Ready to connect your domain name (example, YourHotel.com) to your new website, but not sure where to begin? Here are some frequently asked questions to help de-mystify this process.
- What is a domain name?
- Do I need my own domain name?
- Can I purchase a domain name from Hotel Propeller?
- What’s the difference between my “domain name” and “web hosting”?
- What’s the difference between “web hosting” and “email hosting”?
- How can we connect my domain to my new website on Hotel Propeller?
- I own a domain, but I don’t remember where it’s registered.
- My previous web company manages my domain name. What can I do?
- What will you change in my domain’s DNS settings?
- What about nameservers? Will you change the nameservers that my domain name points to?
- Can I point my website to your IP Address?
- I have more questions about domains, etc.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the name people see in the address bar at the very top of their web browser. Typically, it’s the name of your hotel .com. For example, “Anna’s Lakeside Bed & Breakfast” might have a domain name, annaslakesidebnb.com.
Do I need my own domain name?
Though it’s not required, we do recommend it. When you first sign up for Hotel Propeller, we’ll give you a temporary web address, such as yourhotel.hotelpropeller.com. If you own your own domain name, such as yourhotel.com, we can connect it so that it replaces the temporary one we gave you when you signed up. Once your own domain name is connected to your website, your visitors will see that, and they won’t see the temporary …hotelpropeller.com address.
Can I purchase a domain name from Hotel Propeller?
No. We don’t offer domain name registration here at Hotel Propeller. We recommend you purchase your domain from Godaddy.com. The cost of registering a domain name (assuming the name is available), is around $14 per year.
What’s the difference between my “domain name” and “web hosting”?
These are often confused as being the same thing — but they’re not!
Your domain name, as described above, is the name of your website, shown in the address bar on your browser. For example, YourHotel.com. Domain names are registered with a company. Typically, that’s the same company where you purchased the domain name from. Common examples of companies that sell domain name registrations are Godaddy.com, Networksolutions.com, Tucows.com, and many others.
Web hosting is the service that is required to store your website and serve it to the general public. Essentially, this is where the files that make up your website “live”.
Hotel Propeller includes web hosting, so when you’re a customer of Hotel Propeller, you don’t need to purchase web hosting service elsewhere. Your domain name registration, however, does need to be purchased elsewhere. We recommend purchasing your domain at Godaddy.com, which should cost around $14/year.
What’s the difference between “web hosting” and “email hosting”?
Web hosting refers to the hosting of your website, which is publicly viewable when people visit your website.
Email hosting refers to the hosting of your email account, if you have an email address associated with your domain name, such as [email protected]. The alternative to paying for email hosting is to use a common email service like Gmail or Yahoo mail.
Hotel Propeller provides website hosting. However, we don’t provide email hosting.
If you wish to use (or continue to use) a domain email, such as [email protected], then the service we recommend for email hosting is G Suite by Google Cloud. Last time we checked, it costs $5/user/month which is more than enough to get started. This will allow you to use your domain email account, and it’s easy to migrate to this service if you’ve been using your domain email hosted elsewhere.
You can have your website hosted through Hotel Propeller while having your domain email hosted through Google Apps. That’s very common and it’s the most cost-efficient solution.
How can we connect my domain to my new website on Hotel Propeller?
The fastest/easiest method is to provide us with your login info to the place where your domain name is registered (typically, that’s the place where you purchased it from). You can provide us this info via email, to [email protected], or you can fill out this form inside your account (you’ll need to log in to see that page).
If you’re comfortable with editing your domain’s DNS settings and you’d prefer to connect your domain name yourself, we have a detailed step-by-step tutorial for that here. It’s important you follow the steps in order. Otherwise your site may become temporarily unavailable (if that happens, send us an email and we’ll help fix the issue).
I own a domain, but I don’t remember where it’s registered.
Most domain name registrations can be found by running what is called a “WHOIS Lookup”. By running your domain through a WHOIS lookup, it will return information about:
- The company/website where the domain is registered
- The name and contact info of the person who is the registered owner of the domain name.
You can run a whois lookup on your domain by going to whois.com and entering your domain name in the box in the top-right corner of the page.
My previous web company manages my domain name. What can I do?
Sometimes, you purchased your domain name from the same company who designed your first website. And in some cases, that company is still the one who technically owns and controls the DNS settings on that domain name.
We at Hotel Propeller don’t take ownership or control of your domain name. We believe you, as the owner of your business, should also own and control the domain name for your business.
If it turns out that your previous web company is in control of your domain name, then we recommend that you have your domain name transferred to your ownership. In order to that, you’ll first need to open up an account at a domain registrar, such as Godaddy.com, and then have your domain name transferred from the previous owner’s registrar to your own Godaddy.com account.
A domain name transfer is a multi-step process, and it will require authorization from the previous web design company (or whoever was in control of your domain name).
See these tutorials on Godaddy.com’s website to get the transfer process started:
- Transfer a domain from another company to your Godaddy account
- Transfer a domain from someone else’s Godaddy to your Godaddy account
What will you change in my domain’s DNS settings?
In order to connect your domain name to our server, we will create a CNAME to point www.yourhotel.com to yourhotel.hotelpropeller.com (“yourhotel” is just an example).
We’ll handle this setting for you. Simply provide us with the login to where your domain is registered, and we’ll implement the necessary CNAME setting in your DNS.
What about nameservers? Will you change the nameservers that my domain name points to?
No. We will not change the nameservers. Those should be pointed to your domain registrar’s nameservers. This will ensure that your DNS (where your CNAME is managed) is editable at your domain registrar, such as Godaddy.com or Networksolutions.com.
Can I point my website to your IP Address?
While possible, we don’t recommend this. If/when we upgrade our server infrafrustructure, our IP address may change. If that happens, and you don’t update your DNS beforehand, then your website could go offline.
To avoid this from ever happening, we point your domain using a CNAME instead. This is the most future-proof way to ensure your website will continue to point to our server and keep your site online.
I have more questions about domains, etc.
Contact us anytime by sending an email to [email protected]. We’re here to help!