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To transfer domain name service to a new host identify registrar using "WHOis" lookup http://domreg-m6.net/domains/WHois.asp, verify registration of your domain name, identify name server information for host your are transferring to, and make changes in DNS information at registrar. During this DNS transition period new DNS information has to be propagated throughout world's DNS servers. This propagation might take 2-4 days as an International root name server will firstly have to check all various Domain registrars for updates, and then every ISP provider will update their DNS setting to show new changes. Not only this, even Internet, i.e. Internet routers and caching engines have to update/clear its DNS cache as well. During this propagation period, you keep your old site running so that visitors whose ISP provider haven't updated can still visit your website.
It's advisable that you don't cancel your old hosting service during transition period, as you will need to check your mail from both hosting providers, as some will direct e-mail to your old server whereas other Internet regions will send mail to your new server. After one or two weeks you can annul account with your old host.
On very first notion it sounds like a painful task to find a new web host and make all necessary changes, but with steps known, people like John will not find this procedure problematic. With so many automation software packages available, it has now become easier to switch over your web site from old host to new host. If both hosting providers have same operation system platform, procedure will become even simpler. But remember, most important task in whole host-changing scenario is to find a host that meets your requirements so that you don't have to go through this entire procedure again in future.
Priyanka Agarwal Hosting evangelist http://www.m6.net/