What are domain name servers?
You use domain name servers each time you access a website, click on a web link or send an email. Domain name servers work magically behind the scenes. Every server on the internet is given an IP Address. An IP Address is unique number in the form 999.999.999.999. Right now while reading this article, your computer has a unique address assigned to it. The address is used to know where to send data too.
Can you imagine having to memorize these unique addresses for every website you want to visit? Fortunately domain name servers solve that problem for us. Domain name servers map IP Addresses to names we recognize like: SideIncomeBlogging.com, CNN.com, and Google.com. When you enter a web-site name into your browser, that name is mapped by domain name servers to the IP Address for that web-site and that IP address is then used to contact the server and return a web page to your browser.
Neat huh? I know this is a bit technical, but it will make sense in a second. See, when you set-up hosting your hosting company set-up a server for you and assigned that server an IP address. You also have a domain name, but right now your hosting company and domain name aren’t associated with each other. We need to update the domain name server database so the internet can map your domain name to your server and people actually see your website.
Update your name servers
Seeing as you’re now a domain name server guru, it’s time to log in to your domain registrar (the company you reserved your domain name with) and update your domain name settings. Unfortunately each domain registrar has different screens for updating your domain name servers. I’m going to walk you through how to do update them using MyDomain, the company I use. If you elected to use GoDaddy, you can find instructions here.
To update your DNS settings using MyDomain, do the following:
- First find the welcome email sent to you from your hosting company. In that email will be 2 or 3 of the hosting companies domain name servers. For example, mine are ns1.mediatemple.net and ns2.mediatemple.net. Keep these handy, we’ll need them in a minute.
- Access MyDomain, and login using your ID and password.
- After logging in, you’ll be at the Manage Domains screen where all of the domains you own and that are registered with MyDomain will be listed.
- Click on the domain name that you want to update. You’ll now be on the Domain Details page.
- In the Name Servers section, click on Update Name Servers.
- You’ll now be at the Name Server Update screen. Here’s where you will enter the domain name server names provided by your hosting company.
- Enter the first name, the one proceeded by ns1 first and hit the Add button.
- The second one will default. Verify that it’s the correct one and press the Add button.
- If you have a third, enter it as well, but most hosting companies will only have two.
- If you would like a confirmation email sent to you, enter your email address.
- Press the Continue button to apply your domain name settings.
That’s it, your done! In generally takes 48-72 hours for your domain server changes to fully propagate across all of the domain servers in the internet. You’ll know when your settings have propagated when you enter your domain name in your browser and you get a default page for your hosting company rather one for MyDomain or GoDaddy.
Once your domain name is propagated, you’re ready to install WordPress