Last month, our website crossed 10k pageviews/daily. Now, this is too much traffic for a blog hosted on shared hosting. Right? So I started looking for a better hosting plan. And luckily this black Friday, I got a sweet 80% OFF deal on Hostgator and finally upgraded to their VPS hosting.
Now over the years, I have tried shared hosting from various hosting providers. And they all look the same, once you use their control panel. But this not the case with VPS hosting. It’s different. For instance, unlike shared hosting, the control panel is different and you get full root access without any kind or restriction.
The migration part was easy. I used the free website transfer service from Hostgator to move my files from old shared hosting account to new VPS hosting. Everything went smoothly. Next step was to update the nameserver. But that was little tricky.
What is a NameServer?
Say you bought your domain and hosting from two different sellers. Now how will your domain know where to point? How will you link both of them?
Well, nameserver solve this problem.
When you buy any hosting plan, you get 2 name server in the welcome email. You have to add those two records under your domain nameserver settings. This way, your domain will know where the website is hosted.
Similarly, if you change your host, you have to update the name server as well. But the problem is, the process of updating name server in shared hosting and VPS hosting is a bit different. For instance–
Generic vs Private name server
In shared hosting, we use generic name server i.e. with it uses your hosting provider domain name. Like ns123.hostgator.com and ns124.hostgator.com.
But if you upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting package then you will get a private nameservers i.e. with your domain name in it. Like ns1.receivetipstricks.com and ns2.receivetipstricks.com. It also has 2 IP address associated with each nameserver.
How to Add Name Server
The steps are different for every domain registrar but here is a basic overview.
To update a generic name server, log in to your domain registrar website. Find the domain > look for a manager DNS option > then look for name server option > and enter the two name server that you get in your welcome email.
However, if you add your private nameserver using the traditional way, you will get an error. This is because you will have to first map your name server with the two IP address you get with it. This is done under hostname.
Again, the steps to add private nameserver are different for every registrar, but if you using GoDaddy, here is how to do it.
Log into your GoDaddy Account. Next to Domains, click the Manage DNS option.
A new windows will open, click on settings > hostname > manage.
A popup will open. Click on add hostname. Under hostname tab type in ns1 in the hostname field (you don’t have to type your domain name as it’s already provided) and then under IP address field type in the equivalent host IP address.
Repeat the same process for the second hostname i.e. click on add hostname > type ns2 and it’s equivalent IP address. Once done, save changes and your hostname will get registered.
You will get a confirmation email from Godaddy instantaneously. However, sometimes it may take up to 2-3 hours to register a hostname, so be patient.
Now go to name server > manage > add your private name server. And remove the old name server. See the screenshot below.
And that’s it. Now all you have to do is wait. The name server propagation can take up to 48 hours. But you can see the effects within an hour or so.
Also, don’t cancel your old host until your sure, your nameserver propagation is successful, Or some of your visitors may face problem
How to make sure you update the name server successfully?
There is no official way to do it. However, there are few workarounds.
Since you have changed your hosting, your website will have a new IP address right. Now, if you know your old and new IP address (both mention in the welcome email for hosting provider) then ping your websites.
If you see a new IP address it means the name server has updated successfully, else you have to either wait or you did something wrong.
To ping your website from all around the world, use DNS checker website. If you ping your website immediately after upgrading your name server, chances are you will see both your old and new IP address of your website. Like in the screenshot below.