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We’ve put the below guide together to help you understand DNS changes and switching your new site live.
Where you bought your domain name e.g. www.recruitmentagency.co.uk.
Usually sat within your domain host, but not always. Sometimes if you set up a website with Wix or other CMS systems, they will ask you to transfer to them. These hold the settings for your DNS RECORDS.
This holds the addresses of your web + mail servers. It’s a bit like a phone book, but for computers!
Separate to your domain host, this is the place where your website is hosted. For our Volcanic customers, you will sit on our AWS servers.
To switch from your old site to your new site (or if it’s your first website), you will need to track down the location of your Name Servers. These usually sit with your Domain Host, and be found under Domains, DNS or Advanced DNS in your menu.
However if you’ve had websites before, there’s a chance your NS may have been transferred elsewhere. You can use free online tools such as this to check: https://whois.domaintools.com/
Once logged in to the place where your Name Servers are, you can then access your DNS Records. It can be a little daunting to look at, but essentially this is the system of information that contains the IP addresses, domain names, hosting, and other registration information across every site on the Internet.
You will need to update the information in your DNS Records with new information that will connect to your new Web Host.
For our Volcanic customers, we will guide you through this process and if needed, would be happy to make the switch for you. One less thing to worry about on launch day!
Once you have updated your records with the new information provided, then the DNS switch is done and your website will start propagating. You can check the success of your DNS switch using a free tool such as: https://www.whatsmydns.net/
Propagation, also sometimes called DNS propagation or Domain propagation, is the process of updating every server across the web with new information. That’s a lot of servers that require updating. You should expect to wait between 24 to 48 hours before the full switch is complete and your new site starts showing up at your domain.
Depending on which server someone is using, it is usual for people to see different results when visiting the domain name during this time. This is completely normal, and after the 48 hour timescale the new site will be visible to everyone.
TIP: If you are planning to promote your new website (which you totally should), then it would be best to plan this 48 hours after the official launch of the website, to ensure all your users are viewing the same thing.