I've done a Whois and see that the domain I need to work with is registered to Tucows. A company called GSI is actually hosting it.

My client, who owns the domain but knows basically nothing about this, wants to change hosting providers (legal requirement).

So, in order to do this, I will have to somehow get into Tucows, right? And change the name servers from the current hosting company to the new nameservers we want to use?

And, the new company who would be hosting the site, from their control panel is where I would go to set things like MX records (email is hosted by google apps for your domain, so those won't change...but I'm assuming I'll need to set them up again.)

Or am I missing something, and all of this should be done at Tucows?

Right now, I can't get into Tucows. The client has no idea what email/username/password was used to register the domain.

On the current local hosting company's control panel, I have in the past used this to edit things like MX records.

So, I can set up the MX records at Tucows or the hosting company? With Tucows probably winning out if it was done at both places?

My head hurts. I hope this makes sense. Thanks for wading through my mass of probably dumb questions.

EDIT: The site is being hosted at GSI as well.

I assume that there is something at Tucows that exists that tells computers requesting the domain name that they should look to GSI to find information about that domain.

So, per one answer below, what I need to do is this:

1, get into Tucows and see what information is there. Probably enter in some nameserver information that points to the new hosting company.

2, go to the new hosting company and create all the A, MX, etc records that I need to do to support the new setup.


There are several things that can get confusing:

  1. Q: Where was the domain registered? A: Tucows

  2. Q: Who hosts the DNS zone for the domain? A: GSI

  3. Q: Who hosts the web site for the domain? A: Could be anybody

  4. Q: Who hosts email for the domain? A: Google Apps

The answer to all 4 of these questions can be, and often is, a different entity for each. In your case the domain was registered via Tucows. The DNS zone is being hosted by GSI. The web site is being hosted somewhere (you didn't specifiy), and the email is being hosted by Google Apps. What you need to do is to move the name servers to Tucows (or any other DNS hoster that you choose), and create the appropriate DNS records, pointed to the appropriate entities.

For instance, once the name servers are moved, create an A or CNAME record for www that points to the ip address where the web site is hosted. Create an MX record that points to the A record for Google Apps. Create any other DNS records that you need.

  • The website is also being hosted by the GSI place. I was very unclear about that, which just underscores my confusion. Thanks for the pointers! I'm editing my question to ask further questions if you happen to want to give me a bit more advice. – Matt Dawdy Feb 22 '10 at 20:26

Tucows may not be the registration source, also. A lot of hosting companies buy though tucows using it as a reseller account.

  • Hmmm. How would I find that out? – Matt Dawdy Feb 22 '10 at 22:58

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