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We're replacing our website (a B2B news website, around 12,000 sessions a month) with one built in a new and better CMS. The old one was built on a custom CMS circa 2009 and is out-of-date. The content is pretty much all ready to go, I just need to switch where the domain points.

The domain is registered with one provider while our web hosting is via another. So, I have two questions:

  1. We've been instructed to alert our DNS provider to change the CNAME entry on their DNS. Do I do this 24 hours before go-live, or can I do it now without affecting the current site?
  2. The CMS provider has given me the CSR secure code for the SSL certificate. Do I send that to the DNS provider or the web host (or both)?
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I'l tackle SSL first as that is the first thing that needs to be done. The CSR is used by SSL providers to generate an SSL certificate to put on your server. Before you send customers to your new server you want to make sure that the new server has SSL working so you order a new SSL certificate from whatever SSL provider your company chooses to use. They will asl for the CSR which is in effect a signature from the server to say that the server in question is the valid server for the certificate to be on. Then you will be given an SSL certificate by the provider to give to your web host to install on the server. Once this has been done SSL will be valid and working.

At this point you can get your DNS provider to update the CNAME records for your DNS zone file. At this point it could take anywhere from a few seconds to several hours for all connections to go to the new server instead as it depends on the time to live (TTL) that your DNS provider has had for your CNAME entry up until this point.

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