This is a basic domain name management FAQ. It ranges from the simple to complex and if you own a domain, you probably should bookmark this page.
February 2021 update: Whilst I think my 2012 FAQ is still relevant I’ve made an addition which are in blue text. The update isn’t strictly domain management, but is related to using two different domains.
Q. How can I redirect a domain to another server?
A. To answer this properly, we need to provide some background. First of all it all depends on what you wish to do with the domain. In this instance we are presuming you wish to move ‘everything’ over including email, mysql, web hosting, ftp etc to another web host. This means you probably would have registered your domain with a registrar, but opt to have a different business for your website hosting, email, mysql etc. To do this you need to update your DNS records at your domain registrar. It isn’t actually as complex as it sounds.
Step 1 – Find out the name server details for the servers that will be handling your web hosting, email, mysql, ftp etc.
Step 2 – Usually you log into your registrar’s support system and then update the DNS records for that domain, which is different to changing the host records. When you find the option to update your DNS records there should be a few or more boxes to place your name server details. Your name server details are obtained from the company you will be hosting your content with or using their services.
We are often asked do you need to enter an IP address or is entering the name okay? In most instances entering the name is fine as that will then translate to the correct IP address. That way if the name servers change IP addresses, you won’t have to update your DNS records again.
Q. How long does it take for DNS changes to propagate around the internet?
A. Most people would say 24-48 hours, but in reality it can vary dramatically. Now this update isn’t to be confused on a per country basis, it is a per server basis.
Q. How do I redirect one domain to another domain?
A. This is easy enough to accomplish, but you have to question why. It most likely won’t help your search engine placement, indeed possibly having a negative impact on your ranking and even placement. Be very careful before you do this and if in doubt you can hire us to advise you.
To perform the ‘redirect’ you need to edit your host records, this is different to your DNS records for that domain.
Step 1 – Log into your registrar’s control panel / support system.
You will need to log into the registrar who controls the domain which you wish to redirect. You do not need to touch the records for the domain which is being redirect to.
Step 2 – Make the changes to the host records.
For both www and @ you need to select the record type URL Redirect and then for the custom fields for both records type HTTP://WWW.thedomainbeingdirectedto.com
Please expect the changes to take at least 24-48 hours around the world.
2021 update: If you’re wondering how to redirect a specific web page from one domain to another you can do so via the .htaccess file, modifying the example below:
Redirect 301 /your-web-page-name/ http://www.thenewdomain.com/title-of-the-new-web-page/
Q. How do I configure a domain name to use email from another server?
A. The answer actually varies and depends on whether you wish for all services such as www, mysql, ftp as well as email to be managed elsewhere or just email. If all services please read part one of our guide.
To have a separate domain handle both the sending and receiving of your email, you need to create MX or MXE records at your domain registrar.
A user MX record is when you tell the domain registrar the mail server name. A user simplified MXE record is when you tell the domain registrar the mail server IP address.
The actually when in which you update or create MX records will vary between domain registrars. There might be a separate section purely to specify the MX record details, else you might need to create new MX records, plus remove old.
Again allow 24-48 hours for propagation and it will vary on a per server basis, so patience is welcomed, plus clearing caches.