How to Update Nameservers: A Guide for Bloggers


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You know you need to update your nameservers. But, you have no idea what the heck that even means.

You may also have heard it referred to as, “Domain Name Server”.

Either way, if you’re a blogger and need to update your nameservers, you’ve come to the right place.

I’m a member of several blogging groups on Facebook. Specifically, for new bloggers and I see this come up a lot.

Bloggers end up switching hosting providers or they’re moving from a free blogging platform to a self-hosted because they realize how limited they are.

The question comes up, “how do I update my domain nameservers?!”

Because of this, I decided to create a tutorial for it.

I purchased my domain name through GoDaddy. So, that’s the registrar I’ll be using for this tutorial.

If you use a different domain registrar, your experience won’t be exactly the same.

However, you can still follow along since most domain registrars and/or hosting providers will have a very similar way of updating nameservers.

What is a domain nameserver?

For a quite a while, I thought DNS stood for “Domain Name Server”.

Turns out, DNS actually stands for Domain Name System. This is where domain names are housed and turned into IP addresses.

That’s about as technical as I’m going to get on that. 😊

Nameservers are an important part of the DNS. The nameserver is the element that allows websites and blogs to use a domain instead of an IP address.

It’s a good thing too.

What if we had to use IP addresses to visit websites and blogs? We’d be typing 12.123.12.12 into Google instead of www.learntoearnblogging.com. Yikes!

Servers were built to communicate using numbers.

Whereas, we as people, prefer to use words and phrases instead of a long string of numbers.

So, that’s why the concept of a Domain Name System was created. To connect computer language with human language.

When a reader types your domain name into a search engine, the DNS will know exactly which IP address to send him or her to.

Websites and blogs have unique IP addresses. Meaning, there’s a 1:1 relationship.

I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful someone a lot smarter than me created this so we can do what we do online today.

The next time you see a web developer, give them a high-five.



Why would I need to update a nameserver?

As I mentioned earlier, most of the time there are two reasons why you, as a blogger, would need to update your nameservers.

Switching hosting providers

If you blog long enough, you’ll likely end up switching hosting providers. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

If you’re self-hosted, I bet most of you signed up with the cheapest web-hosting package. You did, didn’t you. I knew it. 😊

No, I don’t have telepathy. Every new blogger gets the cheapest web hosting package.

Two of the most popular these days are Bluehost and Siteground. (Read why I recommend Siteground here!)

Moving from a free blogging platform to a self-hosted platform

I understand. You don’t want to invest the money in the beginning. Or you started a blog for fun or as a hobby.

You’re seeing some decent traffic and now want to monetize.

I feel like I see someone bring this up, in one of the Facebook blogging groups I’m in, at least once a day.

If you’re reading this and you haven’t yet started your blog and you’re trying to decide whether to go with a free platform or self-hosted, read this first!

Save yourself the headache of having to migrate from a free platform to a self-hosted once you have a bunch of content published.

But, that’s not what this post’s about.



Back to the topic at hand. 🙂

There may be other reasons why you need to update nameservers.

But for bloggers, those are the two most common reasons. (If you know of other common reasons, let me know in the comments)

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Why it’s recommended to have domain and hosting separate

I’ve also seen this question posted before in a few of the blogging groups. But, I received it in an email from a subscriber as well.

“Should I have my domain and hosting together or separate?”

I’ve seen some experts say it’s better to have your domain and hosting all in one place and others say it’s better to have them separate.

I’m indifferent for the most part. But for the sake of having a position, I’ll lean toward keeping it separate.

I personally have my domain and hosting separate.

The experts that say to have them separate recommend this in case you ever decide to change hosting providers.

It’s much easier to switch when your domain is separate. You just update your domain nameservers to the new hosting provider.

This will come in handy if your hosting provider ends up with poor service. If you have frequent downtime, little to no support, and high costs, then you can easily switch.

Finally, if your site ever gets hacked, you’ll be thankful your domain is separate.

How to update your domain nameservers

As mentioned earlier, I’m using GoDaddy as the example in this tutorial.

If your domain is with GoDaddy, the steps should be exactly the same.

If your domain is with another registrar like Namecheap, Domain.com, or one of the other dozen sites, then it won’t be exactly the same.

However, the terms and general steps should help you figure it out. You, essentially, sign in to your account, access your DNS settings and update your nameservers.

All else fails, perform a Google search like, “update nameservers in <place domain registrar here>” and I bet you’ll find a tutorial.

Alright, enough with the disclaimer, Clint. Let’s update our nameservers!

Navigate to godaddy.com and sign in to your account.

GoDaddy Login

Once signed in, you’ll land on the My Products page.

If you don’t land on the My Products page, click on your profile on the upper right and corner of the screen and select My Products from the dropdown.

From here, you should see all of your purchased domains at the top of the page.

GoDaddy My Products page

Click on the DNS button for the domain that you’d like to update.

You’ll now be on the DNS Management page. If you’re domain is “parked’ with GoDaddy, you’ll see an initial card labeled Records with a table that has a bunch of values in it. *Pay no attention to this*

Scroll down until you see the Nameservers card. It will look like this.

GoDaddy Nameservers

Click on the button labeled Change. Then, select Custom from the dropdown.

You’ll see a prompt display asking if you’re trying to connect to one of the free blogging platforms. Because if so, GoDaddy makes it easy to connect to one of those without updating the nameservers.

Do not do this if you’re self-hosted! You’re hosting provider will provide you with nameservers to submit.

Choose GoDaddy nameserver type

At this point, if you already know what your nameservers are, simply copy and paste them into each of the nameserver fields and click Save.

If you don’t know what your nameservers are, you’ll need to get them from your hosting provider.

Locate your Nameservers through your hosting provider

Here’s what it looks like with Siteground.

Once signed in, click on the My Accounts tab from the primary navigation, then Information & Settings from the secondary navigation, and you’ll see them in the Account DNS section.

Siteground nameservers

You’re only going to need the first part of this. Not the IP in the parenthesis.

So, copy and paste each one of these into the nameserver field back on the GoDaddy page and click Save.

Add nameserver to GoDaddy

You’ll see the following prompt at the top of your screen. So, you may need to confirm an email.

Update nameserver confirmation

It could take anywhere from several minutes to several hours. So, be patient. If it hasn’t updated after a few hours, contact your domain registrar (i.e. GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc) to request a status update.

Once it’s gone through, your nameservers will be updated to the custom nameservers you provided.

Your GoDaddy nameservers have been updated

That’s it. You’ve successfully updated your nameservers.

Now you can rest easy knowing your domain is sending readers to your new site.

If you found this post helpful, please share. The blogging gods will reward you. 😊


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