Redirecting your domain name

Last updated Jul 20, 2020

Now that we have a domain name and a hosting plan in place, we need to make sure that when someone types in our domain name into a web browser, it’s going to retrieve the files from our web host.

In order to make that happen, we need to redirect our domain, because, at the moment, they’re separate entities with no connection.

To do this, we change the named server settings on the domain.

Don’t redirect your domain name if you have a live site on your domain name, or if you have email addresses associated with it already. Redirecting your domain name will mean that those services will stop working.

Post into the WordPress Happy Community if you’re not sure whether you should redirect your domain name or not.

Finding our Named Server information

First of all, we need to grab the named server details from our hosting provider, which in our case is SiteGround.

Log into your account, click on the My Accounts tab, and the Websites button.

Then select New Website

Click on Existing Domain. For MOST of you, this will be the right choice, if you’re starting out with a new website on a new domain. If you already have an existing website which you want to keep live whilst you’re building a new website, choose Temporary Domain. (This will give you a temporary url to build your website on, and then you can redirect your domain name from your old website once the new one is ready)

Type your domain name in the field that now appears below the boxes and click Continue.

This will bring up a warning and a prompt to continue. Go ahead and Continue to the next step.

Click on Skip and Create Empty Site

Give it a moment whilst it creates the website space (don’t worry, it’s not actually creating a website for you) and then click on Finish without adding the Site Scanner.

If you don’t see the option to Skip & Create Empty Site, click on Start New Website, and don’t choose an application on the next screen.

Once you have made it through ALL of these steps (!), you’ll now be presented with your named server settings. They are the 2 rows beginning NS1 and NS2.

named server settings siteground

These are what you need for your next steps outlined below.

If you’re not using SiteGround, and you’re unsure of where to find the named server settings, contact your hosting provider and ask them to direct you to them.

Changing the named server on our domain

Now, we need to log into our domain management area where we registered the domain. In our case, this is NameCheap. If you’re not using Namecheap, the process will be simiilar. Just follow their guide to changing your named server settings.

In Namecheap, select Domain List from the left sidebar and click the Manage button next to your domain.

domain list

Find the Nameservers section and select Custom DNS from the drop-down menu.

When you select Custom DNS, you are able to copy and paste the named server settings from your host onto those 2 lines.

Click on the green checkmark to save the changes.

Nameserver changes do not take effect instantly. They have to go through a process called propogation which can take up to 48 hours, but usually happen much sooner, often within the hour.

Checking your named server settings

If you’re not sure if the changes have taken effect, you can look up your domain on the WhoIs records by going to https://whois.net/ and typing your domain into the search field.

If the named server settings listed in the details are different to those you copied across from your hosting provider, it means that the settings haven’t changed yet, and you will need to check back later.

In Summary

Changing your named server settings means that your domain name and the place where your website is going to live are now connected. Once this is all in place, you can go ahead and start building your website and using your email addresses associated with your domain name.

[Virtual high five]

Vicky Etherington

Vicky Etherington has been running her own online marketing agency since 2003, and in 2014 transitioned to working with coaches and therapists to teach them how to create their own client-attracting websites. 

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Posted in: Website tips

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