Pre-migration tips for moving to Krystal
Moving home is said to be one of the most stressful things you can ever do!
However, in the case of moving your website's home to Krystal we aim to make things as smooth and straightforward as possible for you.
This guide gives some initial tips and pointers for things to check and do before your move - these things will help ensure things go smoothly and you have minimal downtime during your migration.
Even if you're keen to get going, please, take a few moments just to read through these tips, before jumping back to the Migrations section to find the best guide for your move - from a cPanel host, from a non-cPanel host - whether you are moving your domains to Krystal or leaving them somewhere else - we've got you covered.
tl;dr (too long; didn't read) if this all seems like gibberish to you from the outset - don't panic and skip straight to Tip 6 :)
Tip 1 - Talk to us
We're happy to chat online, or arrange a call with you prior to your migration. We understand there's a lot to consider - we do this stuff everyday - and we can guide you through the process and let you know what you need to do in a step-by-step way.
Tip 2 - Plan your migration
Think about when you'd like to actually complete your migration, during the day, in the evening, at the weekend - you'll need to be around and have time to test and complete any post-migration tweaks to get your site live in it's new home. Decide when you'll put your site in to maintenance mode (and know how to do that). Understand how to take backups and how to get them on to your Krystal server if you're completing the migration yourself. Don't panic - if this all seems too complex see Tip 6!
Tip 3 - reduce your DNS Time To Live (TTL)
When you move your site or hosting to Krystal it's IP address - it's identity number on the internet, will change from one of your current host's numbers, to one of Krystal's. DNS (Domain Name System) maps your site's name (e.g. www.yoursite.co.uk) to this identity number (e.g. 22.214.171.124). When visitors browse to your site DNS nameservers are queried in the background to find the correct IP address to send them to. These queries are cached to reduce load. The TTL defines how long this data is cached for. In order for your move to go smoothly and for people to be able to connect to your site again quickly after the move we recommend reducing the TTL for your DNS nameserver records and your sites A record a few days before you actually perform your migration.
Typically DNS records are set for 86400 seconds, or 24 hours, but can be even longer. We recommend setting this to 300 seconds (5 minutes) up to a week before you move - to allow any servers who have cached data to timeout and pull the new short TTL version.
This means when you update your nameservers (if you are moving your domains to Krystal), or update your sites A (address) record, if you are managing your domains elsewhere, the change will be picked up quickly by DNS servers around the world, reducing the amount of time visitors may not be able to find your site from potentially a day (or more) to only a few minutes.
Tip 4 - Don't cancel your existing hosting
Always allow some overlap time - to get your site up and running on Krystal and for testing - just in case something gets missed or needs retreiving from your current host.
Tip 5 - Decide if you'd like to transfer your domain to Krystal or leave it with your current registrar
Your domain (e.g. yoursite.co.uk), whilst key to your website and potentially other things like email is a separate entity - you can choose to have your domain with whatever registrar you like and then either choose to point individual records - like you A (address) record for your website, or MX (Mail Exchanger) records for email elsewhere; or to point your domains nameserver records to a different DNS provider.
With Krystal you have all these choices - transfer your domain to Krystal and you'll have all your DNS records configured automatically for our standard services - your website and email. Or, if you prefer to have your domain with a different registrar that's ok too - just either point specific DNS records to Krystal, or if you want to manage your DNS on Krystal's nameserver then change your nameservers to Krystal.
If you're using a third party email service, like Google's GSuite or Microsoft's Office365 Exchange service then you'll need to ensure that if you do either transfer your domain, or change the nameservers that you replicate any necessary DNS records before you actually change the nameservers to Krystal.
Tip 6 - Make use of our Free migration service
You can see what we cover in our free migration service guide.