Domain names and DNS settings are a big mystery area for a lot of our clients. Understanding the web of connections between URLs, IP addresses, website data, and email boxes can be very confusing. Here are the answers to four of our most frequently asked questions to help simplify.
1. Where is my domain hosted?
Your domain host or domain registrar is the place where you signed up for your website name. If you are unsure of where that might be, you can look up your domain host here: whois.domaintools.com. Enter your domain name and run the search. You’ll get a report with information about your domain. The company listed next to “Registrar” is your domain host.
2. If I don’t have one yet, where should I host my domain name?
There are a lot of domain name hosts out there, and for the most part, pricing across these hosts is fairly consistent. If you haven’t yet purchased your domain, we recommend hosting with MyDomain.com. We like MyDomain.com because they have an easy to use interface, and they only do domain hosting, so it’s easy to understand the settings for your domain without being bombarded with emails settings or website settings at the same time.
3. Why is my website not using the same host as my domain?
Your website files may or may not live on a different host than your domain host. If you’re hosting with us on the brandiD server, then your domain name is being hosted separately from your website files. It’s best to host website files in an environment that is optimized for the technology that you are using (we optimize for WordPress) so keeping different technologies on separate servers allows for more efficient use of space.
Regardless of where you host your website, you, as the website owner, should always keep the domain name in an account where you can have access to it at all times. Whoever registers the domain name owns the domain name. Having control over your domain hosting will allow you to use a new website without ever having to change your www address. This is vital for your brand’s stability.
4. What happens if I want to buy email services from Google, host my website with brandiD, and host my domain with MyDomain.com?
This is the ideal configuration that we recommend for email, website, and domain services. It may seem more complicated to use three separate providers, but this way your email and website can both run in their most efficient environments.
Your domain name and DNS settings act as a switchboard for all of your incoming traffic. When someone sends an email to your domain, the domain host receives that signal and then directs them to the correct inbox. Likewise, when someone enters your URL into their browser, the domain host gets the signal, and then sends it out the the correct set of website files.