I’m moderately experienced with HTML and CSS, but I’m new to hosting and to DH. I don’t entirely understand how to transfer my clients’ domains into my DH account, specifically their email accounts. There seems to be a possibility of them losing some email during the transfer process, though I find little mention of this. Here’s an interesting paragraph from the wiki:
As for the email switchover, as long as you keep your old hosting account for a little while after you make the DNS switch, you shouldn’t lose anything. For a while, some emails will go to our servers and some will go to your old hosts…but once the dns propagation is finished, all the email will be going to our servers and you can safely cancel the old account. However, you’ve still got a problem because you will not be able to retrieve the email which was routed to your old host after DNS starts directing your computer’s email client to Dreamhost. Here is the solution: Set up a special email account in a different domain (example: Yahoo, gmail, or your ISP). Just before throwing the switch on DNS, log in to your old web host’s control panel and set all of your domain’s email accounts to forward to this special account. Then, add the special account to your computer’s email client and schedule it to download email. All of your domain’s email will immediately be downloaded via this special account, but during DNS propagation it will go more and more back to your domain’s account, now hosted by Dreamhost.
This method is also discussed very briefly in the DH forum post " uninterrupted email while switching hosts?" (October 5, 2007)
Another source suggested that the client should simply check their old account (via web mail) for about a week, then close that account. Seems like an easier method, but then those messages aren’t saved as easily.
Is this or some other workaround really necessary for every single email account I ever migrate to DH? I assume this is not unique to DH. Is it routine to some of you, or is this not a big deal and generally ignored? Are my clients apt to lose emails otherwise? When I switch the DNS, is their email client, Outlook or whatever, going to function normally, oblivious to the switch (if it’s POP and I set up the same username and password at DH)? Or will it have problems? I want to be careful with my clients’ email, but I’m finding little information regarding the possible hazards of the transition period during DNS propagation. I have related questions, but I should perhaps stop here.