Going Live, Explained

If you’re curious about what happens when we go live with your site, here’s an explanation of the behind the scenes activities.

Your Domain

The account where you have your domain registered is integral to our process.  This is where you have your domain – your https:yourdomain.com — registered. Common domain registrars include GoDaddy, Namecheap, Register.com, Network Solutions, Homestead, a hosting provider such as HostGator or BlueHost, 1&1, and Domain.com. And there are hundreds more.

If you’re wondering where your domain is registered, you can find out online.  We use a free tool at http://mxtoolbox.com. Enter your domain name and click the MX Lookup. This gives us info about your email vendor.  Click the dropdown arrow next to MX Lookup and choose Whois Lookup, then click the button.  Your registrar name is listed on the top line of the results.

Your account should always be in your name.  You might have private registration turned on which is fine, but you should have full access to your domain registrar account. If you don’t, it might be because someone registered your domain for you.

Webmaster may have your domain in their wholesale account.  Some require you to transfer it to them.  This is never a good idea.  What if they go bankrupt, retire, are not reachable, or become disabled or incapacitated?  Think about how valuable your domain is to your business and make sure you have total control.

DNS Records

Each domain has a set of records attached to it that control your email, website display, and anything else connected to your domain. There are two main types of configurations:

  • A domain whose records are set to use default nameservers
  • A domain whose records are set to use custom nameservers

If default nameservers are set at your domain registrar account, this is the easy way and how we do it.  Your domain account has total control over your email settings and where those records are directed to as well as total control over where you website is hosted.

When your domain is set up like this, it’s super-easy for us.  All we do is point the A record to our server, and that tells your registrar to direct your domain URL to us.  Your email is completely unaffected because we don’t have to touch those records.  We do need your registrar account user ID and password to go in and make this change, and we do it all for you, so you don’t have to know the details.

The harder way

If custom nameservers are set at your domain registrar account, it means that control over your email setting and hosting resides in your hosting account, not at your domain account. Your domain records are effectively split. Your registrar still controls your domain, but when you use nameservers, you’re announcing that everyone needs to look to your hosting account for your email settings and every other domain item.

It’s no big deal, really, but when your account is set up this way, we need both your hosting login info (or access to your control panel if your hosting uses standard cpanel software, and we need your registrar account user ID and password.

We’ll actually switch it back for you using the easy way above. We’ll go into your domain account, change your nameservers to the default, re-setup your MX, CNAME, TXT, and any other email records, copying them exactly from your hosting account to your domain account, and then we’ll update you’re a record to point to our server.  Your email will still be unaffected when we do it this way, and it will be cleaner if you decide to make future changes relating to your domain name.

DNS Changes

Once we’ve made these DNS changes as they are called, it can take 15 minutes to 4 hours to see your site.  We then go through our process of making your site live. The temp URL we shared during the draft phase will no longer work and your domain will take its place.  You will no longer have access to your old website, so be sure you have everything you need from it before we start this process.

The following day after we go live with your site, your site will be secure, accessible via https:.

Three days after we go live, you can cancel your old hosting account – but only the hosting portion of it in case your domain is registered.

You are responsible for renewing your domain each year – it’s about $15 per year.  And a great tip is to renew it for five years – Google loves to see businesses that show characteristics of being viable going concerns as we say in accounting.


Once you’re live, we then start on the SEO journey, making two more edits to your site. After two to three weeks, you (and we) can begin to see how you are ranking.  We can then make a plan going forward to help you set the right pace of leads for your business.