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Email and domain hosting - what to do?

TieKnot
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Email and domain hosting - what to do?

Hi,

I've become aware that my email and domain hosting is at risk.  I used to be a very committed PN customer for a long time, but since moving in with my partner, I only have free-of-charge email and domain hosting account.  Having decided to do something about it, I've found various threads that suggest that PN is withdrawing from domain hosting and email only accounts.

A third party (FastHosts) is the registrar but the domain is hosted on PN, with the following nameservers

  • ns1.force9.net
  • ns2.force9.net

I have 3 or 4 active email addresses, and the Postmaster account acted as a catchall.  It used to be easy to add email accounts on PN, and the catchall meant that I could create spurious email addresses for 3rd party sites.

Ideally I'd like that sort of functionality elsewhere, but what are the steps I need to take to transfer all out of PN?

Please can anyone help?  Also can anyone recommend a registrar and/or a domain and email hosting company?  I reckon companies like Ionos and GoDaddy probably do what I want, so everything is in one place?  But can I use Outlook or Gmail (albeit with my own domain name) as email clients?

I know that for some people these might seem like dumb questions ... but I'm just starting this exercise and want to create a simple checklist to migrate my PN/own Domain email system.  I think the main steps are:

1) identify/select email and domain hosting company;

2) select package - need to accommodate 3-5 email addresses including a catchall postmaster account;

3) sign-up;

Now it gets hazy:

4) approve change in domain/email hosting arrangements to current registrar?

5) notify PN?

6) what about transferring my existing emails from old to new provider?  (actually only recent files are available to IMAP as I pretty much archive emails to offline folders, once processed ... I don't have 10s of thousands of unread emails etc. 😉

Any help would be appreciated.  TIA,

David K

9 REPLIES 9
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 22,717
Thanks: 9,442
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Email and domain hosting - what to do?

Your situation is an easy one. As the domain is already registered somewhere else, you just need to find a hosting provider. FastHosts offer such services.

Having sorted out a hosting service, you need to configure the DBS records in either FastHost’s name servers or in your hosting provider’s name servers. Having done that you change the name server addresses on the domain registration records.

However, there is no panic. Plusnet have discussed this on and off but has made no definite decision beyond no mail / hosting on new accounts and no retention of such where they already exist on account closure. Existing facilities remain in place.

Many all encompassing ISPs are reducing services to the bare essentials, see for example Zen.

There are a lot of hosting companies with different pricing levels and variable performance. I use lcn.com for a charity I run and I have set up a couple of businesses with them. They are not the cheapest (but not overly expensive) and their support is excellent.

You can use your existing email clients with any hosting provider offering IMAP and SMTP servers.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

MisterW
Superuser
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Posts: 14,360
Thanks: 5,285
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Email and domain hosting - what to do?

I have 3 or 4 active email addresses, and the Postmaster account acted as a catchall.  It used to be easy to add email accounts on PN, and the catchall meant that I could create spurious email addresses for 3rd party sites.

Ideally I'd like that sort of functionality elsewhere, but what are the steps I need to take to transfer all out of PN?

Please can anyone help?  Also can anyone recommend a registrar and/or a domain and email hosting company?  I reckon companies like Ionos and GoDaddy probably do what I want, so everything is in one place?  But can I use Outlook or Gmail (albeit with my own domain name) as email clients?

Most companies tend to charge on a per mailbox/user basis so if you need multiple mailboxes they can be expensive. For your situation I'd look at https://www.ecohosting.co.uk/email.html or https://www.mythic-beasts.com/hosting . Both will provide multiple maiboxes for around £20/yr. Ecohosting use the more common CPanel for configuration whereas Mythic use their own proprietary GUI. Both allow unlimited aliases/forwarders and Mythic will support multiple domains. 

In terms of transfer, your domain registration is currently with Fasthosts and so doesnt HAVE to be moved but you may wish to.

To review your transfer steps:-

1) identify/select email and domain hosting company;

2) select package - need to accommodate 3-5 email addresses including a catchall postmaster account;

3) sign-up;

That's about right so far

Now it gets hazy:

4) approve change in domain/email hosting arrangements to current registrar?

5) notify PN?

6) what about transferring my existing emails from old to new provider?  (actually only recent files are available to IMAP as I pretty much archive emails to offline folders, once processed ... I don't have 10s of thousands of unread emails etc.

What you really need to do is:-

4) Configure the new mail hosting with mailboxes and aliases

5) Add the new accounts to your email client ( at this stage mail is still being handled by PN )

6) If using IMAP , then copy mail from the PN accounts to the new accounts . You can either do it manually or there are tools available to 'sync' IMAP accounts e.g https://imapsync.lamiral.info/#doc ( read about a migration plan here https://imapsync.lamiral.info/FAQ.d/FAQ.Migration_Plan.txt )

7) change your domain nameservers from Plusnet  to the new hosting ones . Ideally you do this in 2 stages ( MX record first and then the nameservers ) see migration plan above. At this point mail is being handled by the new host , athough nameserver changes can take some time ( up to 48 hrs) to propagate so some email may still go to PN. So some recopying may be necessary.

Cool Once youre happy that all mail is now going to the new host, remove the PN accounts from your email client

That's it! you dont need to tell PN, as soon as you change the nameservers they will no longer be hosting your domain

That's probably a bit of a simple overview but post back with any questions...

 

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

seebee
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 107
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Registered: ‎08-07-2017

Re: Email and domain hosting - what to do?

I use Plusnets email service (mainly for a few newsletters & unimportant signups) and when I saw the general trend that ISPs are getting rid of their own free email services, I looked at cheap alternatives for email. I use EcoHosting (probably as I'd seen it mentioned by @MisterW before!) and also Migadu (I saw that mentioned on Hacker News along with other suggestions) - the $19/year plan is enough for me. They also have unlimited mailboxes and catchall.

mort7890
Pro
Posts: 580
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Registered: ‎28-06-2007

Re: Email and domain hosting - what to do?

Hi @TieKnot 

I would take the advice from @MisterW helped me greatly and I finally went with EcoHosting

TieKnot
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Re: Email and domain hosting - what to do?

Thank you, @Townman  for this helpful information.  Useful background.  Did you mean DBS or DNS records btw (I think B is next to N and DBS could be a typo)?  I don't change email systems very often ... and each time I have to grope my way through the process. :-).  It's quite a long time since I left PlusNet ... so I really do need to tidy up email and hosting arrangements for peace of mind. 

TieKnot
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Re: Email and domain hosting - what to do?

Really helpful, @MisterW, thank you.  (I think you've helped me in the past, btw).  I will follow up on this in the next few weeks.  I'm by no means an expert in this sort of stuff so it's great to get support from people like you.  (The community pages were an attractive adjunct to PN services when I first joined.)  As an engineer, I'm at high risk of buying the wrong solution, when people sell it to me ... so I like to understand what I'm doing.  🙂  

TieKnot
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Re: Email and domain hosting - what to do?

Thanks, @seebee,  I'll have a little hunt around too.  In principle, I prefer to pay for services like email (but not much, because gmail and outlook are free).  It means there is always some sort a tort over the service provider.  Fasthosts might be the easy option for me. 🙂

Townman
Superuser
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Posts: 22,717
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Email and domain hosting - what to do?

Yes DNS!!

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

TieKnot
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Re: Email and domain hosting - what to do?


@mort7890 wrote:

Hi @TieKnot 

I would take the advice from @MisterW helped me greatly and I finally went with EcoHosting


All duly noted.  Thank you.  🙂