Domain, Website and Email Migration Process
This page describes the steps usually taken to transfer web and email hosting to Information Analytics. There are many reasons why the process might be more complex than indicated here, depending on where your domain name is registered, where your site is currently hosted, and how your email accounts are configured.
Domain names are registered through one of the many registrars available around the world. Depending on how your site is hosted (for example, a package deal with domain name registration bundled with your hosting) you might or might not need to transfer your domain name to another registrar, in order to move your website. If you already have a registrar account at Enom, Godaddy or Network Solutions you don’t have to move to another registrar to change your hosting package or email.
If you’d prefer that we manage your domain name, just to keep everything in one place, we can move it to our account, with your name as the owner of the domain. This can be an involved process. First, you’ll need to gain access to your registrar account, or contact your current host to ask them to authorize a transfer. They will send you an authorization key which is a long random sequence of characters. We can then use that key to initiate the transfer request.
Complications arise if you don’t know where your domain is registered or don’t have the account information, or if the administrator email address is no longer valid. If this is the case, you might need to request access from the registrar and provide hard copy documentation to prove you are the owner of the domain name.
After your domain name is transferred, we’ll configure entries for “www” and email, to point to your new website and mail server. For more information, see How Domain Name Services (DNS) Works.
Web Site Migration
It’s often helpful to have access to your new website for upload and preview, prior to completing the transfer. We’ll send you the account login information when we have configured the site, but we generally have to assign a temporary domain name, so you can access it until cutover. This is necessary because your current site (i.e., www.yourdomain.com) can only point to one site at a time. We often create a temporary address such as yourdomain.4w.com, and when you are ready to complete the cutover, we’ll make the DNS change as described earlier, and then www.yourdomain.com will start pointing to the same location as the temporary address. After cutover, the temporary address will be deleted.
DNS changes may take from several hours to several days to propagate across the Internet. If your web site domain name is still pointing to the old location after a DNS change, wait 24 hours and try again.
Email migration is often the most disruptive, because for a brief time during the cutover, its possible that some email will go to your old mailbox and some will go to the new mailbox. This can happen because domain name services have a timeout feature where it retains the old address until it reaches the time to refresh it. During that time window, mail from (for example) AOL users might still be delivered to your old account, while mail from Gmail might go to your new account. There is no way to avoid this possibility, due to the way domain name services work.
What we recommend is that we initiate the email cutover on a friday or some other time when you expect less than normal mail volume for the next 24 hours. Allow at least 24 hours, continuing to download mail from your old host, then change your mail client to pull mail from your new mail server.
In order to configure your new mailboxes, we can give you access to our web-based mail administrator account for your domain, so you can create and manage your own mailboxes. Or we can configure the accounts for you, for an additional service charge. Our support area includes several pages that describe how to configure or modify your email settings, to read and send mail on our servers.