Domain Names FAQ
This document outlines the most commonly asked questions about domains.
Document 7003 | Last updated: 02/04/2019 RR2
What is a domain name?
In short, a domain name is your website name. It's the address that people type in when they want to access your site on the Internet. For example, www.yourwebsite.com.
Computers use IP addresses, which are essentially a series of numbers — but words are easier for people to remember than numbers, so domain names were invented to help simplify online navigation.
What is a secondary domain?
When you buy an XSite, we grant you the ability to associate as many existing domains with your XSite as you like for free. As a result, though, you must pick one domain as the "primary" domain that your customers will use to access your website. Secondary domains are any additional domains you associate with your XSite beyond the primary.
What is a registrar/domain provider/domain vendor?
A registrar is a company that sells and/or registers domain names on the Internet. Typically they also administer everything about that domain on your behalf — acting as the Technical Contact for your domain. You might think of a registrar as a domain name manufacturer. As a manufacturer, they often work with resellers who sell and aid in the administration of your domain name. As with any product, the registrar is the source for all major service requests.
The terms "domain provider" and "domain vendor" are often used interchangeably with the term "registrar," but they are one and the same thing.
What kinds of domains can I register? .COM's? .NET's?
You can currently register .COM, .NET, .ORG, .BIZ, and .INFO domains with your XSite.
.US domains are a little different. To register one, you must be a United States citizen or have a bona fide presence in the United States. If you're interested in a .US domain, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the domain you want to register and your customer number.
Do I get a domain name with my XSite?
Of course! Without a domain name (website address), there's no way to brand and advertise your website effectively. As a part of every XSite purchase, you get one free domain name credit.
What if I need help with a domain issue?
As always, if you need assistance, feel free to call our Tech Support lines at 1‑800‑211‑4514 or submit a support ticket to us directly through the My Support area of your a la mode account at www.alamode.com/myaccount.
Do I own the domain name I registered through my XSite?
Yes. You have full ownership of the domain your register through your XSite — you can even take it with you if you decide to hook it to another website or email server.
If you register your domain through a la mode, we are your Technical Contact. As such, you may find a la mode technologies, llc. labeled as the Technical Contact for your domain. If you choose to take control of the domain yourself so that you can move it to another website provider, or simply give the administrative care to another provider, you can do so by following the steps in Tech Doc 5748.
Can I use an existing domain name that I already own with my XSite?
Yes. We don't prevent you from using domain names you already own. You can hook up as many existing domain names with your XSite as you wish.
How do I associate my domain name with my XSite if I didn't get it from a la mode?
There are two ways to associate an existing domain name with your XSite, depending on whether or not you already have a custom email address configured with your domain name (i.e., email@example.com):
- Method 1 (no email configured) — transfer ownership to a la mode.
- Log into your registrar's website and request an Auth Code / EPP Key, also known as a Transfer Code. Email this to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll initiate the transfer process. The ownership transfer typically takes five business days. As soon as it's complete, we tie the domain to your XSite for you right away.
- Method 2 (custom email configured) — update DNS records.
- Follow the steps in Tech Doc 1003 to point your existing domain to your XSite.
I don't know who my domain provider is. How do I find out?
First, you'll need to know if your registrar is ENOM or one of ENOM's resellers. To determine if this is the case:
- Go to http://www.enom.com/help/reseller_lookup.asp and type your domain name (website address) into the Reseller Information Retrieval box.
- Click Retrieve Provider to lookup your domain.
- If your registrar is ENOM or one of ENOM's resellers, the results will display the name of the originating reseller and their contact information.
- If your registrar is not ENOM or one of their resellers, a "Domain Does Not Exist in our System" message will be returned.
If your registrar is not ENOM or one of their resellers, you'll need to use a different tool to lookup your domain registrar. To determine your non‑ENOM registrar:
- Go to http://www.internic.net/whois.html and type your domain name into the available text box.
- Click Submit to lookup your domain.
- When the lookup is complete, both your registrar and their contact information will appear.
The name of your Registrar and the Referral URL are the key pieces of information you need from these results. If you need more information about your registrar or how to contact them, visit their website by typing the Referral URL you see listed into your web browser's address bar.
My domain provider told me that a la mode must initiate a transfer to hook my domain to my XSite. Why?
The word "transfer" can mean several different things in the world of domain names. Typically, when your domain provider indicates that you must pay a charge to "transfer" your domain, they're misinterpreting what you mean by "transfer."
Transferring a domain can mean that you intend to completely take the domain away from your domain provider and give it to another provider. It can also mean that you want to leave the domain in your domain provider's care, but that you want to transfer "hosting" to another provider.
As far as your XSite is concerned, you may want to transfer the domain, or you may want to simply point it to your XSite by changing its DNS records. Click here to learn more.
What's with the temporary downtime when I transfer my domain?
Many XSite customers are concerned about the 24-72 hour blackout that occurs on the website or email address that's hooked to their current XSite when you transfer the domain to your XSite. Unfortunately, it's beyond the control of a la mode.
In a nutshell, whenever you change your name servers, those settings take time to "propagate" to all the servers across the world. It's during this "propagation" time while your new settings are taking effect that you will experience a blackout on your existing website or email.
How can I control the domain I registered through my XSite?
If you want to fully administrate the technical settings for your domain, we can transfer it into an ENOM account that you can manage yourself upon request. If you're comfortable managing the technical side of your domain and wish to control it yourself, follow the steps outlined in Tech Doc 5748 to transfer it into an ENOM account.
ENOM isn't my registrar. Can I still transfer my domain to my registrar's account?
Yes. You can transfer your domain to any ICANN-accredited registrar. For step‑by‑step instructions, see Tech Doc 5748.
Does a la mode renew my domain name for me?
Yes, but a bit of clarification is in order. We ONLY renew domains you purchase through us, domains transferred to our ownership AND the domain you register as part of your initial XSite purchase. We do NOT assume any role in renewing domains that you purchase from other providers.
For instance, if you purchase a domain through Network Solutions and then hook it to your XSite, you would still need to renew the domain through Network Solutions for as long as you want to continue using it. If you aren't sure who has ownership of a domain, click here to verify the ownership through the ICANN.org website.
I keep getting emails/letters telling me to renew my domain name. Why?
Any domain name that you register through your XSite is automatically renewed for you each year. Despite this, many other domain resellers will track your domain's expiration date and automatically send you correspondence when it's time to renew. Ignore these messages. There is no need for you to renew your domain name independent of your XSite.
For more information about potentially fake domain name correspondence, see Tech Doc 5906 on domain renewal scams.There's one exception: If you initially purchased your domain through another provider independent of your XSite purchase, you need to continue renewing the domain through that provider as long as you wish to use it.
Can I host my website through a la mode & host my email through another provider?
Yes. If you decide to host your email through your domain registrar or on local servers that you control yourself, you can certainly do so. In order to do that, you'll need to point the website settings (www and @ A records) for your domain to our servers and point the mail settings for your domain to your preferred servers as specified by your email host. The exact process differs slightly depending on whether you registered the domain through your XSite or if you registered it through another registrar. The general process is as follows.
- If you registered the domain through your XSite — Just send an email to email@example.com with your preferred mail settings and we'll apply them to your domain.
- If you registered your domain through another registrar —
- Change your www and @ A records to point to our servers by following our domain name configuration Tech Doc.
- Point your mail records to your preferred e‑mail host.
I want to use my domain with an email address, but don't need a website. What should I do?
If a la mode registered your domain for you while you had an XSite, click here to take ownership of the domain so you can configure business email on it. If you already have full control of the domain, you can set up service with any email host. Click here to learn about setting up email for your business.
I no longer need a website. Do I still need a domain?
Do you have email configured on the domain which you're still using (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org)? If so, click here to jump to the pertinent question above.
Otherwise, there are a couple of reasons you may want to keep the domain. First, if you intend to set up a new website or email within the next year, you may want to keep it for future use. Second, if you want to prevent other people from getting the domain name, you need to continue paying for it.
If you don't fall into either of these categories, you can safely ignore the expiration notices and let the domain go back into the open pool.
I don't have a domain. Why should I get one?
If you have any kind of website, you should definitely set up a domain name to go along with it. A custom website address makes you much easier for potential clients to find — and, once they find you, they're more likely to remember your site and refer it to their friends.
Can I get business email through a la mode without a domain?
While we don't specialize in email, we do provide some information about it in Tech Doc 7206.