Domain Manager

Name Server Manager

You can use the NameServer Manager to change the names servers associated with your domains. We allow up to 13 possible name servers, although only 2 are required. It is important that you do not enter the IP address of the name server, but instead enter the actual name server name. Name servers are typically formatted like "NS1.host.com".

Steps to change Name Servers

  1. Go to the Domain Manager page within your account
  2. Check the box next to the domain(s) you would like to update
  3. Select the "Change Nameservers" icon from the top of the domain list in the "ACTIONS for Selected Domains" section
  4. Add/Update your name servers in the "NameServer Entry" box
    In most cases you will want to remove the existing name server entries prior to entering your new/updated name servers

Name Server Validation

We do our best to ensure that you only enter valid name servers since the entry of an invalid or incorrect name server will prevent your web site, email and other domain-related services from functioning correctly, if at all. We have therefore implemented a few checks that run with every name server change to verify that the entries are valid to the best of our ability. The most common reasons for a name server to be invalid are that the name server doesn't exist, or it was entered incorrectly.

How long does it take name server changes to take effect?

This is probably our most commonly asked question. Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple one since there are multiple factors at play, and very few of which are within our control. We have provided a basic explanation below as well as a few resources you can use to verify that your name server changes have been made correctly.

First, we make name server changes real-time. This means there are absolutely no delays on our end. Again, when you update name servers with our service, the change is made immediately. So what exactly is changed? Two things: 1) your whois information is updated to reflect the name server change and 2) the registry running the respective TLD zone file is informed to update the name servers in the zone file (also done near-real-time). In short, we do everything in our power to make the change as quickly as possible - there are no delays on our end.

However, while the name server updates are real time, DNS records are cached across the Internet at different times. Because DNS records are cached with different expiration times across the Internet, the name server changes will take effect at different times depending on where on the Internet you look up your domain's respective hostnames (i.e. www.domain.com). This seemingly random delay between the update of name servers and the time in which that update actually takes effect results in us receiving lots of questions. As a rule of thumb, it takes anywhere between 1-48 hours.

Lets use a simplistic example to illustrate how this delay occurs. You own the domain "domain.com". The first time you ever typed in www.domain.com, your computer immediately requested the IP address associated with www.domain.com. That IP address is provided by your domain's name servers. Your ISP caches (stores a local copy) the IP address retrieved from your domain's name servers as well as the name server themselves. It caches the IP address and your domain's name servers locally since this makes the Internet much faster. How long your ISP stores that IP address and your domain's name servers locally depends on a number of factors. When you change your domain's name servers, the new name servers may very well serve a different IP address for www.domain.com, so you would expect that when you type in www.domain.com, the new address would be used; however, your ISP more than likely is serving the local copy that your old name servers provided. It will not serve the updated address from the new name servers until the ISP's cached records associated with www.domain.com have expired. Those cached records typically expire anywhere from 1-48 hours - it varies from ISP to ISP due to a multitude of factors.

The other thing to keep in mind is that your web browser may be set to cache web sites similarly to how ISPs do so in the description above. We therefore highly recommend clearing your web browser cache when testing name server changes. Here is a link to an article by Google covering how to clear browser cache for popular browsers.

Luckily, there are a few third-party resources that you can use to ensure that your name server changes are in the process of being made and propagated to all ISPs:

WHOIS Search

We make a WHOIS lookup available on our site by clicking the WHOIS link at the bottom of any page. You can enter your domain name on that page which will display, among other things, the name servers that are being published for your domain. If you would like to use a third-party to double-check, we would recommend going to InterNic's web site at http://www.internic.net/whois.html, although you could go to any other WHOIS service as well.

Online Troubleshooting

We offer a very helpful Web Site Troubleshooter which can help you identify if your name server changes are still within the propagation window as well as other tools to see what people without a DNS cache already see for your site.

Online Ping Tests

While your ISP may be using a cached version, other ISPs may have already updated the name server to use, or not had a cached record for the domain name at all. The best way to determine if your name server changes are correct is to visit any number of free online ping test web sites, enter your domain, and then see if the IP address for your new host is being used or not. If these services indicate that the new IP is being issued, that means that your name server changes have been made correctly and it is just a matter of time until they propagate to all other ISPs. Just keep in mind that it can take even these free services some time to update their systems to reflect the new name servers so it is best to check back periodically until your new host's IP address is being returned. Feel free to try any of the sites listed below, or any other site you trust:

Website Speed Test

Check the speed of any Internet website with the website speed test tool. Unlike many speed tests available, this one not only checks the load time and gives a grade. Here you can set up many different variables to see how a page performs under certain circumstances. This is a great tool for many web professionals trying to find out why their websites perform the way they do.