In part one of pieces of a website series we discussed the need to purchase a domain name and then pointing this domain to the machine that is 'hosting' your website.
How exactly do you point to a machine?
The way Domain Name Server (DNS) works is something like this.
1) You as the owner of the domain name have to say which "Name Server" has the correct match of your domain name to a specific ip address.
For example you purchased a domain name - thisismydomain.com
You, as the owner of this domain have to tell the internet basically which computer to listen to that says "thisismydomain.com" is being hosted on ip "126.96.36.199"
For instance there could be other Name Servers that say I know where thisismydomain.com is, but you as owner pick who the authority Name Server is. This is usually your hosting company name server or one you run yourself.
Lets say you purchased your domain name from Godaddy then on the Godaddy domain control panel you would select your domain and then input the Name Server that your hosting company will provide. Like IXWebhosting name server would be like ns1.ixwebhosting.com ns3.ixwebhosting.com
Here is a simplified step by step of what happens in Domain Name Lookup.
1) user enters in the the browser thisismydomain.com
2) DNS of your internet service provider will request for the NameServer info. Which in our case say is ns1.ixwebhosting.com
3) Once you have the ns1.ixwebhosting.com info - then this computer is sent a request to give info on the domain. which in turn is returned with the ip address of where the site is hosted.
4) with the Ip address the browser now reaches the machine hosting the website thisismydomain.com
To Recap - you assign the Name Server, and then the NameServer points to the proper ip.
Why is understanding all this important?
Well, if you are looking to manage your website, then you need to know what pieces are important and how to make sure that you have control over it.
As a business owner when you pick a domain name thisismydomain.com, you have to make sure you retain the 'rights' to this domain. It is best if you own this in your own account rather than have the website design firm/consultancy own this because technically they OWN any domains under their account and this can lead to nightmare situations if the relationship falls apart.
Best part is domain names cost only about $10/yr and if are in a situation where the web firm to work with has purchased the domain for you then you can do a simple request to transfer it under your account with Godaddy or any other firm.
Well, that's it for part 2 of an affordable website design.
In part 3 we will discuss - email accounts for your domain.