Setting up a new website for your church involves a number of different components. Managing administrators, pages, designs and graphics can be difficult enough, but on top of all those things often is the task of switching email from one host to another. Hopefully this article will provide some helpful information on how you can take to make this process efficient.

If you don't yet use email with your domain, or if it is a new domain that's being set up, all you need to do is to add accounts so your users can begin utilizing mail. But if you have email addresses in use with your domain, and if you want to keep the actual email messages within those accounts then the following steps will help you to accomplish that. Since mail hosts don't provide a way to transfer mail to another provider, you'll have to do in manually, using both POP and IMAP protocols. 

Another important thing to understand is that once a domain is transferred to Finalweb's hosting, both web and email requests for the domain will be set to point to us, and not the old host. If you end up needing to keep email hosted at the old host for a time or indefinitely, just let us know and we'll work with you to accommodate that. Most of the steps that will be covered below should be accomplished before the domain is transferred, so work can begin as soon as a package is purchased.

After signing up and receiving basic set up instructions, you should begin creating new mailboxes on our email server. Login to http://mail2.finawleb.net/admin using the provided administrative email address and password, and then use the New User wizard to create each account. In order to seamlessly transfer mail and redirect incoming messages to the right place, you will want to create identically named accounts on Finalweb's server - for example, if there exists an "office@mychurchdomain.org" with the old host, you should create an "office" account within our admin client as well. Once those are all created, it's time to start the process of transferring mail.

First, it's important to understand the different between POP and IMAP so you know what's going on. POP will merely download a copy of mail from the server, and then store it in the client. No synchronization between client and server occurs, so organization takes place completely on the local machine. IMAP allows for clients to become synchronized with the mail and folder structures of the server. This is especially useful if you have multiple devices that will need to access mail messages. If a message is deleted from, say, a mobile phone's mail app, it will also be removed from the server and consequently from a laptop client as well.

To begin the process of transferring mail, a desktop client will need to be configured using the old mail host's settings, as a POP account. Outlook is a good candidate but anything will do as long as you can utilize POP (and also be sure that the current server is configured to allow POP; sometimes it is disabled). Below are some images of a sample Outlook configuration, but you'll need to follow instructions that your host provides (if available). Typically, these are the settings:

Name: Your Name
E-Mail Address: youraddress@mychurchdomain.org

Account Type: POP
Incoming Mail Server: old.host.pop_server
Outgoing Mail Server: old.host.smtp_server

User Name: youraddress@mychurchdomain.org (unless the host states differently)
Password: yourpassword

More Settings...
Give the account a new name that will distinguish it from the new one that will be added shortly

Outgoing Server tab and Advanced may have necessary settings, depending upon what the host specifies. 


Setting up an account using POP that is connected to the old mail host.


Inbox display with POP account connected to old mail host.

After all mail has been downloaded, you are actually ready to perform the domain transfer. You should have received instructions on how to do that, or on how to change nameserver records on the domain if you prefer that (which is actually faster to do, and can be done in tandem with a transfer if you'd like). 

At some point during the day of the transfer or nameserver change, mail will begin routing to Finalweb's servers. Once a day has passed since changing the nameserver addresses or since hearing confirmation of a successful transfer, you are ready to create a new IMAP account in Outlook (or any other client) through which the mail transfer will take place. 

Keeping the old POP account still active in Outlook, navigate to create a new account, using the following settings:

Name: Your Name
E-Mail Address: youraddress@mychurchdomain.org

Account Type: IMAP
Incoming Mail Server: mail2.finalweb.net
Outgoing Mail Server: mail2.finalweb.net

User Name: youraddress@mychurchdomain.org
Password: yourpassword

More Settings...
Give the account a new name that will distinguish it from the old one that was previously added.

Outgoing Server - check the box next to "My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication; then choose the radio button which says "Use the same settings as my incoming mail server"

Advanced - Leave incoming alone and change the outgoing (SMTP) server to use SSL for encryption and then switch to port 465. 


IMAP settings for email hosted by Finalweb


More settings; configuring outgoing server information.


Both accounts listed in Outlook.

After this account is created, the only thing left to do is to select mail from the old POP account and drag it into the Inbox or other created folders of the new IMAP account. Outlook will begin sending those messages up to the Finalweb server so that any other devices that connect to the account will have access to the transferred mail. When everything is moved over, feel free to remove the old POP account since it won't be receiving mail anymore.


Select messages from POP account to drag into the IMAP account.


Webmail view of synchronized messages.

We hope this tutorial is helpful, but we're sure there might be questions which will arise, so please feel free to contact our support team for assistance. 

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