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What is the Difference Between Domain Transfer vs. Nameserver Change

Updated on Feb 21, 2022

It’s not uncommon for people to get confused when it comes to the term “domain transfer.” When clients refer to transferring a domain, their goal is often to just have a nameserver change and point the domain to their desired web hosting server. That’s usually after changing hosts, and it’s an entirely different process from making a domain (registrar) transfer.

With this post, our main goal is to provide the needed information and make it clear how transferring a domain is different from changing your nameservers. We will cover:

How Domain Names Work

To register a domain name, you need a domain registrar. A domain name registrar provides domain name registrations to the general public. After you register the domain name, you typically pay the registrar a yearly fee if you want the domain to stay active. When you request a nameserver change, your registrar points the domain name to the nameservers you have chosen. Those nameservers point your domain name to your desired web hosting company, such as FastComet.

If you have an existing domain with a different web host when you sign up for FastComet web hosting, you will have to configure your domain name to work with our servers and use the DNS Zone Editor in your cPanel here with FastComet. For the zone editor to be available, you only need the nameservers to point to our servers. However, you can also transfer your desired domain with us too. If you do that, both your domain name and web hosting will be managed in the same place and supported by the same team.

You can register your domain with any domain registrar you choose, and still host that website with another web hosting company. In case you have an existing domain when you sign up for a hosting account, that domain name will need to be configured in order to work with your new web hosting account by setting the domain’s nameservers at your registrar. When you have your nameservers set on a FastComet server, you will be able to use the DNS Zone Editor in cPanel and manage your domains/subdomains from there. 

Because domain name registration is considered a separate service from web hosting, it’s not required to register or transfer your domain to the FastComet web hosting servers. However, it is much easier to manage your domain if it’s transferred to the same servers where your nameservers are set. 

There are in fact two options when it comes to using FastComet as your web host and having an existing domain.

Option 1: Update Your Nameservers at Existing Registrar to Point to the New Provider

Your domain name server (DNS) settings link your domain to your website’s hosting account in order for your visitors to be directed to the correct website. Nameservers would be changed only if your website gets moved to a different hosting provider. Those nameservers may be moved initially when the domain name is maintained by a different hosting provider from the one that hosts the website. Basically, a change in the nameservers means the relocation of a website to another host, without the domain being moved along with it.

A nameserver change refers to pointing your domain to the new registrar, meaning you can leave the domain name registered where it is currently and just change your nameservers to point to FastComet. This way the FastComet servers will manage your DNS and you will be able to make DNS changes directly from your cPanel with us whenever you need.

Note:

If you leave your domain with your current registrar and only update your DNS settings, you will have to renew your domain’s registration with its registrar, and then renew your hosting with your current web host.

Pointing a domain allows you to:

Note: 

As of December 1, 2016, ICANN domain transfer policies have changed. When you update whois information, that is considered a change of ownership, which leads to a potential 60-day transfer lock.

Changing nameservers is a simple act that will not make any changes to the search engine rankings or SEO factors. Changing nameservers is quick and far from difficult. The entire process usually takes less than a minute.

Option 2: Change Registrar - Transfer Your Domain to FastComet

Domain transfer is a service that allows the transfer of your domain from one registrar to another. If you have already picked and purchased the best domain name for your business, but you are not particularly satisfied with the service your current registrar offers, you are free to switch to another one.

If you wish to have your domain with the same company that hosts your website, you can choose the domain transfer option upon signing up with FastComet. You can also decide to transfer your domain name later, at your convenience.

FastComet offers domain transfer services to all existing clients. When you transfer your domain to FastComet, you will have access to our user-friendly domain management interface, which gives you full control of your domain. Furthermore, FastComet provides domain transfer services to all existing customers completely free of charge and you will always be able to renew that domain at the same exceptional price.

You can find more information in our Domain Transfer Tutorial.

When to Point and When to Transfer a Domain

In case you are experiencing problems or having issues with your current domain name host, feel free to transfer your domain name to FastComet. If your existing host does not provide the required help to point your website, it’s easier to transfer your domain to FastComet. Usually, we recommend that, so you can manage all aspects of your website from one service instead of two. FastComet has expert technical support that will always answer your questions and help you as swiftly as possible. We will help you with any issues regarding your domain directly.

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