The Difference Between Pointing, Transferring and Moving Your Websites and Domains
To all the good people that answered my questions as I navigated through the maze of pointing my website outside of WA to the domain servers at WA. This website is finally up and running again. I appreciate everyone’s input. This is truly a great community.
If you are going to walk the talk, you need to be able to talk the walk. True in any area of life, but especially true when working with domain names and websites.
You have to ask the right questions, but sometimes you don’t which questions to ask. So you poke in the dark, looking for answers, and sometimes those answers are not easy to find.
This was the case in bringing my website under WA’s domain. It was soon to be renewal time for my domain name, and since I had access to the wonderful things at WA, I thought it would be best to have my website under the same umbrella as the others. This end-goal was eventually achieved, but it might have been easier if I would have known what I was doing.
That is the purpose of this post. To hopefully help someone else understand this part of web-building some of us don’t think about. I didn’t, but perhaps my experience will make it easier for you.
After doing some research on transferring domain names, coupled with what I learned in the training, I thought I had it handled.
The first thing I did was transfer my domain name to WA. This was a mistake because it broke the connection to my website. Giving the process time, I patiently waited for my website to come back up. When it didn’t, I contacted SiteSupport and asked how I could “move” my website.
This was my second mistake. I didn’t mention, and no one asked, if this was a WordPress site or not, which it isn’t. When SiteSupport discovered this, they said if I wanted to “move” my website to WA, I would have to rebuild it. They said I was on my own because it wasn’t WordPress and they couldn’t help me. Good luck.
Not happy with this revelation, I began to rebuild my website as WordPress, copying and pasting from my old site and blogs I hadn’t published yet. But the new site just didn’t feel right. I felt like I was abandoning a very fine website, one that I had worked very hard at getting it to look the way I wanted it. So I decided to keep it at the host it was at and just pay for another domain name - mysite.net instead of mysite.com.
That worked well until the rep told me that the site didn’t have SSL certification, no SEO, no Google indexing. This was amazing to me, because during the conversation a few months earlier with the lady who built my website, she assured me it was included in her fee and she was getting right to it.
Why would I pay this company $170 to do all this when I have it all at WA? I told the rep I’d think about it, but later called back and canceled the new domain name because she said they could just point my old domain name, mysite.com, to the WA servers, no problem.
This rep was very helpful and brought the domain mysite.com right back up. There still wasn’t a connection so she took me to www.whatsmydns.net which is a very cool site. Check it out. You put in your web address, click on NS from the drop down menu, and the page shows the major hubs in the world where your site is being broadcast.
She was impressed that WA was so far-reaching. Then she wanted me to contact WA and ask them a question about my domain names. While we were talking, I asked SiteSupport the question, and within minutes I had an answer. Both of us were impressed with that one.
Well the weekend came and went, and still no connection to my site, even though now it was listed on Google. I called the hosting site back, and within minutes everything was connected.
This process started over a month ago. Things never go as planned, so fortunately there was enough time before my domain needed to be renewed.
Now that my site is once again up and running, I felt compelled to write this blog. I am happy to get back to business at hand – writing.
These are things I learned.
1. Point the domain to the website when you have your domain name at one server and your website at another.
2. Transfer the domain to another server when you move your domain from one server to the next.
3. Move the website to a different host when you have a WordPress site that will just copy over to the new host.
4. Rebuilding your website is something you want to avoid if at all possible.
And lastly, set backs are not problems – they are challenges. Every business has them -frequently. What makes some business fail and some succeed is the mindset. Work through the issue as a challenge to learning something new, and this will make your business better.
I hope my experience will make someone's life a little easier when it comes to pointing, transferring and moving your websites and domains.