Do you want an easy no-fuss way to point your domain to a different web hosting provider?
It’s a technical process but most domain registrars and web hosts have made it really easy to do.
In this step by step guide, we’ll show you how to easily change your domain nameserver so that it points to a different web host.
What You Need to Point a Domain to a Host
To get started, you need to make sure you’ve registered the domain name.
Next, you need to have full admin access to your domain account. You’ll need to make the configurations inside this account. So if your domain name is registered with Domain.com and you want to point it to Bluehost, you’ll need to change the settings in Domain.com.
You also need to have a valid web hosting account. So for instance, you may have a shared hosting plan with Bluehost, SiteGround, or Hostinger. If you don’t already have a hosting plan, you’ll need to buy one. We recommend using Bluehost – They’re our #1 pick and come officially recommended by WordPress.org.
Once you have admin access to both accounts, we can get started.
Changing your Nameserver Records
Step 1: Getting Your Nameserver Records
Nameservers tell browsers where to find your website. They act like ushers, or better yet, a GPS system directing people to where they want to go.
So when someone tries to visit your website, their browser will ask the nameserver where to go to find your domain.
The nameserver will then respond with the correct IP address for your website’s server. Now the browser has the right address and can drive the user straight to your website.
You’ll find the nameserver details inside your web hosting account. For most web hosts, it’s under the DNS management tab. If you’re unable to locate it, it might be easier to just ask customer support and they’ll give it to you.
Your nameserver will look like this:
You’ll notice that Dreamhost includes the IP address. If you’re updating your nameservers at your registrar, you should only have to add the nameserver URL, not the IP. The IPs are listed above just in case the domain registrar asks for them.
Keep in mind that these nameservers may differ depending on the type of hosting plan such as shared, managed, dedicated, and VPS hosting.
Step 2: Changing Your Nameservers with your Domain Registrar
The basic steps of changing your nameserver records are pretty much the same with all domain registrars. It may vary slightly.
We’ll show you how to make the changes in some of the most popular domain registrars.
Here are the hosts we’ll be covering:
- How to Change Nameservers with Bluehost
- How to Change Nameservers with SiteGround
- How to Change Nameservers with HostGator
- How to Change Nameservers with Domain.com
- How to Change Nameservers with Namecheap
- How to Change Nameservers with GoDaddy
Before we get started you should know that it can take a few hours for nameserver changes to take effect. So if you don’t see any changes immediately, you’ll need to check back every few hours.
How to Change Nameservers with Bluehost
Bluehost is the best web hosting provider and they make it incredibly simple to change your nameserver records.
Log into your Bluehost account and visit the Domains tab in the left-hand menu. Now, you should see your domain name appear with a ‘Manage’ menu next to the name.
From this dropdown menu, you can select ‘DNS’. Your DNS details for your domain will appear. Click on the Edit button to make the changes you need.
Under the NameServers section, select the Custom option and enter the nameservers for your web host.
All you have to do is save your changes and you’ll see the updated nameservers. Your domain name will now point to your web host.
How to Change Nameservers with SiteGround
Inside your SiteGround account, go to Services » Domains page and click on the ‘Manage Nameservers’ link for your domain name.
A popup window will appear. You need to delete the nameserver information here and then enter your new nameservers.
SiteGround also lets you add a third and fourth nameserver if you need it. Click on the Confirm button to store your changes.
How to Change Nameservers with HostGator
In HostGator, you need to visit the Domains tab and select your domain name.
A section will expand under your domain name with more details including your nameservers.
Click on the ‘Change’ link right below the nameservers. Now you can add in your new nameserver details and save your changes.
That’s all you have to do with Hostgator. Your changes will reflect in a few hours.
How to Change Nameservers with Domain.com
In your Domain.com account, you can change your nameservers under the ‘DNS & Nameservers’ link in the left-hand taskbar.
This will open up a page with your DNS records. At the top of the screen, in the breadcrumb navigation, you can make sure you’ve selected the correct domain name.
Then scroll to the NS records section where you’ll see it pointing to domain.com nameservers.
To edit these nameservers, you need to click on the 3 dots next to them.
A popup will appear where you can delete the old nameserver and add the new one in the ‘Content’ box.
Click the ‘Update DNS’ button and you’re done. You’ll need to repeat the same process for the second nameserver record.
Then you’ll see that the nameservers have been updated.
How to Change Nameservers with Namecheap
In your Namecheap account, you’ll see a menu on the list where you can select ‘Domain List’. Inside this tab, you’ll see your domain name where you can select the ‘Manage’ button next to it.
On the next page, you’ll see all the options to manage your domain name. In the Nameserver section, you can click on the dropdown list and select ‘Custom DNS’.
This will expand with 2 fields to add your new nameserver details.
Once done, click on the check button to save it.
How to Change Nameservers with GoDaddy
Log into your GoDaddy account and you should see the list of your domains on the home page. Next to your domain name, you’ll see 3 vertical dots that will open a menu with the option to ‘Manage DNS’.
When you click on this, you’ll see an option for ‘I’ll use my own nameservers’.
Then you can enter your new nameserver details and save your changes.
GoDaddy may bring up a warning prompt to confirm. Just check the box and click the Continue button.
Your nameservers have now been changed.
That’s it! You’ve successfully changed your nameservers to point your domain name to another web host. Next, we’ll give you more information on name servers and answer frequently asked questions so you know what’s happening with your domain name and web host.
Your website lives inside a folder in your web hosting account. The domain name gives it a street address that people can use to visit your site.
Now just think, there are millions of domains, so how does a random user’s computer locate my website’s server to connect to my website?
That’s where nameservers come in. They act like a directory or phone book of the Internet and are a part of the global database of the domain name system (DNS).
Their job is to direct traffic from computers and tell them where to find the domain name they’re looking for.
So when you type in a domain name like nameboy.com in your web browser, you’ll see our website’s homepage. But there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes.
- Your browser sends a request to the nameserver – a global network of servers that form the Domain Name System (DNS).
- These nameservers then find the correct server associated with that domain name. They’ll respond back to the browser with the IP address of the server for that specific domain.
- Now your browser sends another request but this time it goes directly to the IP address it just received. The request is to fetch the website’s content so that it can display it to you.
- The domain’s server will send the requested data and the browser will render it on your screen.
And that’s how you see our homepage when you type in our domain name in the address bar. This works the same way for all websites and web pages.
Now if there’s the slightest issue with the naming system, you’ll get errors like “DNS server not responding”. That’s why you need to make sure your domain is pointing to the correct nameserver.
FAQs on Pointing a Domain Name to Another Web Host
Below, we answer the most frequently asked questions about changing nameservers.
How to check which nameservers my website is using?
If you’re not sure which nameservers you’re currently using, you can use a WHOIS Lookup tool. You simply have to enter your domain name and it will show you all the details of your domain including the nameservers being used.
What is the difference between DNS records and Nameserver records?
You can think of Nameservers as a phone book while DNS records are the individual phone numbers entered in the book.
A DNS record is a database record used to map a URL to an IP address. They are stored in DNS servers and contain information that other browsers or services need to interact with, like your server’s IP address.
Nameservers store and organize DNS records and translate domain names into IP addresses. So you could say that they act as a bridge between the complicated IP address processed by computers and the easy domain name that we use to visit a site.
How long does it take for a Nameserver change to take effect
It usually takes a few hours for a nameserver change to take effect but it could take up to 72 hours.
Will my website go down when I change nameservers?
Nameserver changes usually do not cause any downtime.
Will changing nameservers affect SEO?
No, changing your nameserver will have no effect on your SEO rankings.
We hope you found this article helpful in pointing your domain name to a web host. Next, you’ll want to read these posts:
- How to Transfer a Domain to a New Registrar
- How to Change Your Domain Name
- Should You Trademark Your Domain Name? (Beginner’s Guide)
These resources will help you learn more about transferring or changing your domain name. We’ve also added a guide to trademark your domain name so that no one else can use the same name.