There are three things to factor in for a website: the domain, web host, and e-mails. They all are associated and need to be all considered when moving your website to another host or if you want to move your e-mails or domain to another provider. The best practice is to move all three of them when considering to move one. Why? Because, if you move your e-mail host and not your domain, your emails will point to where the old domain host is for direction when sending and receiving. If you have issues, you will be speaking with 2 companies who will most likely point fingers to the other one. To have a solid computer support plan for your site, go with one company, such as GoDaddy.
In terms of the scheduling of the process, you should expect downtime no matter what. Here is the time it takes for the emails, host, and domain to switch to the new provider:
- Domain: First, you have to request a switch with your current domain registrar. It will take app. 5 days for approval. Then, the new domain host will take another 5 days to transfer.
- Web host: The text book answer is 24 – 48 hours for the old and new servers to find themselves on the world wide web. Then, the mx records of the old host points to the new host, and then finally the new host takes over. It really takes between 4 – 8 hours.
- E-mails: The e-mails usually take 6 – 10 hours to start being able to send/receive emails with the new email host provider.
It is wise to speak with your new host to ensure all is going accordingly to the above plan.