How to manage email during a hosting transfer

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When you transfer email service between another hosting company and Oceania, you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss any mail during the transition.

When you’re transferring to us, the first and most important thing to do is to add the email addresses you wish to use into cpanel. You can do this as soon as you sign up with us, before we “point” your domain name to our servers. You may refer to our downloadable document Email Information from the Support Pages of your MEMBERS AREA on how to set up your email.

The rest of this page explains how to make sure everything goes smoothly during the actual changeover.

What’s the potential problem?

When you move your email service between another company and Oceania, most email starts arriving at the new servers as soon as the “DNS nameservers” are updated (if you’re transferring to us, this happens when you “point” your domain name at our servers).

However, a small amount of incoming mail can still arrive at the former host for two or three days. This is caused by “DNS caching”, which happens when another computer “remembers” the address of the old mail server without checking it again.

If you stop reading mail at your former host as soon as you start the transfer to us, it’s possible that you might miss a small amount of email that still arrives at the old company. You don’t want that to happen, obviously.

What’s the solution?

Most mail programs (including Outlook and Outlook Express) let you create multiple “accounts” to read mail from different servers, allowing you to read email on two servers at once. You can use this feature to read mail at the other hosting company and at Oceania during the changeover. If you do this, you won’t miss any mail: your email program will be reading messages that arrive at either server.

So when you start transferring your service to Oceania, you should add the email address in our cpanel and then add a new “account” in your mail program that connects to our servers. Leave the previous “account” active in your mail program for a few days so that your mail program still checks for mail on the old servers, too. You won’t miss any mail, and after a few days, it will be safe to delete the old “account” in your mail program (you might want to copy the existing mail over before deleting it).

This trick also works if — heaven forbid — you transfer your service from Oceania to another company.

What if the other hosting company doesn’t allow me to read email after I start the transfer?

If you’re transferring your email service to us, the other company hopefully will not close your account until you tell them to do so, so you should be able to continue to connect to their servers.

However, you might find that you can’t connect to the old company’s mail servers at all after you start transferring your service. This can happen if the company instructed you to set up your mail program to use an incoming (POP or IMAP) server name that ends with your domain name.

If this happens to you, you should still be able to read mail sent to the old hosting company by using their Webmail system during the changeover. Contact them for details.

What if my email program doesn’t support multiple accounts at all?

Webmail can help here, too. Your email program can connect to just one of the companies, and you can use our Webmail, or the other company’s Webmail, to read the mail arriving at the other.

After a few days, it will be safe to stop reading mail at the old hosting company and change your email program settings to read mail on the new servers.

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