Changing the domain name of a live website

If you've decided to change the domain name / address of your website, there are a few things to bear in mind.

Before you make the switch

You may wish to keep your old/current domain working, redirecting visitors to your new domain. This is particularly a good idea if your website is established and can be found in Google - you don't want all of those links to suddenly break.

Before you make the switch to your new domain, investigate if your domain registrar offers 'web forwarding'. This usually involves updating your DNS to point away from our service and back to the registrar themselves, and then enabling an option to forward traffic to a new URL. Depending on the domain registrar you use, this may be really easy and obvious to set up, or could be hidden away and you may have to look at their support docs or contact them for assistance. Alternatively they may not offer web forwarding at all, in which case you may consider moving your domain name to a new company.

We don't offer forwarding for old domains, and we can't offer support for setting it up with 3rd party domain registrars. Once you switch to a new domain, if your old domain is still pointing to us (i.e. you haven't made any changes to the DNS) your visitors will start seeing an error message. This will remain until you update the DNS to point to a new location.

Putting your website live on your new domain

There are two stages to putting your new domain live.

First you must update your new domain's DNS to point to our service, using the exact same records you used when you set up your previous domain. These details are still available on the Domain Name page.

Once you've done this, and the update has propagated (may take a short while), you should start seeing a "403" error page. This means your domain is successfully pointing to our service, but our service doesn't yet recognise the new domain.

The next step is updating the domain name in our service to your new one. Go to the Domain Name page in Site Settings and make the change.

Once you've done this, your website will be live on your new domain rather quickly. It will then cease to be available on your old domain, so if you're setting up web forwarding, this would be the time to make the changes to your old domain (see earlier section).

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