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I have a website, hosted on a Shared Hosting plan at 1and1, and recently I've got a Virtual Server, because I aim to transfer the website to a bigger server.

So the process I will be doing is:

  1. Copy Files from one server to the other.
  2. Transfer domains from one server to the other.
  3. Recreate all emails address in the new server, almost 100 accounts.

The problem I see is, recreating the email accounts means that for at least 1 hour or more, the whole company will be without email, and the emails lost will impact the business and customer satisfaction.

So I'm wondering, how could I approach this issue in order to minimize the impact on the business?

I know I could do it on a Sunday, but the company works with customer service so it could be really possible that they get emails at any time, any day.

I have been thinking about creating a catch all email account in server one, delete all email accounts, then transfer the domain, and create a catch all email in the other server, then recreate all email accounts, get all emails that arrived into the catch all email and forward individually to each different address.

  • Just change your DNS when you've finished moving everything. – William Edwards Apr 27 '15 at 16:03
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    I think you should consider renting a dedicated server instead of a virtual server, especially when you have 100 email accounts that you say are important. The upside to a dedicated server is that you're basically renting an entire computer in which you have control of all software on it. As for a virtual server, I'm pretty sure someone else is managing the computer and they're giving you part of their resources for your website needs. Dedicated servers can function faster if tuned correctly. – Mike Apr 27 '15 at 16:24
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  1. Make the change off hours. Sunday morning (a.k.a midnight) is typically the best time to do it as that is when there is usually the fewest users using the system. It's also when you will receive the fewest emails.

  2. Announce your downtime. Naturally downtime is bad but when you tell your users to expect it, it usually isn't a problem. An email to user and/or a notice on your website should suffice. Also, have a maintenance page up during the change so users who forgot or didn't know about the downtime will be aware of why the site is unavailable. This should reduce support requests.

  3. Your old emails will still be available to you after the change so you don't need to do anything drastic to the system. After the switch use your old IP address to access those emails.

  • The web is worldwide used, I can't contact customers, as our customers contact us for quotations, I also want to change email accounts from one server to the other. – sudo.ie Apr 27 '15 at 14:07
  • You can change the email accounts server-wide. The quantity of accounts do not matter. Because of how DNS works you're going to get emails to the old server no matter what you do. But by making the change at the low point of activity you minimize this and you can always get the old emails. – John Conde Apr 27 '15 at 14:30
  • on a shared hosting? I believe they don't have that option. – sudo.ie Apr 27 '15 at 15:18
  • Sure you do. I've done multiple times. The site doesn't disappear immediately once you change your DNS. It still lives in the old location until it is completely deleted. – John Conde Apr 27 '15 at 15:27
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Are you moving from a hosted server at 1and1 to a virtual server at 1and1? Then you should get in contact with the support team of 1and1. Chances are that they can minimize the problems by moving everything for you.

Otherwise split the move into (at least) two steps by separating the website-moving from the email-account-moving. Even with shared accounts you shuld have the option to redirect things (www / pop / imap) through a web interface by editing the IP address. So you could set up al email accounts before you move, then redirect emails to the new server while still letting people check their emails from the old server. Once you're sure everybody picked up their email from the old server they can then switch their email programms to the new server. But also this is something you'll probably want to dicuss with the support team of 1and1.

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