DNS, IP And Nameservers
Some Background On DNS and Nameservers
Setting up your Domain Name to work with your Hosting requires 2 bits of information that you should have received in a Welcome Email:
- IP Address (a series of numbers like 123.456.789.0)
- Nameservers (typically something like ns123.hostingcompany.com)
Configuring your DNS settings involves creating an A-Record. This is the IP Address of the Server where your site is physically located.
Configuring your Nameservers is a simple bit of copy & paste. These specify exactly where on the Server your site is located. Again, these bits of information are contained in your Welcome Email.
If your A-Record/IP Address combination links your Domain Name to a specific Server then the Nameservers link it to a specific bit of the Server.
Think Of It Like This:
You have a Building Name, for example, Internet Tower. This Building Name is your Domain Name; Internet Tower has a physical location, for example: 123 Main Street. 123 Main Street is your IP Address.
Still with me?
Now, your Nameservers are the specific area of Internet Tower you’re in. For example, you could be on the 7th floor, west corner, accounts department.
So your full address in this example would be:
- Internet Tower (Domain Name)
- 123 Main Street (IP Address)
- 7th floor, west corner, accounts department (Nameserver)
Configuring Server stuff can be a scary thing if you don’t know what you’re up to but it’s actually quite simple, really not much more than copy & paste 🙂
First things first, you’ll need to login to your Client Area and navigate to DNS Settings.
All registrars will offer the same services to their clients but they obviously have different systems and software in place so I can’t really tell where to find these sections, you’ll have to poke about and find it yourself.
Once in your DNS Settings page you need the IP Address you received in your Welcome Email when your Hosting was set up. You need to find your A-Record section and add the IP Address in here. What this does is directly associate your Domain Name with the Hosting location of your site. This is the first step.
REMEMBER TO CLICK SAVE!!
The second step is…
Change Your Nameservers
Once you’re done with the DNS Settings and your IP Address make your way to the Nameserver Settings section. You will have two Nameservers to add in here so take the Nameserver info from the Welcome Email (eg, ns123.hostingcompany.com and ns124.hostingcompany.com) and copy them into the lines 1 and 2. You may have to overwrite the existing nameservers which are the default ones supplied by the registrar with the domain name.
REMEMBER TO CLICK SAVE!!
Now, DNS Propagation (changes spreading across the whole internet) can take anywhere up to 48 hours!! It’s getting a lot quicker these days which is good news but be prepared for it to possibly take a while. I’d recommend every half an hour or so typing your Domain Name into the address bar of your Browser and see if it’s got it’s act together yet. 🙂
So, to sum up the things you need to set:
- DNS Settings – IP Address (x.x.x.x) goes into the A-Record settings of your DNS Settings
- CLICK SAVE!! (sorry for the caps but it’s a vital step)
- Nameservers – Add BOTH Nameservers (eg: ns123.hostingcompany.com) into boxes 1 and 2
- CLICK SAVE!!
Ways to remember what’s what:
- Domain Name = Building Name
- IP Address = Street Address
- Nameserver = Location inside the Building
If you have any questions or need help with any of this then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. If you’d rather I sorted all of this out for you then I can do that for £20.00.
Take ‘er Easy, Dude.