When you first register your domain name(s), it is often not on the server that you will post your site from. These days many Webpreneurs will reserve several names and park them for a period of time before either publishing to them or even selling them. It is also common, in this day of cheap domain names to reserve the name with one provider and host it with another.
Many people get hung up with the jargon and server address numbers. This is quite understandable and can be very intimidating to a person who is just starting to understand how to create and market a web site let alone move it.
Following are some basic steps to follow when moving your domain from one host server to another.
The Mother of Them All - Network Solutions
The largest registrar of domain names still continues to be Network Solutions. They also have one of the most unfriendly interfaces for making any changes to your registration. So we will go through the process very carefully.
How To Check The Database
Let's start by going to their Whois database and checking if they are the registrar of your name. Click on this link, enter your domain name, and press the search button http://www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois if you are registered there you can instantly see all of your registration information.
If you are not registered with Network Solutions then skip down to the next section of this article.
Make Changes - The Network Solutions Way
At the top of the page you will see a blue navigation bar with five links on it. Click on the one that reads "MAKE CHANGES". Enter your domain address and select the .com, .net, .org, or . edu extension from the pull down menu. Press the submit button.
On the next page you will be presented with another pull down menu of options. Choose the one that reads "transfer my Domain Name to another ISP" and press the go button. Note: This is one part where a lot of people get stumped. We normally think of our ISP as the company that gives us Internet access - but this case it refers to the company that hosts your domain.
On this next page you need to enter the email address of the administrative or technical contact for your domain. They provide a handy "Get Information" button that you can use to look it up. This is usually the email address that you entered when you first registered the name. It is to this address that the form will be emailed for verification.
The next page will show you your current Registration Information on a form page that can be modified. There is also a choice of authentication methods that include: "Mail-From", and two Encryption options. For most of us the simplest (and default) method is the "Mail-From". Go ahead and delete the old server information and replace it with your new hosts server info.
As an example, if you were moving your site to our server you would enter the following info:
Primary Server Hostname: ns.guaranteedserver.com
Primary Server Netaddress: 220.127.116.11
Secondary Server Hostname: ns2.guaranteedserver.com Secondary Server Netaddress: 18.104.22.168
Occasionally a Host company may have more than one Secondary servers listed. There are extra spaces to enter that information. If you are moving from a host with additional Secondary Servers to one without, simply delete the extras from the form.
After you have doublechecked that all the info is correct press the button that says "SUBMIT THIS FORM FOR PROCESSING".
Mail-From, Mail-From, Mail-From....
That is not the end of it though. Network Solutions will now send a copy of the information to your email address and ask you to simply send it back to firstname.lastname@example.org from that same address. This is how their "Mail-From" security option works.
I know what many of you are thinking by now - we just can't print most of it
Only after you have sent it back to them will they start processing it. Next they will send it back to you again asking you to authorize the changes. In most cases all you will have to do is type "YES" or "Y" in section 1a and return it to them.
It usually will take a couple of days for them to update the database and point your domain name to the new server.
All The Others
Now for the GOOD news. If your domain name was registered through one of the newer services the process is extremely streamlined and user friendly.
In many cases you can simply go to the "Modify Domain" page enter your email address and domain name, and make the changes. You will then receive a confirmation email form the Registrar confirming the changes. After you confirm with them by email that you do wish to make the changes it is usually a only a day or two before the changes are live.
Some registrars will issue you a username and password that will allow you to go in and update your registration information almost instantly.
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