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I have two domains, one where my current website is hosted, and another which hosts my email. I am planning on switching the web domain to the domain that hosts my email. I tried to update my DNS settings, I pointed my name server from the current domain to the domain I want to migrate to - and my emails broke. I quickly had to revert those changes.

My goal is to migrate my current website to a new domain(which hosts my email) without affecting the new domains mailing as these email accounts have high traffic. Both domains are on Register.com, I plan on adding hosting to the new domain using siteground. I'm not very familiar with DNS updates, so I've read about two possible solutions:

Update the old domains A record to point to the new domains IP address. Before switching the DNS, update all DNS records to match the old domains. I am not entirely sure what to do. In regards to option 1 - the domain on Register.com has 3 A records, A name www, *, and @. Which one should be updated to point to the IP address of the hosting account? Where should I find the IP address on the siteground hosting account? The domain on siteground has 7 A records.

Regarding option 2 - theres a ton of different DNS records, do all of them need to be updated? What if the domain on siteground has 8 A records, and the other domain only has 3?

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  • When you "updated your name server", what did you change? The NS records? If so, do you have the MX records created in your new DNS? Do you even need to change DNS hosting? Dec 7, 2023 at 17:36
  • @StephenOstermiller Yes. I changed the NS from register.com to the nameservers on siteground. The MX records we're not changed. I don't know the best approach to successfully doing this. Dec 7, 2023 at 17:51
  • That is why mail broke then. Your NS records change the DNS host and then all the other records have to be duplicated on to your new DNS host. It sounds like you don't need to change NS records at all here. See these diagrams that show how DNS records work between your registrar, DNS host, web host, and email host. Dec 7, 2023 at 17:59
  • @StephenOstermiller Right, that's what I understood. Which record(s) should I be changing to change my sites URL? From what I understand - I should point the domain's A record to the hosting accounts IP. I am not entirely sure though. Dec 7, 2023 at 18:04
  • A, AAAA and CNAME records for @ and www point to your web hosting. Dec 7, 2023 at 18:34

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First, I'm assuming that when you say your email broke, you mean the sending/receiving emails not necessarily your email client. Next, the primary DNS record that impacts your mail is the MX record. The MX record tells other mail servers where to send emails for your domain. So, in your situation, your MX record probably shouldn't change since you're not moving your mail hosting, only your web hosting.

However, it's impossible for us to know if you need to change a "ton" of DNS records without knowing each record type. Some records may be unncessary, but 8 doesn't seem like a "ton". You may be able to get away with only an A, CNAME and MX record, but you should at least identify the other record types you currently have in case they are being used for additional services.

It would probably be helpful for you to read https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/dns/dns-records/dns-mx-record/ and https://www.bluehost.com/help/article/dns-records-explained. These aren't complicated reads, but I think they'll help you with each of the primary record types.

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  • Yes, thanks for correcting me. The email sending and receiving stopped. I believe changing the DNS from one site to another points all records to those of the corresponding DNS. Thank you for those articles I will review. Regarding switching the A record, the current domain has 3 A records, could you please share which one should be changed? Dec 7, 2023 at 17:15
  • @java-beginner-123, read the link Stephen gave you above to the diagram. He explains it very well.
    – Trebor
    Dec 7, 2023 at 22:33

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