What is a neutral registrar?
Your domain name is registered in the same way a physical business is registered. This registration provides you with a license for the domain name, and an official record of ownership. Part of this record includes the technical routing information - in other words, when someone types your domain name into the browser, where should it go? Neutral registrars allow you to manage your domain and routing information (often including email) independently of where your website lives, making it easier to move your website over time without additional fees.
By comparison, registering your domain directly with Envato Hosted offers convenience for sites you intend to keep here a long time, but does not include email or other services neutral registrars may provide. Cancelling your Envato Hosted subscription would mean you'd have to transfer your domain to your new host or another registrar, which will incur transfer fees.
This guide offers advice on how to point a domain name that is currently registered or managed by a neautral domain registrar such as namecheap, domain.com or GoDaddy and has not been transferred to Envato.
Before You Point Your Domain
- Ensure all migrations, backups or other content has been moved over from your current site if you have one - you may not be able to access it or its WordPress install once you change your domain settings.
- Your domain must be registered with a registrar other than Envato Hosted
Step 1 - Add The Domain To WordPress
Your domain name needs to be added to your WordPress account in order for the URLS on your site to sync with the correct routing information. A working domain is also needed before you can test things like form submissions to an email @ your domain, Google Analytics, or other domain-related services.
- Login to your Envato Hosted dashboard at https://build.envatohostedservices.com/
- Click the Add Domain button next to your temp URL
- You will be presented with three options. Choose the Do It Yourself option and click Setup Your Own Domain
- Enter your domain name into the field provided and click Submit Request
This will change your temp url to use your domain name instead of the auto-generated letters and numbers, which means you will need to use the new temp URL to access your admin until your domain is fully pointing to your new site.
Step 2 - Point the Domain To Us
- Login to your domain registrar (such as GoDaddy, namecheap, etc)
- Follow your registrar's guide or documentation to add our domain name servers to your domain DNS settings:
Links to popular registrar documentation are listed below for your convenience:
- GoDaddy: Changing DNS Server Names
- NameCheap: How to Change Nameservers
- Domain.com: Managing domains
It can take up to 24 hours for DNS changes with your registrar to take effect. In the meantime, you can access your site at your temp URL (be sure to check your email for the confirmation which contains your new temp url!)
If you need a CNAME record for email
- Login to your Envato Hosted account and click the Domains tab
- Choose the appropriate task on the left menu OR
- Click edit on your listed domain.
- See How to setup Email for Your Domain
Transferring away from Envato
If you have previously registered a domain with us but have cancelled your Hosted account, you can transfer the domain to your new registrar following their domain transfer procedure.