If you’re changing hosts and you use you@yourdomain.com, it can be difficult or impossible to transfer old email (sent items, inbox, etc.) and your address book. If you don’t care about that old mail or address book, great, no worries. If you would like to try to keep some of that, here are a few scenarios to help, based on the level of complexity for the move.

1.) None: you don’t use you@yourdomain.com

Nothing to change, nothing to move, you’re all set. You need to move the files of the website (if applicable), but as far as email, you@yahoo.com (etc.) will not be affected.

2.) Light: You use you@yourdomain.com from an email client (e.g. Outlook, Mac Mail, etc.)

If you mainly use Outlook, Mac Mail, Outlook Express or another computer-based email system and always download your mail, then there’s also not much you need to do. When the switch takes place, you should check email often so you get those last stragglers into your inbox. Once the switch takes place, you may need to change some settings in your email program.

If you occasionally check your mail while on the road or from another computer, your webmail address for the new host will be www.yourdomain.com/webmail (if you’re hosted with Likoma or a host that uses cPanel). Maybe you use webmail once in a while while on the road, but no email, folders, or addresses are stored online (that you care about).

3.) Power: You mainly use your webmail for you@yourdomain.com

You use webmail (you log into a website to get your mail, usually something like www.yourdomain.com/webmail) as your main mail service–and you probably do not use an email client (e.g. Outlook, Mac Mail, etc.). So you’ll probably have sent mail, folders, and maybe even an address book. Depending on the host you’re coming from, this could be as easy as a few downloads, as difficult as a session of exporting and importing, or just plain impossible.

A manual way of saving some old mail is to just send some mail that you want to another email address so you have it. The old host might have a “redirect” button that will keep the sender the same, but send it to another address.