disruption to the email--not so concerned about the old content.

    I was thinking that maybe I would register example.net, which is available--and then construct the site using that. When the new site is ready enough for prime time I would dump both the old content and the old host and bring over example.com to replace the .net domain, but then I realized that might cause email trouble (or wordpress trouble).

    Would it be better to bring the entire old site over to the new host first and then dismantle it there? Is there any way to minimize problems with shifting email accounts from one host to the other?

    Any insight would be much appreciated--thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Certified Ethical Hacker silver trophybronze trophy dklynn's Avatar
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    siata,

    I've just gone through the migration of a VPS account to a dedicated account with a different host. WebHostingBuzz was happy to use the cPanel migration tool to migrate EVERYTHING, yes, well over 10GB of website files (including password protected directories AND SSL certificates), databases, e-mail accounts, and web statistics (logs and Awstats historical data). They did a super job moving and testing everything before they had me change the IP address of my private domain name servers (that's all I had to do!) and all was up and running in no time. THAT IS THE WAY TO DO IT!

    Okay, if you're not using WHB (and after asking "why not?"), I'd recommend the same approach but adding your own domain as an addon. You can create your updated client (WP) website in a subdirectory and "promote it" to its DocumentRoot when you are ready for the client's website to switchover.

    If you need to maintain your own domain as the master at the new website, then the process will be rather arduous as you'll need to copy from the old host then upload to the new host and trust that you get the usernames and passwords correct (good luck, I created all the accounts on my server but I didn't want to take that chance as some clients were storing e-mail online and I'm sure I would have lost something important).

    Well, that's one way (which requires cPanel at both ends but they've made hosting migration easy!). Take my advice and require cPanel from your hosts and you'll be able to migrate if and when the time should come that it would be necessary.

    Regards,

    DK
    David K. Lynn - Data Koncepts is a long-time WebHostingBuzz (US/UK)
    Client and (unpaid) WHB Ambassador
    mod_rewrite Tutorial Article (setup, config, test & write
    mod_rewrite regex w/sample code) and Code Generator

  3. #3
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    David--thank you so much for your reply! I truly appreciate your time and insight.

    I set up HG hosting for the new version of the site (did not know before now about WHB--sorry!), which does have cPanel. It appears the old site is currently hosted by MarketAmerica--no cPanel in sight unfortunately (only maWebcenter). So far I have not been able to determine a way to make this shift without there being at least 4-8 hours of downtime for the email addresses (I am not concerned with loss of stored messages, they use outlook--just the actual functionality of the addresses). That said, I don't think there is any need to migrate any content from the old host--I was hoping maybe that approach would have eliminated down-time for the emails, but alas that doesn't seem to be the case.

    In the meantime I've set up a local server for the new WP site so I can work on that while I get my head around this domain/email question a little more.

    Thanks again and all the best, Molly

  4. #4
    Certified Ethical Hacker silver trophybronze trophy dklynn's Avatar
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    siata,

    I'm not a salesman for WHB so please don't apologize. You have to be happy with your host ... I am with WHB (and have been for several years - that's why I'm an "ambassador")! Next time, you can give them a try and you'll find out why I rave about them like I do.

    Well, the method used (a cPanel host transfer) requires both hosts to be using cPanel so my suggestion would not have worked.

    In the past, I have made my transfers "the hard way" by copying everything I needed off the old website and manually adding domains, e-mail accounts, databases, etc., on the new host then changing the pointers with the registrar(s). That will require a bit of time as you'll have to do everything manually but you will have your new account setup the way you want it (i.e., you can change from your setup in the past). You can setup your new host without deleting from the old host so that the changeover time required will be limited to the propagation time from your registrar(s) - just don't close the old account until you're sure that all the registrations have been updated around the world (72 hours is the time I've seen quoted).

    Suggestion: To prevent e-mail being lost (on the old host after propagation of your clients' ISPs), you should consider forwarding everything received by the old host just before changing the registration pointers to a "pool" e-mail account (or individual e-mail accounts on your domain) which you can then resend to the correct client account.

    Regards,

    DK
    David K. Lynn - Data Koncepts is a long-time WebHostingBuzz (US/UK)
    Client and (unpaid) WHB Ambassador
    mod_rewrite Tutorial Article (setup, config, test & write
    mod_rewrite regex w/sample code) and Code Generator


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