Using Cloudflare when moving hosts
I have a relatively large forum I run. I keep running into the limits of my host and have been forced to move hosts twice (the cloud host, while scalable, tended to be a bit slow).
As you know however, moving hosts can be a real pain. All because of DNS propagation. The last time I moved hosts, I had some users that couldn’t access the new site for more than 72 hours since their DNS wasn’t resolving to the new host.
After the last move, I also signed up with Cloudflare to try speed up my overall site performance – Cloudflare’s CDN is not the subject of this article. Rather, I want to express how pleased I am with their DNS services.
Because my name servers point to CloudFlare, when I moved hosts I did not have to update my name servers at my registrar. Instead, I simply changed my Cloudflare record to point to my new IP address. And because this is Cloudflares network, they instantly updated all their nodes with my new IP. As a result, there was NO need to sit through the painful DNS propagation. My only downtime was the time it took for me to backup the site and FTP and restore it to the new server.
For anybody who has suffered through the DNS propagation before, you’ll appreciate how nice this is to avoid.
Couple this seamless IP change, along with the fact that I can easily transfer cPanel accounts, I feel somewhat liberated: I’m no longer beholden to a host. I can change hosts quite easily now with nothing more than a few minutes downtime.