Help! I changed my Domain to Dreamhost and now my website is down

Hello!

This week I transfered my Domain registration to Dreamhost from Names, as my work emails were already with Dreamhost so it made sense to put everything in one place. I received a notification two days ago saying the transfer went through fine, but have since realised that the site is down.

It’s really urgent that our site goes back up again ASAP - we have an important event happening this afternoon UK time which our website is integral to. I use www.format.com to design the website and it’s attached to my domain www.richardchappelldance.co.uk . I’ve set up a redirect, but this won’t work if people click on links to the pages from social media.

Can anyone help?

Warm wishes,

Richard

Worth noting I have also raised a support ticket, but think it’s reply will come to late so wanted to check on here encase there was a quicker route to fix this etc! Thanks!

Where is your site normally web-hosted? If you normally host it on Format.Com, then maybe you just need to setup a CNAME DNS record, rather then web-hosting it on DH? Format’s help page on the topic:

@RichardChappellDance

If you’ve transferred your domain in, Dreamhost’s nameservers will be responsible for responding to all queries for your web address, and the default Dreamhost records will apply.

As @habilis noted, that help.format.com article gives some useful general advice, but it’s actually slightly confusing as that specific article discusses a slightly different step.


However, what you’re trying to accomplish - serve your format.com site using Dreamhost’s DNS servers - is unfortunately one of the few things not easily achievable with Dreamhost! It’s due to the somewhat limited means they offer to edit DNS records for your domain.

Once upon a time it was much simpler to combine custom “www” DNS records with ‘full hosting’ so you could have the double redirection you require. Unfortunately it’s been dumbed down sufficiently that it’s not easily achievable now unless you use ugly URL redirections (which change the actual address shown in the browser).


Checking the domain just now, I can see that you’re currently using the third-party “wwwizer” service to enable domain redirection to richardchappelldance.format.com. Great as an interim solution - I presume Dreamhost support advised this method? But bear in mind that while it fulfils your immediate need, but it adds an extra reliance on a free third party service, with no guarantees it will exist in future or continue to function as it does currently.

Given these risks, I’d suggest you’re better off longer term migrating just your domain name to another registrar like 20i.co.uk or porkbun.com (what a name!), which you are perfectly free to do while keeping your emails hosted at Dreamhost. I recommend 20i and Porkbun as I use both for many of my own and a few clients’ domain names.

This method gives you complete control over all of your DNS records, and permits you to use Format.com (or any provider) for your web site and Dreamhost for your email service:

  1. The third party registrar provides DNS services for your domain (the facility which resolves incoming requests for your web address to actual server IP addresses)
  2. Dreamhost continues to host your email services, and you create the relevant DNS records to direct email traffic to Dreamhost’s email servers
  3. Web traffic can be easily directed to the Format.com servers

It gives you ultimate flexibility, after a little initial setup, and no reliance on third party free services. I always think it’s wise to keep separation between web host/email host and domain name registrar, for business continuity reasons.

With domain migrations there is a negligible cost to migrate registrars, usually the cost of one year’s renewal which is added on to your domain’s validity period.

I’ve done this sort of migration dozens of times for mine and customers’ domain names and web hosting. Happy to explain and help if you wish at no cost (I’ll drop you an email).

Glad your site is up and running for the time being.

Thanks so much for your reply @chrisw ! That was incredibly generouse of you and helped us, alongside Dreamhost and Format Tech support get our website fulling back online without any diverts this weekend. I am very grateful!

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