There are a lot of steps involved in moving a web-site, and a lot of different places you can get tripped up, sometimes resulting in your website becoming unavailable for hours or even days. Today we had a client asking about moving a web-site to our hosting service, so I wrote up this list of steps.
Configure the DNS server use a TTL of 15 minutes.
This is an option in the DNS settings.
If your current provider is also hosting DNS:
Set up the current DNS settings on the new DNS server.
Modify the name servers listed in the domain registration to list the new servers.
Wait the zone TTL length for remote name servers to update.
Notify the old DNS provider that you have moved DNS away from them.
Set up the new hosting account.
Publish the pages to the new account.
Test that the pages look good there.
Change the DNS server to list the new hosting server IP address.
Test the new website until you are happy with it.
If you have problems with the new server, consider switching DNS back.
Configure the DNS server use a TTL of 2 to 4 hours.