Domain Name Change: Learn How with WordPress in 2019
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Domain Name Change: Learn How with WordPress in 2019

Hi this is Sharon Henderson, tuning in for
my weekly live in the Entrepreneurs Marketing and WordPress
Community. Today I’m going to talk
to you about how you can change your domain name at your Domain Registry. Your domain name is basically the URL you
see displayed in your browser bar. So, for example, what I
see at the moment in my browser bar is
And what comes next is the specific page of the website we are on at Streamyard. The part is the
domain name and that’s what we register at the Domain Registry. The domain name is what’s important for
our business because we have brand association attached to our
domain name. I, personally, have quite a
few domain names, for example I’ve got, which is the most
recent one that I bought. The reason that I have the “x” in there
is because I don’t have a middle name. It’s been become something a bit
of a joke because whenever I’ve worked in different companies, they’ve always put
an “x” there when they’ve been setting up
my logons. So it’s kind of stuck – which is why my
domain name is When I’m building a
website I tend not to use my ultimate domain until the site is finished. And the
reason for this is that I don’t want people to be able to see a
half-developed site. I want them to see the site when
it’s ready so I will normally build on a very obscure domain name and that domain
name might be any of my old domains. And then
I tend to create a subdomain. A sub-domain is an additional component of
the url. For example, let’s say I use “website”
as my subdomain for, my full url will be And nobody is going to find the website I’m
building on this obscure sub-domain. So, I’ll build my site and then I
won’t go back to the registry to change my domain name to what I actually want
it to be until the site is finished. At that point, I will return to the Domain
Registry and point my domain to the newly built website, thereby taking it live. What I was going to show you today, was how
you actually go ahead and switch over a domain name. If you happen to be using a web host like
Cloudways, they have quite a handy function which is that when you install a
WordPress website, it will actually install it automatically on a staging
site. A staging site is a really obscure domain
that no one’s going to find, and the domain is actually supplied by Cloudways
so it will be and then a whole heap
of gobbledygook and you can just use that domain to build. Then, once
you’re ready, you can go ahead and switch it over to whichever domain you want to use. But
most of the other web hosts require you to have a domain at the outset. So
what I might do is share my screen now. I’ll show you how you can
make changes using the domain registry, Namecheap, because
that’s a really good one to use for demonstration purposes. That’s
because a lot of people use Namecheap. So what you’re seeing is the Namecheap interface. This is what your dashboard
will look like. You can see my various domain names here that
I have registered with Namecheap. I’ve got
domains registered with many different registrars. If I want a .nz domain then, to my
knowledge, you can only purchase them from New Zealand Registrars. That’s one reason why all of my domains
are not registered in the one place. So, let’s say we’re
going into this one here, which is the one I was talking about, So I’m going to go in there
and click “manage”. So each registrar
sets things up a little bit differently but with Namecheap, you can see that you
have the domain information here. I’ve
kept my name servers with Namecheap but you can change that. For example, if
you wanted to use a CDN or Content Delivery Network, to speed up your site –
and I probably will do that with this one when I get round to it – then you
would change your name servers to custom DNS. And then you can add in nameservers
for Cloudfare which is probably your best bet. That’s because they’re a free Content
Delivery Network and they just basically boost the speed of the site’s delivery to
visitors across the globe. But I’m not going to do
that to this one because if I were to mess around with this now, there is a propagation
time. DNS changes don’t happen
instantaneously – they take time to propagate. There are sites dedicated to showing propagation
progress for sites where DNS changes have been made. These sites show you in which regions propagation
has taken effect and in which regions it is yet to happen. Propagation happens bit by
bit, country by country, and it can take up to
42 or even 72 hours at times for full propagation across the globe. So I’m not going to mess with these settings
right now because it’s going to disrupt my site. If it’s done correctly
– especially with Cloudfare – then you don’t actually notice the propagation is
happening. That’s because, to the untrained eye,
it just looks normal. But if you
were to make any changes while propagation is happening, then you could
lose those changes. So, while propagation is happening – while
that information is being moved from one place to another – you shouldn’t really
mess with your website. In other cases, a
site can go down completely and I’ve certainly experienced that too and it’s
not much fun. That just depends though
and is more likely to take place when migrating a websites. In other words, when moving a website from
one web host to another, and in that case you can get
downtime with your website. But that’s a little bit different to the
current scenario. I’m
keeping my name servers where they are in this particular instance and
everything else is pretty much of a muchness. If I want to add a record – which is what
is required in this situation – if I want to change where my domain is
pointing, I’d have to go to the “advanced’ tab and scroll down here. And what
you see here is there are already A records in place. That’s an IP address, so that is pointing
my domain where my server is. So if I
ever want to change where my site is pointing, then I have to change this
value here. Let’s say I had a staging
site and I wanted to change where my domain was pointing, so that it was then
pointing to my new site, I’d have to figure out what the IP address is for
the server where my site is located. I would then change this record here and
update it with whichever IP address is required. So I hope that
makes sense. It really is a simple process. This text record here is an SPF
record and that is for email purposes. Essentially, what it does, is it cuts
down the chance of your email being treated as spam and just adds a level of
security to it. You can see here that
this particular site is being hosted with Siteground, so here we see Siteground’s
IP address. You can see here the code
that SiteGround have given me, which gives me
the relevant SPF record that I need to add here as a TXT record for all of my
email addresses to work correctly. Now, if
I were to direct my entire name server (NS) to Siteground – or in other words,
if I had moved my DNS completely over to Siteground, then this TXT record wouldn’t
be required. They would handle that
themselves, but in this situation, I needed that because I was getting some
issues with my emails going to spam. Here we
have MX records. Whenever you have a
site that you want to run email from, you need to add MX records and again those
details will be given to you by your web host or whoever is hosting your email. So
that’s what those are. And TTL is the Time To
Live and that’s how long it’s going to take before your changes go live. The
recommended setting here is automatic. With your IP addresses, the TTL can be 1
minute and what I find with Namecheap is that generally, any changes that I
make at the Registry, tend to propagate really quickly. So my delay is minimal and
that’s why I really like them. If I was
using a New Zealand-based company that provide the
.nz domains, then I find that they are a lot slower. Indeed, I’ve struggled for
three days before propagation happens with .nz domain changes. So,
it’s interesting how it’s so dependent on your Domain Registrar. That in a
nutshell is how you change your domain name at your Domain Registrar – how you
change your records so that you can point your domain to another website. And then what will happen is
that when I go to my website, that’s the URL that you will
see there. So, thank you so much for
tuning in and I look forward to seeing you all same time next week. Until then,
see you later. Bye!

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