When you are new to web hosting or new to building websites in general, one of the first roadblocks you tend to encounter is domain name registration. Way back when, before I worked for Lunarpages, I saw a banner advertisement somewhere that said, “Get your domain name for $3/year!” Being the sucker that I was, I went to said provider to purchase my website, thinking that once I purchased the domain name itself, I would have a website too. But oh no, that’s not the way websites work, as I found out when I started going through the purchasing process – by the end of this process, my total was somewhere around $100/year. I was appalled.
Of course, now I know better. Paying $100/year for a website and domain name is standard and actually quite cheap! But when I think about this scenario today, I wonder how many people purchase their domain names from one provider just because they think that is all it takes to put a website online, only to find out later that they need web hosting as well. The answer is: quite a lot!
So, how do you deal with getting your website up with a web host when you have your domain name registered with someone else? I’m here to tell you, there are actually two equally efficient ways to get your domain name to properly coincide with your web hosting account.
1. Transferring Your Domain Name
A common myth about transferring your domain name to your web hosting provider is that you lose all rights to that domain name. While you should always read the fine print if you are going with a web host you’ve never heard of, quality providers like Lunarpages who have been around since 1998, will never ever ever ever take your domain name rights. You always have 100% control over your WWW.
To transfer your domain name to your web host, there’s three main things you need to verify and/or acknowledge:
* Is your domain name unlocked?
* Can you be reached at the administrative email address for that domain?
* Do you have a Transfer Authorization Code from your current domain registrar?
If you’re confused as to how to find this information, you’re not alone! But there is one website that can help you out: WhoIs.com. Visit WhoIs.com and enter your domain information. Take a look at your domain information. If it says “transfer prohibited”, “locked”, or “transfer unavailable”, that means your domain name is locked and you must contact your domain registrar to unlock it. If it says “OK”, “OK to transfer”, or “unlocked”, you’re good to go there.
Now check the “administrative contact” information for the email address. If you don’t have access to that email, contact your domain registrar to update it. If you do have access, hooray!
And lastly, you need a Transfer Authorization Code from your current registrar to be able to transfer that domain. You can either contact your registrar or, if you have access to login and manage that domain, you can simply have it emailed to you.
After you verify those things, get in touch with Lunarpages and let us know you want to transfer your domain and we can take care of the rest.
Pros: You get to manage your domain and hosting under one roof! This is a huge pro.
Cons: It might cost to transfer the domain and you always have to wait 60 days after renewal or purchase of your domain to be able to transfer it.
2. Change Your Domain Name Servers
Uh-oh, you think, She’s gone tech-speak on me! So let me define: “name server” is just a fancy term for the behind-the-scenes internet stuff that happens when you type “www.lunarpages.com” into your address bar. Behind the scenes, domain name servers are translating “lunarpage.com” into its original URL form (might look something like 00.111.2.333). Domain name servers essentially make sure your domain redirects to wherever your website content is hosted: i.e. your web hosting account!
So if you have a domain name registered with Provider X, you simply need your domain name servers with Lunarpages to get that domain name to find the content at Lunarpages.
So, how on earth do you change the domain name servers? It’s actually incredibly easy and you can do it in 3 simple steps:
* Go to your domain name registrar.
* Your register should have emailed you a username and password to manage your domain name. Find this information and use it to login to your registrar to manage your domain name.
* Change your domain nameservers from whatever they are now to the ones Lunarpages provided you in your Welcome Email. For example, they will look something like: NS1.lunarpages.com / NS2.lunarpages.com
No joke, it’s that easy. Once you’ve done that, your domain name will resolve to Lunarpages within 24 hours or so.
Pros: It’s completely free and is a lot faster than a domain transfer.
Cons: You still have to pay your domain registrar for that domain and pay Lunarpages for hosting, whereas if you transferred it, you could take advantage of our Free Domain For Life offer.