What is a domain name?
A domain name is a website’s address or Universal Resource Locator (URL), its unique location on the internet. Only one website can ‘live’ at a particular domain, which is why sometimes a new business finds that their preferred domain is already taken. Much like physical buildings have their own unique postal addresses.
Why transfer in?
If you are a new client of ours you will have been using another web company for hosting your current/old website. When you book a new website project from us we will need to transfer in your domain to our servers. This allows us to manage it and renew it for you. It also makes is much easier for us to put your website’s data, code, files etc. on the domain.
Most importantly though, it means your website will benefit from all the features we offer with our high quality, dedicated hosting.
The transfer in process
How complex this process is depends on the suffix of your domain, whether it is a .uk or.com etc, and the level of cooperation from your old hosting provider. Here are several things that you need to be aware of when a transfer in of a domain is requested.
- As soon as we request the transfer of the domain in to us, your existing web company will normally need to simply change the IPS Tag to the one we provide you with.
- As soon as this IPS Tag is updated by your existing web company, the transfer process will begin. If they are uncooperative we will need you to put pressure on them to help.
- Much like the transfer of a mobile number from one supplier to another, there will be some downtime while the process of transferring is completed. This will mean your old website and any email accounts associated with your domain will cease to work temporarily.
- In the meantime, we will have things prepared our end in readiness for the domain being transferred to us. This includes having all your email addresses set up ready on our server. So as soon as the domain has transferred in successfully to us, your emails will start working again as normal. Having said that this is a great time to update email passwords, particularity if they do not comply with our ‘Secure Password Policy‘.
- We can issue you with the new passwords ready for you to re-setup your email accounts on your devices.
- Normally, and this is our best practice, we will always aim to do a transfer in over the weekend. The reason being that many clients are closed over the weekend and so transferring the domain then will mean reduced disruption. Your staff are less likely to be needing to access their emails and your own customers may well be out of the office over the weekend too.
- During the transfer in process the domain enters the ‘propagation’ period where the internet readjusts to the new location of the domain. Just as when you move house you need to tell everyone that you have a new address, but some people/organisations take a bit longer to catch on. Unfortunately this is a quirk of the internet and we have no control whatsoever in speeding this process up. Whilst propagation can take only a few hours, sometimes it can take up to 72 hours in reality to complete.
- As the propagation comes to an end your emails should start working again. If you have been issued with new passwords you may still have to change these on your devices. We have found that Apple devices tend to knock out email settings even if the password was not changed. Please see our ‘How To Set Up Your New Email Address(es)‘ article if necessary.
- With the transfer in complete we can then assemble the new website on your domain. You will know that the transfer was successfully completed when that happens.
- Should there be any issue during this process we will keep you informed. Whilst we will always do everything we can to ensure the transfer in process runs as smoothly as possible, there are many factors outside of our control.