Knowledge Base

How to Connect Domain to Hosting using Different Providers

If you want to connect a domain registered elsewhere and want to use it with your website, you can easily connect the two. Depending on your registrar or domain provider, you can point your domain to your Bluehost account by changing your name servers or DNS records. This article will walk you through the steps on how to connect a domain registered elsewhere to Bluehost using your Bluehost name servers.

If you want to manage your domain and hosting with Bluehost, we suggest you transfer your domain to us. This will simplify the website management process as you only need to deal with one provider. This means you can avoid the hassle of transferring domains or hosting between different providers. For steps to transfer your domain, visit our article on how to transfer a domain name to us.

In this article, we will cover the following:

What Are Domain and Hosting?

A domain is the digital address that allows users to access your website on the internet. It's like a physical address in the online world. Domains are composed of a second-level domain (the website's name) and a top-level domain (the extension like .com, .org). This system is part of the Domain Name System (DNS), which translates these user-friendly addresses into the IP addresses that computers use to identify each other on the internet.

Hosting, on the other hand, is the service that houses your website's files and makes them available on the internet. When you purchase hosting, you're renting space on a server where your site's content—such as text, images, and videos—is stored and served to visitors. Hosting providers manage these servers and ensures that your website remains accessible to users around the clock. There are various hosting options you can choose from, from shared and VPS hosting to dedicated and cloud hosting, each offering different levels of resource allocation, performance, and control to meet diverse website needs.

Why You Should Connect Your Domain to Hosting

Connecting your domain to hosting is important in making your website accessible to the public on the internet. This connection ensures that when users enter your domain name into their browser, they're directed to the server where your website's files are stored. Discover the reasons why they're essential:

  • Visibility and accessibility. By linking your domain to your hosting account, you make your website live on the internet. Without this connection, your domain name wouldn't lead anywhere, and your website's content wouldn't be accessible to users.
  • Professionalism and branding. A custom domain (like "www.yourbrand.com") connected to your hosting account gives your online presence credibility and professionalism. It reinforces your brand identity and makes it easier for visitors to remember and return to your site.
  • SEO benefits. A stable and direct connection between your domain and hosting can positively affect your website's search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines favor websites with fast loading times and reliable uptime. You can find these qualities in quality hosting providers.
  • Control and ownership. When you connect your domain to your hosting, you have full control over your website's content and structure. This allows you to customize your site to match your brand, optimize its performance, and scale as your business grows.

Connect a Domain Registered Elsewhere

To connect a domain registered elsewhere, point your name servers to us by following the steps below:

Get Your Bluehost Name Servers

To find your name servers in your account Manager:

  1. Log in to your Bluehost Account Manager.
  2. Click the Domain Name tab from the side navigation menu to the left.
  3. Make sure that the correct domain is selected.
  4. Click the Advanced Tools section.
  5. In the Advanced Tools section, you will see your name servers under  Nameservers (DNS).

Change Your Name Servers through Your Current Registrar

If you don’t remember the company where you registered your domain, you can look it up on a registration data lookup tool.

My Current Registrar Is Bluehost

If you have purchased or transferred your domain to Bluehost, connecting it to your account is a simple process. Follow these steps in this article: Use Custom Name Servers.

My Current Registrar Is Not Bluehost

Your name servers must be updated with the domain's current registrar (the company your domain is registered with). For a more detailed walkthrough, please see our article on  modifying nameservers with other registrars for information on how to connect your domain from other popular registrars' websites.

Note: Remember, your new DNS settings will begin to propagate as soon as you save your changes. Each ISP updates at a different rate, usually taking 24-72 hours to complete worldwide. During this time, your emails will be shut down, and your web traffic will be directed to either the old or new host (name servers), depending on the visitor's ISP.

Are you having issues? See our article on how to assign a domain to learn more about troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When connecting your domain to your hosting account, you might encounter several common issues during this process. Take note of these most frequent challenges and their respective remedies:

  • DNS propagation delay
  • Issue: After updating DNS settings, changes might not be immediately visible due to DNS propagation. This can take 48 hours.
    Remedy: Patience is key. Verify the settings are correct and wait for the propagation to complete. You can use online tools to check the status of DNS propagation globally.


  • Incorrect DNS settings
  • Issue: Entering incorrect DNS details, such as name server addresses, can prevent your domain from connecting to your hosting.
    Remedy: Double-check the DNS settings provided by your hosting company and ensure they're entered correctly in your domain’s management panel. If unsure, contact your hosting provider’s support team for assistance.


  • Domain not yet transferred
  • Issue: If you're transferring your domain to a new registrar, the transfer process might not be complete. This affects the connection to the new host.
    Remedy: Verify the transfer status with your current domain registrar. Ensure all requirements for the transfer are met, including domain unlock and authorization codes.


  • Expired domain or hosting
  • Issue: An expired domain or hosting account can lead to website downtime.
    Remedy: Regularly check the expiration dates of your domain and hosting plan. Enable auto-renewal features or set reminders to renew them manually before they expire.


  • Firewall or security settings
  • Issue: Overly restrictive firewall or security settings at the host can block domain connections.
    Remedy: Review your hosting account’s security settings and adjust them if they're too restrictive. Consult with your hosting provider if you’re unsure which settings to change.


  • SSL certificate errors
  • Issue: After connecting your domain to hosting, an improperly installed SSL certificate can cause security warnings in browsers.
    Remedy: Ensure your SSL certificate is correctly installed and configured for your domain. Many hosting providers offer free SSL certificates and assistance with installation.


This article was written for users who did not buy a domain name with Bluehost. Knowing how to connect a domain registered elsewhere with your Bluehost hosting account is a straightforward process that can be accomplished by changing your name servers or DNS records. By following the necessary steps, you can easily associate your domain with your account and use it to enhance your online presence.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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