The first step in taking your new website live is having a domain for it to operate on. Click here to see more information about what a domain name is. Selecting a domain name is important. You want the domain name to be memorable, and preferably no longer than it needs to be to identify your organization. Click here to check the availability of the domain name you want to use.
Once you have chosen a domain name, you can register it yourself at any number of domain registrars (we recommend www.namecheap.com). The typical cost for a domain name registration is $10-$15 per year. Once the domain is registered, you can set the DNS records yourself. Keep in mind that you will need to keep track of this domain account and keep your contact information updated, or your site will stop functioning.
Your domain name is your registered territory on the internet. All domains must be registered at a domain registrar. The only way to alter where that domain points is to access the account where that domain is registered. If you have a domain name already, but you don't have access to the account, or you don't know where it's registered or who registered it, or it was registered by your previous website host, it may take some time to gain access to the domain registration account.
There is no "magic bullet" to gain access to the account. You can look up your domain information in the public registry by going to http://whois.domaintools.com/your-domain-here (please replace "your-domain-here" with your domain. If you need assistance, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a domain name and have access to the domain/DNS account, but do not know how to manage your DNS records, continue here.
To bring your site live at your domain, we will first ask you to add a Cname record, which verifies your domain so we can grant your school an SSL certificate so your website operates on https. After your domain is verified, you need to point both your root domain and your www subdomain to our server. Your root domain should point to our server using an A record and your www subdomain should be pointed to our server using a cname record (will be provided by our team). However, there are dozens of domain registrars and control panels, and it isn't always as straightforward as it sounds. The best plan of action is to contact your domain registrars customer support for instructions.