Can you change web host and still keep your domain name?

Many people who are new to Web hosting are afraid to switch their hosts because they think they will lose their domain name. You probably bought the domain through the web host, but the host does not actually own the domain. You own the domain, and that gives you many privileges.

Can I Keep the Domain?

Switching hosts does not mean that you lose your domain. The domain is actually separate from hosting. When you buy hosting, you are actually buying the rights to use a portion of the host’s server. This server hosts your domain, but you are just paying for the server space.

The domain name itself points to an IP address that you own the rights to. As long as you pay for the rights, the domain name is yours.

Switching the Web Host

You have two choices when you switch hosts. You can either transfer the domain to your new host, or you can do DNS pointing. The technical aspects of both are about equally difficult, but transferring is usually a little more complex.

Transferring a domain name

Transferring a domain usually takes several days, and many web hosts charge a fee for the transfer. If your only concern is to have your website hosted by a different host, there are no real benefit to transferring the domain name, so you will probably want to avoid this – as long as you don’t have a problem continuing renewing your domain name with the old host.

DNS pointing is much simpler. It might take a few hours until the website is properly pointing to the new server, and you don’t have to pay any fees.

DNS Pointing

DNS pointing is effectively pointing the domain name to your new server. The new web host will give you a special code for this purpose. You will then need to go to your previous Web host and sign into your account.

In your domain information page, you would select “DNS Settings.” You will type in the code given to you by the new Web host. That is all you have to do. The domain will now work with your new host within a few hours.

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