Managing transition from one name server to another
May 28, 2021 8:32 AM   Subscribe

I'm shortly going to be moving my website from one host to another. It's not exactly clear when the old host will 'turf me off' and I'll have to move to the new host. The registrar is godaddy.

My email is hosted by gmail, I just point my MX record at them.

My website is currently hosted by rackspace, so my name servers (and all child records like mx records) are controlled/managed by them.

At some point soon I'm going to need to have something temporary in place so that I can continue to use email (so I need a way to continue to point my mx records at gmail) and I'll need just a temporary holding page website.

Anyone know the best way to do this? I will only need the holding page for about a week, I think.

Thank you!
posted by dance to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
The easiest way to do this is to point your name servers at Godaddy and use their DNS. You'll need to copy over the records from Rackspace.
posted by signalnine at 8:41 AM on May 28, 2021

Best answer: Or even better, manage your DNS at Cloudflare, and changing hosts won't affect it much at all. You just point your nameservers to Cloudflare at wherever your domain is registered, and you're good to go. Plus you get all the benefits of Cloudflare, which I will not extol here, but which are significant. All this AND it's free?!

We manage about 150 domains for free in Cloudflare, and it is truly life-altering to separate DNS from hosting so cleanly and successfully.

If you set up Cloudflare now, while you're still on Rackspace, it will automatically detect your DNS records and set it all up for you. You can test before you move by simply changing your Rackspace nameservers to point at Cloudflare. LMK if you have any questions...I do this a lot. Too much. :D
posted by nosila at 8:53 AM on May 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Cloudflare can also function as your domain registrar and their prices are great. Cloudflare takes some time to get used to and you can shoot yourself in the foot by messing with the settings, but what they offer for free is great.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:06 AM on May 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks so much, guys. I'm going to go the cloudflare route.

Weirdly there's a TXT record I don't have any clue about

v=spf1 ptr ~all

none of these make sense to me, I've never used BTInternet or BT connect or Outlook...
posted by dance at 11:51 AM on May 29, 2021

Just a side note, yesterday I finally switched over my primary domain from Porkbun to Cloudflare and it was easy and fast (already used their DNS for the domain so it made sense to remove Porkbun from the equation). They even offer domain privacy for free. Cloudflare's main problem right now is that they don't support a bunch of popular TLDs.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:02 PM on May 29, 2021

That TXT record is a SPF record. It's used by recipients of email to authenticate if email that is "from" your domain was really sent by your domain or not. It's intended to identify all servers/domains that can send email on behalf of your website( and by omission, email not authorized to send email on your behalf). It's used by email servers to reduce spam, phishing, etc.

Presumably at some point, it was set up to allow those other servers to send email on behalf of your domain. If you were set up with a cloud-based email service, for example, then you would want to allow their servers to send email "from" your domain. If it wasn't done manually, then it must have been added by the DNS hosting company. I can sort of see the rationale of adding google and outlook by default, as those are the two biggest cloud email providers, they are unlikely to allow forged emails, and customers could have a setup that "just works". Perhaps the others are fairly common in the UK, such that the host just adds them by default for certain customers?

I'm only marginally familiar with how SPF (and related things like DKIM) are used in email delivery, but I'm under the impression that having these records can reduce the likelihood of your email getting sent to Spam. However, they need to include ALL authorized senders of email "from" your domain, including third party vendors (marketing, email lists, contact forms, e-shops, etc). If you have a SPF record and a particular sender is not listed, emails sent by that sender may be marked as suspicious, sent to spam, or flat out rejected, so if you care at all about outbound email, you should ensure that you understand the implications of a particular setup.
posted by yuwtze at 5:37 PM on May 30, 2021

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