It should not be such a hard task. Move a .com and .co.uk domain from free hosting at where it was register to new paid for hosting. In an effort to give the client as little down time as possible it will have taken me about 5 days and 1o phone calls and a lot of emailing and reassuring the boss and then the client.
I wanted to move two domains for my agency for a clients site to the new hosting we have on 1&1. The client registered the domains a few years ago and have had some flash on there BT free website for a while now.
So I hoped having changed 5 or so domains before that I could save the downtime and loss of email and my hassle by just changing the dns settings. New IP address for the A record and leave the dns where it was.
So phone 1&1 for the ip address or the simplest way I could change the settings. They said sure here is the IP and also I did a reverse dns and got the same ip.
At end of day 1 this was all good but the domain had not moved it was just doing a redirect to the new temporary domain at 1&1. boo...
So called 1&1 again next day and they said you can't do that as we do not garentee your ip and it might get changed but dns would not. So how is it possible? you must ask 1&1 to change the DNS server to ours. Will that effect the email? No I am told you can point an MX record back to BT for the email. Fine I thought, now try to find any information on BT site as to changing DNS servers and they give one page and it just wants to transfer the whole domain. For my hosting on DSVR (now Demon) I was able to call them with the new dns servers and they made the change for me. All fine that time the renewals stayed but the dns moved. This time BT said it was not possible. I must do a transfer on their site.
Now I find I need lots of security question that I have to go back and ask the client for. Also that you do different things to move .co.uk and .com and some pages say I need to pay and some not. Then as the domain needs to be both transferred away form one company into the nothingness of the net and then picked up by the new company each site can only tell you half the story.
One said I needed an AUTH code and the other a Transfer code, these for the .com are the same thing. and must be requested and then given to the new owner. Then you have to enter the contact address details for the domain.
But before anything can happen BT website went down and they can not manage to make changes without there web admin and then they are closed for the rest of the weekend.
So finally on Monday when we need to be live tomorrow the domains seem to be moving with one domain down and the other changing, we are in the twighlight zone of time to live and dns renewals.