Linking your domain name with your hosting package
In the previous article about how to start with your own website, I mentioned you needed both to register a domain name and to hire a hosting package to store your website files. The next step is to link them both, and it is mandatory. If you fail to do it, visitors will not be able to see your site.
Step one: find your hosting package domain name servers
Known as the DNS, the domain name servers indicate the visitor's computer where a given website is. They may be one or two or occasionally more. They may be Internet addresses like Heptagrama.com or IP numbers like 127.1.0.1, or both.
You should find this DNS information in the welcome e-mail your hosting provider sent you. If you did not, you will need to ask them.
Step two: visit your domain panel and place the DNS information there
Once you have the DNS information, you need to log in to your domain name panel at the registrar's website, and insert your domain name servers information there. It is a matter of copying, pasting and saving —not really a big deal.
To know where to put them, you need to look for something similar to "manage your domains" first, and something similar to "manage your domain name servers" afterwards. Every registrar will have a different panel screen, so I won't be able to give an exact method.
DNS for a blog? Blogs with your own domain name?
In case of blogs, it is not different from what you have read above, except for the fact some blog platforms provide you with the hosting.
+ For Wordpress or MovableType blogs, the instructions are the same as above. You will need to install Wordpress or MovableType in your hosting platform to continue.
+ For Blogger/Blogspot blogs, the instructions have two steps: First, you move your domain name's DNS information to ghs.google.com (Blogger hosting DNS); and then you go to your Blogger account, and switch your publishing settings to publishing with your own domain name. Save and you are done.
+ For Tumblr blogs, you do not need to edit your DNS. What you need to do instead is to point the A-record to their IP address 188.8.131.52; and then indicate Tumblr you will use your own domain name in the customized dashboard.
Mind, the A-record is an advance feature of domain name administration, not something to play around with. Do not edit it if it is not necessary.
Lastly, you must know DNS changes are not automatic in any case. You must always wait until the servers can replicate the changes to see your domain name pointing to your default web page. It is a normal process, and takes within 10 minutes to 24 hours, depending on a number of factors.
If you ever need to move your website from one hosting to another, or to your own server, you only need to change your DNS information again.
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