If I update the DNS records at Sonic to point is that same as DNS only hosting with a redirect (to Wix in this case) which Sonic charges $1.95 for? or is it as simple as changing the 'A' record IP address to be the appropriate Wix address?
Sort of. Right now you have Personal Hosting for your website, which is free (aside from the yearly renewal of your domain registration) as long as you have a connectivity service with Sonic (Fusion, IP Broadband, Fiber, etc). So there's no real cost associated with you keeping that service around, even if you're pointing the DNS 'A' record to another provider.
On to the original question - if you're using the same domain name at Wix as you currently have with Sonic, then the 'DNS-only' option is what you'll want. (Or, as I mentioned above, keep the free hosting service and just treat it like DNS-only.)
The DNS + Redirect service is meant for situations where, for instance, you have example.net
, but you just need anyone going to example.net
to get automatically redirected to example.com
. So, unless you need to direct to a different domain name or page, it's not needed.
Also, is it normal for my web address to currently show a "404 not found" error message (after I removed wordpress)?
Yes, it's entirely normal to get a '404 not found' error page if there's nothing in the hosting directory.
Does either of these methods allow my existing domain name to remain shown in the browser (e.g. not reveal the redirect)?
That usually depends on how your website is set up. For instance, by default, Wordpress will make all links use the 'sitename' setting, so while you may arrive at it using example.net, clicking on any links will result in the browser showing (and using) example.com. Generally, it's best to just settle on one true
domain name, then either have everything redirect there using DNS (blind redirect) or DNS + Redirect (can potentially direct users to something like example.com/blog/ instead).
-- Joe M
Sonic System Operations