DNS Issues When Migrating Providers

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AdamH
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DNS Issues When Migrating Providers

Post by AdamH » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:28 am

Migrating Account’s And Possible DNS Issues

Switching providers can be a daunting task, if you’re not happy with the service you’re receiving from your web host then 90% of the time you will want to walk away from them and find a new place on the Internet. Unfortunately this comes with its problems, whilst it possible to move websites with zero downtime there will always be DNS issues in some form.

DNS propagation is, put simply the amount of time it takes for changes to your domain names configuration at server level to propagate through the DNS system the world over. DNS caching is servers known as resolvers like Google (8.8.8.8 / 8.8.4.4) caching a copy of your domains zonefile. From here future requests for information about the domain name will be served from the cache instead of contacting the server directly. Without DNS caching each request would be sent to the server resulting in higher loads, more bandwidth usage and a busier Internet for everyone.

If you’re going to be making domain changes like migrating your site there’s a nifty little feature in each domains DNS Zone file called a “TTL” or Time to Live. This is the time in which DNS revolvers contact the domain looking for changes. By default its set at 14400 which is 4 hours. If your making changes update this value to something like 300 seconds a full 24 hours before you make changes. This will reduce the time propagation takes.
Some providers like your IPS may update the DNS cache they hold on a slower basis. Sky and BT seem to have a longer update time than the likes of Virgin, In these cases all you can do is wait as they won't look at the TTL for the update frequency.

If your migrating be patient a little pain in terms of SSH connections or failed emails is nothing compared to a bad web hosting service.

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