Understanding and correctly using the way “web stuff” fits together can prevent many problems of the kind “our email doesn’t work since our web-site designer updated the website” and “it took over 4 hours to do what should be a 15-minute job of setting up basic settings to get you working with Office 365”.

How does it fit together? …Web-stuff Hierarchy of Control

Registrant Email Address
If you have access to Registrant Email address, you can get a UDAI by contacting the current Registrar and requesting a UDAI. It will be emailed to the Registrant Email address.

UDAI
With the UDAI, and a Registrar login, you can “pull” Domain Registrar to the one you’re logged in at. Note: usually cannot change the Registrant.

Registrar
Logged in at the Domain Registrar, you can change the DNS Servers

DNS Servers
Logged in at the DNS Server Provider, you can change everything about the website.

Er …. what are all those things?  … Terminology

Domain Name:
a name like “mycompany.nz”, “mycompany.co.nz” or “microsoft.com”

Sub-domain
“kapiti.mycompany.co.nz” is a sub-domain of “mycompany.co.nz”. If you have control of a domain you can create, modify or delete sub-domains to your heart’s content. “testing.mycompany.co.nz” is a subdomain of “mycompany.co.nz”. BEWARE “google.fraudster.com” is a sub-domain of “fraudster.com” and has NOTHING to do with Google.

Domain:
everything related to a single Domain Name. This includes web-sites, all the web-pages and blog posts, email addresses, and all settings.

Registrant:
name, physical address, phone number and email address of person or corporation that owns a Domain. Generally, you CANNOT change the Registrant without quite a bit of paperwork.

Registrar:
company that enables you to create a new Domain, and that provides a management tool to set the Domain Name Servers for a Domain. All registrars for .nz domains are listed at https://www.dnc.org.nz/registrars. GTB use and recommend domains4less, part of Umbrellar.

Domain Name Servers:
big, grunty, reliable computers that contain all the settings for a Domain. May be in NZ or anywhere in the world.

Domain Name Server Provider:
company providing Domain Name Servers for your Domain. . Most registrars are also Domain Name Server Providers, unfortunately most NZ DNS providers have really rubbish Domain Name Server management tools. GTB use and recommend CloudFlare.

UDAI:
a one-use only password to allow you to change Registrar and Registrar Username/password for a Domain. Once a UDAI has been used, it won’t work again. Many UDAI’s are issued with an expiry date, once this expiry date has passed, the UDAI won’t work. Once a new UDAI is issued any old UDAI is automatically expired.