Moving to a new domain on an existing Google Workspace

Congratulations on your new domain! Now that you have gotten this domain, you no doubt would like to use it everywhere you can in Populi, especially with your email addresses. This article assumes that you have already set up the integration between Populi and Google Workspace for Education with another domain.

If you use a different email service than Google, then the following general principles should still apply. You will just need to substitute any Google-related instructions to whatever email service you use.

In this process, some steps are handled on your end, some on ours. Let's start with your side of things...

Adding the new domain to Populi

In order for emails to be sent through the new domain, you will need to add the appropriate DNS and SPF records. This process is explained in detail in this article.

Populi Support will add your new domain to your Populi’s Domains list (found in Account > Domains) in order for you to do this. Contact Populi Support with the details for your new domain and mention your intent to move over to it.

That’s it! Once you’ve added those DNS and SPF records, we can confirm that they are working and move on to the steps handled by the team here at Populi.

Add the new domain to Google Workspaces and set it as primary

This will require access to your Google Admin console.

  1. Go to Menu > Account > Domains > Manage Domains.
  2. Click Add a domain.
  3. Enter the domain name.
  4. Select Secondary domain as the domain type.
  5. Click Add and start verification.
  6. Once the domain is verified, return to Manage Domains, select the new domain, and click Activate Gmail.

Unless there is a need to leave the new domain as a secondary domain, it can be changed to the new primary domain. (If you prefer to read Google's instructions, here they are.)

  1. Return to Manage Domains in the Admin console.
  2. Click Change Primary Domain.
  3. Select the new domain and select Change primary domain.

Optional: Convert the old domain to alias domain

This step is optional. Whether you want to keep using the previous domain on its own or want to have any emails directed to the old domain to automatically make their way to the equivalent address at the new domain is the deciding factor. In your initial message to Populi Support mentioned above, please indicate your intent.

If you want to keep creating users and emails using the old domain, you won’t want to convert that domain to an alias. If, however, you want to move everything to the new domain and effectively shutter the old domain, converting to an alias may be the right move for you.

To convert a secondary domain to an alias domain, see this Google article.

Change primary domain in Populi

Once the domain is set up in Google, Populi Support can use a tool to convert all existing users’ domains to the new domain. If you want to continue using both domains, or want the existing emails to stay the way they are before beginning this process, be sure to let us know in your initial request to Populi support. This is an optional step.

What about timelines?

How long will this process take? The actual behind-the-scenes work in Google is fairly quick, assuming the other steps are already completed in Populi. That said, the aforelinked Google documentation mentions that it can take up to 48 hours for the primary domain update to take effect. If you are wanting to convert the old domain to an alias, Google documentation says that it can take 30 minutes to 24 hours to release the now-secondary domain and re-add it as an alias.

We advise doing this process on a weekday morning. In the event something isn’t working quite as expected, it can be caught right away and addressed rather than left unnoticed over a weekend.

If you want to update your official school name in Populi or request that your Populi’s subdomain address be changed to go with your new domain name, get aholt of Populi Support.

Other common questions

Here is a running list of common questions that we think are worth answering in this article. If you have additional questions, be sure to ask them in your email to Populi Support.

How does this process work with the notification emails set and verified in Settings > Notification > Email notification address?

Good news! Assuming we're updating the email addresses that use your old domain so that they use your new domain, the notification settings and verified status will be retained in the update. Since we are simply updating the domain on appropriate existing addresses, all other information about those addresses stays the same. (Note that this is only relevant in the first place if we are updating email addresses to go with the domain change.)

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