Building a website when someone else hosts it

Hi Guys,

Have been approached by a friend to build them a website. They already have a domain name.

It is hosted by a local website design company, which he charges them per year to host the domain name and a mailbox to create email addresses such as

I understand the best way to it would be to get the domain name switched over to me so I can set them up with a hosting company which I can control and then build the website (using wordpress) from my end? How would I go about transferring the domain name over to me, do I have to ask the website design company to release it?

Any help would be appreciated

Thank you in advance

The domain name should be registered to the owner of the business i.e. your friend.

They will need to point the domain to your servers (or wherever the site is hosted) once the new site is ready to go live.

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But not always!

You can check who it is registered to on a Whois website and then as @TechnoBear says just change the DNS settings. One problem could be the domain name is regestered in an account controlled by the current web designer. You will either need to set your friend up on a domain regestra site or use yours. I do not recommend 1&1 as they charge quite a bit to allow you to move domains if you decide you are not happy with them. You would then need a code from the current web designer to use on the new regestra site.

Also make sure you notify in writing the old web designer that you have moved the site ( email would probably do ) as they may carry on charging for domain name renewal and hosting - from experiance

My point was that the domain ought to be registered to the business owner, and not to the web designer. What if there is a falling-out between the two and the business owner can’t get control of their domain? A local web designer died suddenly, leaving all his clients unable to get control of their domains, all of which were registered to him. Not a good situation for a business owner.


Thanks for the advice guys, that’s been really helpful.

Will let you know how I get on :+1:t2:

Maybe it’s just me. But I presume your friemd has control over the domain and hosting as well with that local company? So what is the difference? As long as you have access to it there is no difference, or don’t they support certain things you need?

Quite often the local company charge a premium for hosting and domain renewal. I know people have to make a profit but in my case it was move the site or the owner was going to close it.

@Rubble. This is/was not a price issue . At least that’s not what I’m reading in OP’s question, if it is OP should ask his friend to move the domainname over to OP’s server as @TechnoBear suggested so he can set up the hosting etc

Thank you for all your help. It wasn’t a price issue it’s just that I want control of the domain name and the hosting.

They use the current hosting to create an email address from at the moment. If I change the domain registra and the hosting will their emails be affected, and will they lose any emails they have in their inbox already?

Thank you for all of your help


I don’t know what the features are with the current hosting company, but normally you can back up files, database and emails. I would check whether that is the case with the current provider. If so, you can simply reset all emails after you have changed the hosting