moving site from wordpress

We are redesigning a site.  Current webmaster doesn't communicate well.  We did a and it said Layered TEchnologiees is the host.  I called and they said they are not but noticed the site is a wordpress site and said that maybe wordpress is the host.  Sometimes wordpress works with layered technology for hosting services.  Is there a way to get ahold of wordpress?  We want to move hosting to another company.  We know where the registrar is.  Can I simply contact the registrar and change name servers and be done with it?  How will that impact email?  Ugh what a mess!
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Yes, it can be challenging and complicated. Without an actual domain name I wouldn't be able to look up the hosting for the current site, but I definitely wouldn't change the nameservers without having everything in order first. If you give me (us) the domain name then I can look up the stuff below and perhaps eliminate some steps:

Here are the maximum number of steps I see:

1- find out who hosts the site.
2- get the files from that host for the wordpress install. this must include the database too!
3- set up hosting with another provider, upload files and database.
4- find a place for your DNS to actually be served from (find nameservers). If you have GoDaddy as your registrar, for example, they provide DNS services for free. If you use another registrar, you will need to either use them or find a provider such as DNS Made Easy to host your DNS.
5- you will need to copy the existing DNS entries to the new provider: take a look at your existing DNS entries
 a- you will need to copy the MX records exactly as they are configured
 b- the A record will change to point to your new hosting
 c- if there is a CNAME for 'www' that points to @, leave that alone. If there is an A record for the 'www' then change that to point to the new hosting as well.
 d- make sure that any other records in your DNS (TXT, SPF, etc.) are copied over to the new DNS provider as well.
6- once all is set -- both the hosting and the DNS records, then and only then should you change the nameservers in your registrar.

It's a little confusing with all of the DNS/nameserver/hosting jargon. A nameserver provides the DNS service (DNS Made Easy, GoDaddy's DNS). A domain name points to 2 or more nameservers. The DNS records point to the hosting.

domain points to nameservers (dns provider), points to hosting
domain -> nameservers (dns provider) -> hosting.

The wildcard here is who hosts the DNS records (nameservers). Sometimes it's the registrar (GoDaddy in the example above), sometimes it's the hosting provider ("hosting" above), and sometimes it's a 3rd party ("DNS Made Easy" above).

Some of what I just wrote is repetitive, but I'm trying to explain it in multiple ways to ensure that it makes sense at some level.

You might want to hire a consultant to do this if your domain is critical and must be up 100%. This is especially true with mail. One mistake in the MX records could result in an entire day without email.


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nsitedesignsAuthor Commented:
Thanks Mike for the mini lesson.  Yikes!  One good thing is that we are not redesigning using wordpress.  We are designing using html so I will not need to worry about the current files and database.  Yipee!
Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Current webmaster doesn't communicate well.

I am shocked, shocked that a member of our profession has less-than-adequate communication skills.
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nsitedesignsAuthor Commented:
I KNOW - we should kick him out of our club eh?  : )
Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I seem to remember you use godaddy for hosting and if that is the case, changing the nameserver might be all you need to do unless of course they currently are with godaddy.  You might need to get the name released from the old account.  I have had that issue before.

As far as email, many people use webmail and when you change the dns they could loose access.  Again, if this is on a shared hosting account, there are typically multiple ways to get to the "old" webmail account even without using the domain name.  

If they use IMAP in the old mail, there is not an easy "free" way to move the mail to the same folders in the new account.  What I have done is create the mail account on the  new server.  Then using thunderbird (since I don't use thunderbird for regular mail), create an account in thuhderbird using both the new and old mail accounts. Then just drag the folders from the old account to the new.  If they have a lot of mail, it will take some time and best to do this on a good internet connection.  

I find when changing like this, it takes a minute in most cases for the site to change and 1 to 2 hrs for email when using godaddy for .com.
nsitedesignsAuthor Commented:
Thanks Padas!
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