FAQs

Domain FAQs



Can I use my own domain name?

Absolutely! Singlepage is designed to work with clients' domain names.

You can either use a domain name you have already registered, or you can register a new one with any reputable domain name registrar. Singlepage does not offer domain name registration as a service - there are already so many registrars offering a good service at low prices.

Registering domain names is easy and inexpensive - for example a .co.uk name should cost just a few pounds a year to register and renew.

How do I register a domain name?

Singlepage does not offer domain name registration as a service - you should register domain names with a reputable domain name registrar.

Choosing a registrar

When you are registering domain names, make sure you choose a domain name registrar that:

  • allows you full “DNS management” so that you can control your email and web traffic
  • registers the domain names in your own name or the name of your business so the ownership is absolutely clear
  • does not charge exit or transfer fees if you decide at some future date to transfer your domain names to another registrar
  • ideally accepts payment by Direct Debit, which can be more reliable for ongoing renewals which may be only every year or two years. Renewal payments by debit/credit card can fail if you have been issued with a new card before the renewal becomes due - paying by Direct Debit avoids this problem

Nominet is the official body in charge of .uk domain names and there's a lot of information on their web site:
www.nominet.org.uk

Ordering your domain

Go to the website of your chosen registrar and go to the "Domains" or "Domain Names" page. You should then be able to search for the name you want, to check that it hasn't already been registered by someone else. If your chosen name is available, you should be able to register it. Each registrar will have their own process, but it is like buying a product from an e-commerce site - you will add the domain name to your shopping basket and then go through a process for setting up an account and paying. As mentioned above, Direct Debit can be better than paying by debit/credit card, because card payments can fail in future years when the card may have expired or been replaced.

Registrars will usually try to sell you lots of other services such as web hosting and email at the time you place your domain name order, but you should say "No" to these options and just get the domain name registered.

You'll get some login details and a password when you first set up an account with a registrar. Make a note of these details for future use because you will need them when you're ready to put your new web site live.

How do I transfer a domain to a new registrar or change the named registrant (.co.uk domains)?

Background:

In order to set up any new website (like a Singlepage site), you need to be able to control the domain name(s) you are planning to use. If your domain(s) are definitely in your own control i.e. the domains are in a registrar account that you can log into, then you probably don't need to worry about changes of registrar or registrant.

But you may be using domain names that have been registered on your behalf some time ago by a third party such as a previous web designer or even a previous owner of your business. In order to use these existing domain names for a new Singlepage site, you need to be able to control them. In some cases (e.g. if you're the new owner of a business) you may be able to get control of the existing registrar account - contact the registrar to see if this is possible. But in other cases, you may need to get the domain(s) transferred into your own account with a registrar. At the same time, you should check that you (or your business) are listed as the registrant.

This article describes how registrar and registrant changes can be made for .co.uk domain names (other names e.g. .com are similar except they are not under Nominet's responsibility).

1. Before you start - when to make changes:

If you are already using the domain for an existing website or existing email services, you need to consider carefully when is the best time to make registrar and registrant changes. There is no need to make any changes to your domain until your Singlepage website is ready to go live. In fact, up to this point you may be using the domain name for your old website and email, and making registrar and registrant changes could prevent your old site working. But bear in mind that these registrar and registrant changes can take a few days to go through - or even longer if there is any difficulty contacting the existing registrant.

2. Before you start - email:

Make a note of any existing email addresses that you want to continue to use. If your email service is NOT going to be provided by Singlepage, you will also need to make a careful note of how your existing email is set up. You need to check how the email service will continue after you have discontinued your old website. You may, for example, be using some third party for email such as a hosted Exchange server, Gmail or Outlook.com. There is a specific DNS record for email called an "MX record", and you need to make a note of that before changing registrar, so that you can set it up the same way at your new registrar and keep your existing email services working.

3. Find who is listed as the current registrar and registrant:

Domain name registrars are usually large web hosting businesses that help register, control and renew on an ongoing basis domain names for their clients.

The registrant is basically the owner of the domain name.

If you have been using an existing domain name, you should check who the registrar and registrant of that domain are by doing a WHOIS search - see:

4. Decide what needs to change:

The objective is:

  • for the domain name to be in your own control in your own account with a registrar where you have login details to the control panel
  • for you (or your business) to be listed as the "registrant" i.e. the owner of the domain name

To achieve this, you may need to get the registrar and/or the registrant changed.

5. Changing registrar:

If the domain name is not already in your own account with a registrar, you can:

  • open an account with a registrar
  • then ask the third party (e.g. the old web designer) to transfer the name to your new registrar

To choose a registrar:

Open an account with your chosen registrar, notifying them that you want to transfer in your existing domain. Take care that you make the right selections on their website - you want to make a transfer that actually moves the domain so that they become the new registrar of the domain. Registrars will usually try to sell you lots of other services such as web hosting and email at the time you place your domain transfer order, but you should say "No" to these options and just get the domain name transferred.

You'll get some login details and a password when you first set up an account with a registrar. Make a note of these details for future use because you will need them when you're ready to put your new website live.

Your registrar should tell you how to complete the transfer. Basically, you should ask the previous registrar to transfer the domain name. Your new registrar may provide an email or form that you can use. If you are not the previous "registrant", the old registrant will have to approve the transfer.

6. Changing registrant:

Once the domain is in your own account with a registrar, you can change the registrant if required. Your contact details should have already been automatically provided by your registrar to Nominet (Nominet is the body in charge of .uk domain names). But the old registrant's name will still be stored in the Nominet database as the "registrant". To change the registrant's name, you will need to use the Nominet online service and pay a fee (about £10 + VAT). If you don't have login details for Nominet, you should contact them.

There are a couple of possible short-cuts to this part of the process:

  • if you use a Nominet "accredited" registrar, they may be able to change the registrant details for you when they transfer your domain (it's always worth checking with your registrar whether they can handle this change for you)
  • alternatively, the previous registrant may be happy to change the registrant's email address to your email address. Then you can ask Nominet to send out new online services details (these are sent to whatever email address Nominet have for the registrant, and so these could come direct to you). Once you can log in to Nominet's online services, you can change the registrant name and contact details.

If you have any problems, it is worth asking Nominet for advice: http://www.nominet.org.uk/

See also the Nominet Dispute Resolution Service: http://www.nominet.org.uk/disputes/resolving-domain-disputes

7. Ongoing management of your domain:

Registering your own domains makes the ownership absolutely clear and gives you complete control but it does mean that it will be your responsibility to renew the domain name on the relevant renewal dates. Your registrar will usually automatically renew the name unless you cancel it, and they usually try to charge the renewal fees to the same payment method (Direct Debit or credit card) you used when you originally registered the name. It's a good idea to make a note of the renewal dates and check that the name is renewed. Please note if you pay by credit card, whenever you are issued with a new credit card, with a new number, you will have to supply the new card details to your registrar - so paying by Direct Debit is generally better. You also need to update your contact details with your registrar if you change your email address. Beware of letters or emails in the future from other domain name registrars offering to renew your domain names for you – some of these are scams.

8. Problems with .co.uk domains?

Nominet are very helpful. Their website is full of information about domain name registration and they are also very happy to help you over the phone - see:

http://www.nominet.org.uk/

How do I connect my domain name with my Singlepage website?

There is no need to make any changes to your domain until your Singlepage website is ready to go live. In fact, up to this point you may be using the domain name for your old website and email, which will be hosted elsewhere.

When site is ready to go-live

When your new website is ready to go live, some DNS (Domain Name System) changes will need to be made. You can ask me to do this for you - but if you prefer to deal with this yourself, this page describes the process.

Briefly, this will require you to log into your account at your domain name registrar and change some DNS settings as described below.

The changes you need to make depend on whether you will be using Singlepage for website and email services; or just for the website.

If you will be using Singlepage for website AND email services:

  • log into your registrar's control panel
  • find the page where you can edit the DNS settings for your domain name
  • change nameservers to the following
    • Pimary Nameserver: ns.site-dns.co.uk (IP address: 46.101.24.26)
    • Secondary Nameserver: ns2.site-dns.co.uk (IP address: 95.131.252.12)
click for large version: FAQs-domains-nameservers

Example of changing nameservers at the registrar 1+1 Internet (click image for large version)

It may or may not be necessary for you to enter the IP addresses of the nameservers - that depends on your registrar. It normally takes several hours for your nameserver changes to take effect, and it can take up to 48 hours for the change to fully propagate around the internet.

Please note: When your nameservers are updated, any email addresses that you currently use on that domain will no longer work and any emails stored on the old mail server will no longer be accessible. In order to continue using those email addresses, you will need to ask us to create the relevant mailboxes in your new Singlepage hosting account - but any emails stored on the old mail server will no longer be accessible. Alternatively, if you wish to continue using your old mail server, you can just update the A-record for your domain instead of updating the nameservers (see below). Also, if you have set up any other special DNS records (e.g. for sub-domains), these will be lost when you update nameservers - so again you may want to update just the A-record for your domain instead of updating the nameservers (see below). Or contact us to discuss these DNS issues before making any changes.

If you will be using Singlepage for the website only and you want to maintain your existing email arrangements:

  • log into your registrar's control panel
  • find the page where you can edit the DNS settings for your domain name
  • add an "A" record as follows
    • 77.72.4.98
click for large version: FAQs-domains-A-record

Example of changing "A" record at the registrar 1+1 Internet (click image for large version)

I don't have my registrar login details!

If you no longer have your login details for your account at your domain name registrar, you will have to contact them and ask them to re-issue these details. Or you could simply ask them to make the DNS changes on your behalf (but wait until your Singlepage site is ready to go live).

I don't even know who my registrar is!

If you're not even sure who your domain name registrar is, you can do a WHOIS search for your domain:

The WHOIS search should show you:

  • the registrant (basically the owner of the domain name)
  • the registrar (the company you used to register, renew and control your domain name)
  • the expiry date of the domain name