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How do I configure my domain name to point to my Websavers hosting account?

Tips

  • If you have registered a new domain name alongside a hosting plan, the domain will be automatically configured to point to your hosting!
  • If you have registered a new domain separate from your hosting plan and did not already select which hosting plan to point it to, you can use the directions under section below to update your domain.
  • If you have transferred your domain to Websavers from another registrar, you will need to login to the Client Centre and point the domain to your hosting plan. See section A below.
  • If you have registered your domain name elsewhere, you will need to login to your registrar’s control panel and update your domain name to point to our servers. See section B below.

Pre-Config

Before you configure your domain to point to your hosting with Websavers, make sure you’ve set it up within Plesk.

Once added to Plesk, you can upload your website content using the Plesk File Manager, install WordPress (or other software) to get your website ready to go, or learn how to transfer your website. You will also want to add your mail accounts to Plesk, as you’d like them configured,prior to making the domain live with us.

A) Domain Registered with or Transferred to Websavers

Domain Transfers: When a domain transfer completes, the name servers are left exactly as they were prior to the transfer to ensure there isn’t any sudden unexpected changes that might cause your site to appear offline. This means that you’ll need to manually “flip the switch” to point the domain registration to your hosting plan. Follow the steps below to do so.

Separate Registrations: Similarly if you’ve registered a domain with us in a separate order from your hosting plan, and you did not login to your account to select the hosting plan to point that domain to during the order, use the following steps to point the domain to your hosting plan.

  1. Login to the Client Centre
  2. Choose “Registered Domains” from the main menu
  3. Select the domain you wish to adjust from the list
  4. Look under the “Name Servers” section and choose “Use Websavers Name Servers” then use the option directly below that selection to select the hosting account under which you will be hosting the domain.
  5. Click the button to save your settings

Since these are DNS changes, they’ll take anywhere from a few minutes to at most 48 hours to complete globally, please be patient.

B) Domain Registered Elsewhere

OPTION 1. Keep the DNS records hosted wherever they are now (usually the registrar or hosting company). 

To make this happen you will need to login to your DNS host, identify the root DNS record, and change it to point to your hosting with us. Here’s how:

  1. Obtain the NEW IP address that will be used to host the domain with us. You’ll find this within Plesk.
  2. Log in to your DNS host. This will either be your registrar or your web host. Navigate to the DNS record managements page.
  3. Now we need to identify the Root DNS A record. This should be the A record without any subdomains. Here’s a few names it might be called: root, @, *, or simply a blank field for the subdomain.
  4. When you’ve identified the root A record, replace the IP it currently points to with your new IP address, found in step 1.

Before you save your changes, look closely! Some DNS providers set up your DNS records in a manner that ensures changing the root record will have a detrimental effect on many other records at the same time. Keep a close eye out for records that have the type CNAME and which point to the root record, as you may not wish to change these right now, yet changing the root record will change them as well.

For example if you haven’t yet transferred your email, or don’t wish to transfer your email and you see that the MX record points to mail.<yourdomain.com>, yet mail.<yourdomain.com> is configured as a CNAME pointing to your root record (or simply <yourdomain.com>), this is not a good configuration because when we change that root record, it will switch over your email at the same time.

If you’re encountering this type of poor DNS configuration, you should immediately remove the mail.<yourdomain.com> record and add a new A record (rather than CNAME) to replace it. The A record for mail.<yourdomain.com> must point to the original IP address that your root record is currently set to, prior to changing it to your new IP found in your Websavers hosted Plesk Panel.

Once you’ve made the necessary changes, and if you plan on keeping external DNS permanently (ie: you won’t be updating your name servers in the near future), click here to learn how to optimally configure Plesk while using external DNS.

OPTION 2. (OPTIMAL) Update the name server configuration at the registrar. This moves the DNS hosting service from the registrar to Websavers.

We strongly recommend this option because it’s simpler to understand Plesk’s DNS records than most other DNS hosting control panels. It’s also much easier to manage down the road if you ever wish to set up a subdomain or adjust DNS records; it’s all done in Plesk automatically.

 If you plan to proceed with this option and you wish to keep certain services working exactly as they are now (such as MX records for mail delivery), you can do this by going to the DNS configuration/settings/zones in the control panel where it is hosted now, often the registrar, and duplicate everything as closely as possible to the “DNS Settings” option under your account in Plesk. Read more here to learn how to add or adjust DNS records in Plesk.

The exact steps are different for each registrar, but here is the general process:

  1. Visit your registrar’s website, find the account login option and login to your account
  2. Find your domain in the list of domains and click on it to configure it
  3. Look for an option to change or update the Name Servers for this domain name. (Note that registering a name server is not the same thing. You will likely not need to register a name server).
  4. Once you’ve found the fields to update the name servers for the domain, enter the servers as shown for your hosting plan in our Client Centre. (Login and click “Settings” beside your hosting plan)
The new name servers may take effect immediately, but the change could also take as long as 48 hours to update everywhere in the world. Please be patient!
If you haven’t transferring an existing website, you will know the update has propagated to your computer when you see the Websavers branded “Your website is ready for content” page.
If you have transferred an existing website and you want to test to be sure you’re seeing the site on the new server, upload a test.txt file to your httpdocs folder with something in it like “We’re live on the new account!” and visit yourdomain.com/test.txt in your browser. If you see the welcome message, then you’re now reaching the website on your Websavers account, if not, then your local DNS hasn’t updated just yet. Give it a bit more time!

 

Jordan has been working with computers, security, and network systems since the 90s and is a managing partner at Websavers Inc. As a founder of the company, he's been in the web tech space for over 15 years.

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