Have a friend that wants to move her site to dreamhost, but doesn’t want to interrupt her email service attached to her domain. Is this possible? I would think that if the records & accounts are already setup on the dreamhost side that this would work, but I’m not entirely sure. Any input appreciated.
I don’t think I am qualified to suggest a solution. But these are what come out of my mind.
follow this http://wiki.dreamhost.com/DNS_-_Viewing_site_before_DNS_change to make sure there is no downtime during the transfer of the site. That is not what you are looking for but it is helpful when you are moving your site.
If you don’t want your email service to be interrupted, you can keep the email hosted in the old server for a while. After you have finished setting up emails in Dreamhost, then point MX record from old host to Dreamhost.
MX record (for email) is different from DNS. If the old email server is still active, I think the emails will go to the old email server first. If the old email server is cancelled or you have pointed MX record from old one to Dreamhost, the new emails will then be sent to Dreamhost.
I hope I am not confusing you.
The catch with all of this is that for many days after the change, some email will trickle to the old server until EVERYBODY’S DNS gets updated. It could take 5 days.
You need to find a way to query the old server occasionally over the following few days to catch the straggling mail. At this end, I could query spunky.mail.dreamhost.com for my mail, or its IP address.
To figure this out, find out the IP address of your current mail server using the ‘host’ command from a UNIX shell. Then use that IP address in your mail program.
OR set up mail forwarding at your old place to forward mail to off-site accounts such as Gmail or the like. I like this idea better. Once your old site shuts down for good, all mail will end up at your new host.