Quickstart Domain Name Transfer
Quickstart Domain Name Transfer
If you are the owner (registrant) of a domain name, you own the rights of using that domain name. You can create a website and use the name as an address or make email addresses for it and communicate under that name. The registrant is often called the licensee since you can never really own a domain name: you only reserve it for a certain period.
As a registrant, you also have the right to choose your registrar - your domain name provider.
What services does a domain name registrar provide?
- The registrar determines your prices for registrations, renewals and restorations (renewals after expiration) of domain names.
- The registrar can assign name servers for the domain name, change the domain name owner’s details and so on. Often the registrar will provide a control panel through which the customer can configure these settings directly.
Why would I transfer my domain name?
- Your new registrar could offer better support and / or more features, or a better price setting.
- You want to regroup your domain names under the same registrar to simplify management of these domain names and get more efficient support
- Some people choose to have their domain names managed by the same company that also acts as their hosting provider. Vertical integration means better support since the support team does not have to depend on other providers for necessary changes or to obtain crucial information.
In the graph the registrar and the hosting provider are the same company.
What is the procedure to transfer a domain name?
You order the transfer from the company you want to transfer to. If you wish to transfer to Combell, you can order a transfer from My Combell.
- Go to My Products >> Domain Names.
- Click on the '+ Register a new domain name button'.
- On the new page, in 'Domain name(s):' fill in the domain you want to transfer.
- Click on the > 'Check availability' button.
- The system will recognize the domain name already exists and will suggest a transfer, rather than a registration.
The transfer is completed. Now what?
Now it is time to check your domain name DNS setup.
It is important to know that the transfer of a domain name itself does not change your name servers or DNS settings for that domain, unless you specifically ask us to do that. The reason is to assure continuity of service. The domain name transfer is actually strictly an administrative matter that has no immediate technical implications.
However, now that the domain name is handled by Combell, the previous provider has no reason to keep the DNS zone setup for your domain active on their name servers. The first priority then is to configure the DNS zone on the Combell name servers.
So, what is a DNS zone?
A DNS zone is like a page from a telephone book: it has a list of names which are associated with numbers. A telephone book connects people’s names to telephone numbers, as people find it easier to remember names, rather than numbers. DNS works in a similar fashion: it connects domain names, such as www.google.com, to IP addresses, such as 18.104.22.168. The DNS zone is a list of these connections for a given domain. In the same way that you might regroup all the people with the same last name on a single page of your telephone book, the DNS records (as they are called) of a given domain name are grouped together in the DNS zone. Different kinds of DNS records exist, just like there are different kinds of telephone numbers (landline, mobile, fax, etc.). In short, there are:
Together these records define which server is responsible for handling the website and e-mail traffic for the domain. They must be configured correctly before you start using them. If you fail to do so and activate the Combell name servers for your domain name, you risk disabling email functionality and put the website offline.
Check your DNS settings
First, the website. The A record of the domain name should point to the IP address of the server on which the hosting is located. Let’s say the name of your website is “ninefortwo.be”. You need to configure three A records, ideally:
- One for the domain itself, so people can surf to http://ninefortwo.be
- One for the 'www.-' subdomain, so people can surf to http://www.ninefortwo.be
- One for the ftp subdomain, so the web developer can use the domain ftp.ninefortwo.be as the ftp server name in his ftp client software
Each of them should point to the IP address of the hosting. Your web developer can give you the correct IP address. If you want to connect the domain name to the hosting of Combell, you can find this IP address in the overview of the hosting’s control panel:
One notable exception is that, when you have a Windows hosting at Combell, the ftp server name is always windowsftp.webhosting.be. You do not need to make an A record in this case for the ftp subdomain. You can create a CNAME record instead if you wish to do so.
If you want to redirect the visitors of the domain name to a different website you can use the webforwarding mechanism
Second, email traffic. E-mail traffic is regulated by the mx records. The default mx records for Combell are:
mx.mailprotect.be with a priority of 10
mx.backup.mailprotect.be with a priority of 50
If email traffic for your domain is handled by Combell you can configure the above mx records. N!B! Please make sure you (re)create necessary Exchange mailboxes with their aliases and contacts or Basic mailboxes with their aliases in My Combell.
If email traffic is handled by a different provider such as Microsoft Office 365 or Gmail or a dedicated mail server, please consult with your email provider to obtain all the necessary DNS records that you need to keep email traffic operational for your domain. Once you obtain that list of records you can forward them to email@example.com team and ask them to configure the records for you.
Move your content
This is the time to move your website contents from the original provider to Combell. You can check if everything is working properly by editing your hosts file - something you can do it both with Windows and Mac.
The same applies to your email - the content will not be automatically moved from one provider to the other so you need to backup (export) your emails so you are ready to import them once your name servers (see below) are changed and the new mailboxes work.
Customers that bought the Exchange email hosting can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with the import of the existing email archive.
Edit your name servers.
Once the DNS zone is completely configured on the Combell nameservers, you are ready for the final step: updating the name servers. This step concludes the transfer of the domain name.
Allow this last step up to 24 hours to propagate. Afterwards your newly transferred domain name and services should be completely functional.
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