Change the domain name of your site

Updated on 20-October-2016 at 10:16 AM

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If you haven't already, be sure to read the following articles to double-check the instructions for setting up your site's DNS and using this system's DNS tools:

Going Live Guide

Upgrading your trial site

Setting up your site's domain name using DNS tools

Accessing DNS tools

In the Admin Console, choose Site Settings > Site Domains to access the DNS management tools.

Using the interface provided on this page, you can add the domain name you've registered (with a third-party registrar) to your site and set up your domain name (or set up A-Records on the external DNS server to point to a remote server IP address), based on your site's location and the data center you've selected. These changes can only be made after first performing the following task:

Double-check that you have completed this step first, and then follow the instructions provided in Setting up DNS and redelegating domain names to redelegate your domain name, (using the website of the registrar company who registered your domain name). Finally, you'll use the DNS management tools in the Admin Console (as shown above) to set up your site's domain name.

Allowing time for propagation

Be aware that you may need to wait for the changes to propagate before updates made to a domain name become effective. Once the domain name has been re-delegated to new name servers, it can take up to a maximum of 7 days for this new domain information to update on all relevant DNS servers throughout the world. Usually, this process happens much faster; often, a visitor that enters your domain name into a browser will be able to successfully access your hosted site within 24-48 hours. If you wait for two days and find that the changes are still not active, use the suggestions provided in this article to resolve any outstanding issues.

Verifying your domain name settings in the Admin Console

As mentioned above, log into the Admin Console for your site and choose Site Settings > Site Domains to access this system's DNS tools. The list of host names that are set up for your site are displayed on this page, as shown below:

Click the Edit button to the right of the item you want to update. Make sure that you have added the correct domain name to the site (and verify that the domain name does not contain any misspellings).

Also confirm that you selected the option "Recommended: Use this service to host your website requiring you to re-delegate the domain" if you are re-delegating your domain to this service, which is required in order to use the internal email service. If you choose to host your site with an external host provider, you cannot use the internal email service. However, it is possible to add multiple domain names to a single site, and set one of the secondary (the non-default hosting domain) as an email domain and use an external email provider for that secondary domain name. 

Use the WWW record options menu to forward the domain name to the WWW domain record (the default option). This will ensure that a visitor entering the address will access the same site as if the visitor entered in their browser's address field.

Also notice the check-box option located immediately above the Save and Close buttons.

This option sets the current domain name that you are setting up as the default domain name for your website.

Using different domain names for the hosting and email services

This system enables you to set up multiple domain names for the same site, so you can optionally choose to set a secondary domain name (which differs from the site's default domain URL) as the default domain for email services. If you want to set this up, do not enable this option for the site's primary (default) domain name, but do enable it when you set up the secondary domain name, so that it will be set as the primary (default) domain for email accounts.  

For example, it is possible to set up the default site hosting domain to be and set up the default email domain as 

Looking up your domain name with online tools

First, confirm that you have performed the steps outlined below:

  1. Upgrade your site.
  2. Purchase and register a domain name with a third-party registrar .
  3. Use their site to assign the DNS information.
  4. Use the Admin Console (Admin > Manage Domain Name) to add the domain to your site.
  5. Wait 24-48 hours for the changes to propagate to the remote servers.

Next, use an online DNS lookup resource, such as DNSWatch , to use their reporting tools to lookup the information about your domain name. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit  the DNSWatch site and enter your domain name into the Hostname field. (Do not enter www before typing your domain name, as shown below.) Click Resolve.
  2. If you see different DNS server URLs, (other than, and it means that your domain name has not been redelegated properly to this system's servers, or that you have selected the option to use an external DNS service. Note: To learn more about using a third-party system to manage your site's DNS, see Using an external DNS service for domain names .
  3. Next, check the report to verify the MX record information. If you have selected to use this service for your email services, your MX record will look like this: (in this example, your domain name replaces  If the MX record is not listed in the report, return to the Admin Console to enter the correct settings. Follow these steps:
  1. Choose Site Settings > Site Domains to access the interface where you can set up your domain name and add a Mail Exchanger (MX Record). If you are using the internal service for your site's email service, be sure you've selected the option "Recommended: Use this service to host your website requiring you to re-delegate the domain" as shown below:

Next, check the report to verify the A-Records. If things are set up correctly, you'll see two A-Records.

One will be a www record and one will be a non-www record, as shown below:

Both A-Records should be pointing to the internal DNS information, shown below:

  • ( - primary DNS server     
  • ( - secondary DNS server  
  • (

This information will be same if you have redelegated your domain name or if you are using an external DNS service. In either case, you should see that the two records are pointed to the correct set of IP addresses shown above.

  1. If these A-records do not exist when you check your domain name using a third-party DNS lookup tool, log into your Admin Console and choose Admin > Manage Domain Name to set up your site's domain name. If only one A-Record exists, or if one or both A-Records are pointing to an address different from those listed above, it means you've selected the option to use an external DNS service and that you still need to setup one or both of the A-Records manually, using the DNS management tools. 
  2. To learn more about analysing the reports provided on the website, watch their video tutorial .

Looking up your domain name with

In addition to, you can also use the service to lookup your domain name and ensure it is set up correctly. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit and enter your domain name into the Enter domain field: 
  2. Press Next to generate the results. On the results page, scroll down and verify the name servers. You should see either two (or possibly three) name servers as shown below if you have redelegated your domain name to the Business Catalyst DNS service: 
  3. Name Server................NS1.WORLDSECURESYSTEMS.COM
    Name Server................NS2.WORLDSECURESYSTEMS.COM
    Name Server................NS3.WORLDSECURESYSTEMS.COM If you are using an external DNS service, you will see different DNS URLs when the record is displayed.

Following your domain registrar's requirements for DNS settings

In some cases, the company that registered your domain name (your registrar) may have more strict requirements about how you set your DNS configuration. A common rule is that your DNS servers must exist on separate subnets.

Check with your registrar for more information. If your registry has this requirement, use "" as your primary nameserver and "" as your secondary nameserver, when setting your DNS information on their site.