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Old 03-28-2008, 01:46 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,169
Default How does the domain move when changing web hosting companies?

I could have sworn that I'd asked this question before but I can't find it so I'm going to ask it again...

I'm considering changing my web hosting company and I'm a bit confused about how my domain gets transferred to the new company.

It seems to me that at some point in the process, my domain/web site will be unavailable because logically it seems to me that I'm going to have to cancel my account with my current webhost (my website files will then no longer exist) but I don't want to lose my ownership of my domain so how does the process work?

Do I just sign up for whatever plan I want at whatever webhosting company I have chosen and do they take care of transferring my domain to their servers?

Did I ask the question correctly???


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Old 03-28-2008, 02:09 PM   #2
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To have your domain name point to a new hosting company, you have to go to your registrar and change the two domain name servers from those of your existing company to those of the new hosting company.

In my experience, the sequence works best like this:
  • Choose your new hosting company and sign up to a plan. The hosting company will send you an e-mail telling you the IP address (you need this for uploading prior to the DNS change) and the names of their domain name servers.
  • Upload your files to the new hosting company. They won't be accessible by the masses at this stage.
  • Set up your e-mail addresses with identical names to those you have with your old hosting company. It's important to do this before you change the DNS to avoid losing e-mails.
  • Go to your registrar's site and log into your account.
  • Change the domain name servers to those given you by your new hosting company. The change will be propagated around the world, probably within minutes, but at least within 24-48 hours. I've had the experience with domains registered through GoDaddy where my e-mail retrieval was failing before I'd re-locked the domain!
  • Once you are sure the domain name servers have propagated, change the FTP upload details in your FTP client from the IP address to the domain name again, in case your hosting company changes the IP address in the future and you find yourself wondering why you can't FTP to your domain.
If you make a slight change to the home page in the version you upload to the new hosting company, you can tell when the domain name propagation has at least reached your part of the world. The failing e-mail retrievals (if they happen, but they don't always, particularly if the new hosting company uses the same control panel as the old one) also tell you, and you may then need to change the POP3 and/or SMTP details for them in your e-mail client.

These are the steps I've worked out over several host changes, and the last couple of changes have been really smooth.

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Old 03-28-2008, 02:31 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,169

Thank you very much!!! That is exactly what I wanted to know...'-}}

It's been quite a long time since I've been to the registrar site...better check that I can still access it before doing anything else...'-}}

I've changed my billing plan on myhosting.com to month to month so I've got a bit of time before I need to make a final decision on who to go with and get my info org'd...


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