When you first register a domain name and sign up for website hosting you’ll need to “connect” the two in order for your site to go live. Sound complicated? It’s actually really quick and easy! Here’s how to do it.
First things first, have you already:
If not, click the links above to read my post about how to do those things. If you have, then let’s get started!
What are DNS Servers?
If you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about in this blog post then here’s the deal – you do not need to know exactly what a DNS server is in order to easily and correctly get it set up on your website! Basically, you have your domain name, and you have your website hosting server that’ll make your website “go live”, but the DNS server is what connects them and gets it all up and running. By the way, that’s my super non-techy way of explaining it because I don’t really know what it is, and luckily I don’t need to! So trust me, you don’t need to understand it, you just need to follow these simple instructions.
Step 1: Find Your DNS Server Settings
When you sign up for website hosting, one of the first things you’ll get from your host is your DNS server settings (either sent in your welcome email, or available to find within your account area). If you don’t have them, simply email your host to ask them. There are usually two of them, and they should look something like this:
Step 2: Login to Your Domain Name Account
When you registered your domain name, you will have created an account at the domain name registrar. So head back there and login to your account.
Step 3: Find Your Domain Name Settings Area
This step will vary depending on which domain registrar you used. As an example, I’ve included screenshots from Name.com which is who I use for domains. If it looks different, don’t worry. Check the FAQ section of your registrar to find out how to do it if you’re confused.
Once you’ve logged in, you should see a list of all the domain names you’ve registered there. Click the one you want to set up for your new website. Once you’ve clicked through you should see a link that says “nameservers” or “manage DNS” or something similar. Here’s how it looks in my Name.com account:
Step 4: Enter Your DNS Server Settings
Now it’s time to enter the DNS server details you found in step 1. By default, your domain registrar usually assigns their own DNS servers to your domain name. So delete those first, then add the new ones. Here’s how it looks in my Name.com account:
Remember, if you’re stuck, check your domain registrar’s knowledgebase or send them an email asking. It may not look exactly the same as the screenshots above, but it’ll be something similar.
Step 5: Wait & Test
Now everything’s been set up, all that’s left to do is test it. When you go to yoursite.com in your browser it should now point to your web hosting server. However, it can take around 24 hours for DNS changes to update around the internet, but usually it happens a lot more quickly.
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And that’s it, changing your DNS server is quick and easy, and you are now ready to set up your website content!