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6. Point to the hosting DNS servers

Domain name servers translate a domain name into the numeric IP address of the computer on which its site resides. To do this, the registrar's computers must point to the hoster's domain name servers.

In reality, the internet consists of a hierarchy of DNS servers, also known as nameservers, with the registrar's being the next to last on a branch, and the hoster's being the last. Each parent knows all the domain names below it, so that it can service any requests from below and respond to them directly, without contacting any computers above it. Any requests from above are sent to the child that knows what to do with it. This distributed processing minimises delays and traffic.

This procedure involves logging into both the hosting account to get the names of DNS servers that handle requests for the site server, and the domain registrar account to enter those names so that their DMS servers know where to send requests for the site. There are usually three or four DNS servers to provide redundancy and load balancing so that site uptime is maintained.

The hosting account domain and any addon domains all use the same DNS servers. However, each domain in the registrar account has to be individually set to point to the hosting DNS servers. That is because each domain's site could be located on different hosters.

This procedure uses screenshots from A2 Hosting and Namecheap (no kickbacks from either) as an indication of the type of layouts that will be encountered. The images have been trimmed down to just show the important information .

Stepsβ–³

This procedure is intended to be performed by: Site owner.

To point the registrar's servers to the hoster's DNS servers:

1Get hosting DNS server names

by performing:

1-1Goto the registrar site

using the registrar's home page URL.

The page is displayed:
Sample hoster home page (simplified)

1-2Goto the login page

by clicking the Log in button.

The page is displayed:
Sample hoster login page (simplified)

1-3Log in

by typing in your credentials and clicking the Sign in button.

The dashboard page is displayed:
Sample hosting account welcome page (simplified)

1-4View services

by clicking on the Services button.

The page listing the services is displayed:
Sample hosting services list (simplified)

1-5Select the hosting plan for the site

by clicking on the Manage button, spanner icon.

The page with all site details is shown, citing the name of the account domain, and including the list of nameservers:
Sample hosting server detail listing (simplified)

1-6Note the DNS server names

by copying the Nameservers list.

Only the names are required, not the IP addresses in parentheses. Perhaps keep the session open, and use another browser window to perform the next step so that the addresses can be cut-and-pasted between the pages.

2Let the registrar know the server names

by performing:

2-1Goto the registrar site

using the registrar's home page URL.

The page is displayed:
Sample registrar home page (simplified)

2-2Goto the login page

by clicking the Log in button.

The page is displayed:
Sample registrar login page (simplified)

2-3Log in

by typing in your credentials and clicking the Sign in button.

The dashboard page is displayed, listing all domains on the account:
Sample registrar dashboard (simplified)

2-4View domain details

by clicking the Manage button for the domain.

The page is displayed, listing all domains on the account:
Sample domain details (simplified)

2-5If no existing names, initiate an addition

by clicking the Add nameserver button.

Space for the name appears:
Sample nameserver entry initiated (simplified)

2-6Specify the server name

by typing in the first server name, over the first one if it already exists.

Actioning buttons are displayed:
Sample nameserver entered (simplified)

2-7Confirm the addition

by clicking the βœ“ button.

The name is accepted:
Sample nameserver added (simplified)

2-8Add additional names

by repeating substep 2-5 to substep 2-7 for each additional name.

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