How to Change a Domain’s Nameservers (Point to Another Provider)
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How to Change a Domain’s Nameservers (Point to Another Provider)

In this article, you are going to learn how to point a domain to a host by changing the domain’s nameservers. This way, you can move your site to another hosting provider while still keeping the old domain name.

Pointing a Domain to a Host

Let’s say you have just moved your site to another hosting provider. However, your domain name is with the old hosting company and it does not direct visitors to your website.

The problem arises because your domain is not connected to the new web host. You have several options to solve this issue, but in practice, we only recommend one of them.

You can transfer the domain to the new hosting provider. However, domain transfer usually incurs additional charges as the domain will be renewed for another year.

The second option is to update the domain’s DNS A Record with your new IP address. But, since A Records are designed to point to static IP addresses, it’s advisable not to use this method. If the IP changes, your website will stop working until you update the record.

The last method is changing the domain’s nameservers. This is the most recommended option as you can transfer your domain’s DNS control to the new hosting provider without changing your registrar.

How to Point a Domain to a New Host

Taking all considerations into account, we are going to show you how to change the domain’s nameservers. Note that we will be using Hostinger as an example, but you can use the steps to point your domain to any web host.

Step 1: Get the New Nameserver Values

First thing first, find a list of nameservers from your new hosting provider. The information is usually provided on the company’s documentation page or in the post-purchase email.

If you still can’t find the info, you should contact your hosting provider.

At Hostinger, you can find all DNS-related information in Hosting -> Accounts -> Details.

DNS details menu in Hostinger's hPanel

The list of nameservers often look like this:

ns1.companyname.com
ns2.companyname.com
ns3.companyname.com
ns4.companyname.com

Web hosts usually provide two or more nameservers. Take note of all these addresses because you’ll need to enter them into your domain registrar’s control panel.

The list of nameservers from Hostinger

Step 2: Apply the New Nameservers Values

The next step of pointing a domain name to a new host is to replace the domain’s old nameservers. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Login to your domain name registrar. Remember, this is the place where you bought your domain.
  2. Look for the option to set your domain’s nameservers. Every registrar has a different way of doing this. However, in general, you can find the appropriate settings on the menu called Domains, Domain Manager, or something similar.
    The Domains menu in Hostinger's hPanel
  3. Find a section that reads Nameservers, Update Nameservers, Manage DNS, or other similar menus.
    Update nameservers section in Hostinger's Domains menuYou should see several fields: Nameserver #1 (primary nameserver), Nameserver #2 (secondary nameserver), and maybe even more.
  4. Enter the nameservers into the appropriate fields. A nameserver that begins with ns1 should be put into Nameserver #1 field, ns2 to Nameserver #2, and so on. If you see Create child nameservers fields, just ignore them.
    Changing the nameservers to point a domain to a hostKeep these tips in mind should there be any difference between the number of nameservers and the number of available fields:

    • If your hosting provider only gives you two nameservers but your registrar gives you four or six fields, enter the first two and leave the other fields empty.
    • If your hosting provider gives you three nameservers but your registrar only allows you to enter two, use the first two nameservers.

Try to look for the registrar’s Help or FAQ page if you still cannot find the menu to set your nameservers. Alternatively, you can ask the customer support to enter the new nameservers for you.

Step 3: Wait for DNS Propagation

Once the nameservers are set, you need to wait for the changes to take effect. This period is referred to as worldwide DNS propagation.

The process typically takes a few hours, but it can also last up to two days. You might want to flush your DNS cache to speed up the process.

Conclusion

After moving to another web hosting provider, you need to point your domain to a new host to make your site accessible. And luckily, you can easily do that by changing the domain’s nameservers. Simply get the details of your new nameservers, copy it to the domain’s DNS settings, and wait for the DNS to propagate.

Now go ahead and try it yourself! Good luck!

The Author

Author

Tomas A. / @tomas

Tomas is a senior customer support agent at Hostinger. Besides providing top-notch technical advice on a daily basis, he likes to create websites and do various coding side projects.

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Author

Brian Verigin Reply

April 24, 2018

I appreciate the clarification on setting up Nameservers. I have a number of websites up with different hosting companies over the years. This is always a challenge to the person doing this for the first time. I appreciate the simplicity of your approach ... thanx ~bv

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