It is time. Your site is ready. You’ve got a customized site with the look & layout you want, and all the content you need to show it off to the world. But your site is visible at a temporary address that no one is likely to remember, like
http://3188.8.131.52/~username for example.
Now is the time to transfer/point your domain name to your WordPress website.URL switch warning
Reconfigure “nameservers” or Transfer your domain
We recommend you ask your hosting tech support to help you with this, because a mistake can mean that your address does not load anything correctly, and fixing the process may take a day or more to correct. You can even lose access to your Email if you use a custom address based on your domain name, like firstname.lastname@example.org so ask about “MX Records”. However, you can try this yourself – our recommended host, HostPapa has an helpful guide.
You have two options: have your current registrar point your domain name to your host, or transfer your domain to your host so all of your services are managed by them.
NOTE: your domain name and your hosting service are two completely different services you pay for – while it’s possible that your domain and hosting may be held with the same company, it’s also possible to have these services handled by separate companies
Repointing a domain usually takes only a couple of hours to go through, but the downside is you have two companies to keep track of, the domain registrar and the host. Transferring a domain can take longer, sometimes up to 5-10 business days to go through. But with a transfer, your domain and hosting are all with one company. And transferring may save you money, since many hosts include a free domain name for the first year with your hosting service. It is totally up to you which option you prefer.
HostPapa has this helpful guide for repointing a domain to their hosting. Or, this video if you instead prefer to transfer the domain registration.
If you were using a custom domain name at another site like WordPress.com or Blogger, then the domain name transfer process is not as straightforward. Fortunately, WordPress.com does have a Move Your Domain tutorial you can follow. For help transferring a Blogger domain, see this forum post.
Update your WordPress URL address
Here’s the cool part: once your domain name like
http://mysite.com is transferred/pointed to your host’s servers, your WordPress site will successfully load the front page from your address
The only thing you’ll need to do is login to your WordPress Dashboard and go to “Settings” > “General” (that’s from the main, left-hand WordPress sidebar menu) and change your WordPress URL and your Site URL from your temporary domain name over to your actual address
http://mysite.com … it’s that easy!
The only downtime you will experience will be during the “re-pointing” or transfer of your domain name. However, during this process, your old site will still be displayed until the switch takes place. When it does, it will be almost instantaneous.