How To Set Up Nameservers For Your Domain Name And Website

Learn how to set up nameservers to connect your domain name with your webhosting account during your WordPress installation.

How To Configure Your Domain Name ServerThis tutorial is part of our WordPress installation step-by-step tutorials, where we show you how to install a WordPress site or blog on your own domain name with no coding skills required.

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After registering a domain name and setting up a webhosting account, the next step is to set up and configure nameservers to connect your domain name with your web host so that online users can find you.

What Is A Domain Name Server And What Does It Do?

A Domain Name Server (DNS) is an internet service that translates domain names into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. This is required, because while we use domain names that are easier to remember, computers on the internet access websites using numbers (IP addresses). Every time you type a domain name into your browser, a DNS service has to translate the domain name into its corresponding IP address to help you find the correct website.

Every domain name has an IP address

Source: http://www.hcidata.info

Every domain name has an IP address. A nameserver is typically the address for the DNS (short for Domain Name Server) that hosts your domain name records.

Nameservers work behind the scenes 24/7 to tell web browsers where to look on the internet for your domain name. When you register a new domain name or update the DNS servers on your domain name, domain name servers around the world need to be updated to access the information. This usually takes about 12-36 hours and is referred to as propagation.

Nameservers usually require 12-36 hours to propagate worldwide

(Nameservers usually require 12-36 hours to propagate world-wide. Source: whatsmydns.net)

While all this may sound complicated, it’s not! You don’t need technical skills to configure nameservers for your domain name. We’ll show you exactly what to do in this tutorial.

Practical Tip

You should already be familiar with the following tutorials:

In addition to our detailed tutorials, we also suggest watching the videos listed in our WordPress Installation Video Tutorials section.

How To Set Up Nameservers For Your Domain Name

You make your domain name visible to online users by “pointing” your domain name to your web host servers.

To set the nameservers for your domain, you will need the details provided by your web hosting company (see screenshot below) …

Your host will email you your nameserver details

(Your web host will send you your nameserver details)

Info

If you need reliable web hosting for your WordPress site, check out the hosting companies below:

  • HostGator – HostGator is one of the world’s most popular web hosting companies providing unmetered, reliable bandwidth and disk space for unlimited domains.
  • LiquidWeb – Liquid Web is a premier web hosting provider specializing in managed dedicated servers, dedicated server hosting, VPS, shared web hosting and heroic support.
  • WPEngine – WPEngine offers robust and world-class infrastructure options for a variety of customer sizes and traffic needs.
  • BlueHost – Bluehost provides fast and reliable website hosting with everything you need to get your website online quickly.
  • WPWebhost – WPWebHost is a WordPress hosting company specializing in hosting and supporting WordPress powered blogs.

To help you understand the importance of getting this step right, the screenshot below shows what happens if your nameservers have not been set up (or set up incorrectly) and someone types your URL into their browser …

This site can't be reached

(Server DNS Address could not be found)

If your nameservers have been set up incorrectly, users will see an error message like the above when they type the domain into their web browser, instead of visiting your site.

Tip

If you see your domain name on your domain name registrar’s site (e.g. a parked page), it means that you probably forgot to set your nameservers to point to your hosting account’s server address …

Nameservers for this domain have not been set up yet!

(Nameservers for this domain have not been set up yet!)

How To Point Your Domain Name To Your Web Host – Tutorial

After you have registered your domain name and set up your webhosting account, the next step is to connect your domain and web server together. This is required so that when people type your domain name into their browsers, they will actually end up going to your website.

Useful Info

For this tutorial, we’ll connect a domain purchased through GoDaddy with hosting from HostGator. Other domain registrars should have similar management features to set up your domain nameservers.

Note:

  • If you have purchased your domain name and webhosting through HostGator, your domain will be automatically configured to work on their nameservers (you can skip this tutorial).
  • If you have registered a domain name with GoDaddy (or another domain registrar), then you will need to instruct the registrar to point your domain to your webhosting server (we’ll show you this in the tutorial below).

To set up your domain nameservers, head over to GoDaddy and sign into your account …

Log into your domain registrar account

(Log into your domain registrar account)

Inside your account area, locate ‘Domains’ and click on ‘Manage’ to open up your domain management console …

Manage Domains

(Manage Domains)

Typically, most users will only have one or a few domains. If you have registered many domains, use one of the administration find / search features to locate the domain name you will be configuring …

Domain Search feature

(Domain Search feature)

Select the domain to activate the domain name management options in the menu above the domain list and locate the Nameservers feature …

Select the domain to configure

(Selecting the domain to configure)

Select ‘Set Nameservers’ from the Nameservers menu …

Set Nameservers

(Set Nameservers)

The Nameserver Settings window will pop up on your screen. Typically, the nameservers will be set to the host’s own servers, so you will need to enter custom settings.

Select ‘Custom’ and click on ‘Enter custom nameservers’ or the ‘Add Nameserver’ button  …

Enter custom nameservers

(Enter custom nameservers)

Most web hosts require at least two nameserver addresses. Enter the first address and click ‘Add Another’ …

Enter your first nameserver

(Enter your first nameserver)

Click Finish after adding additional nameserver addresses …

Add additional nameservers

(Add additional nameservers)

Verify that you have entered everything correctly and click Save when finished to update your new nameserver settings …

Save your new nameserver settings

(Save your new nameserver settings)

A confirmation message will let you know that your details have been submitted …

Allow a few hours for changes to take effect

(Allow a few hours for changes to take effect)

It can take anywhere from a few moments to a day or two for nameserver changes to start taking effect. DNS servers world-wide will be notified of the address changes and begin pointing online users to the correct domain URL on your web hosting server. If you experience any problems, contact your host for support.

Checking Your Nameservers

Here are some free online tools you can use to check that your nameservers have been properly configured and are working correctly:

What’s My DNS

What's My DNS

(What’s My DNS)

What’s My DNS provides an online DNS Propagation Checker that lets you instantly perform a DNS lookup to check a domain name’s current IP address and DNS record information against multiple name servers located in different parts of the world. This allows you to check the current state of DNS propagation after having made changes to your domain’s records.

PINGDOM

Pingdom

(Pingdom)

Pingdom provides a DNS Check that will check your DNS health and help you find errors, and verify that you domain name has been set up correctly. The DNS check will automatically find out which DNS servers are used by your domain name, then perform a number of tests on them to make sure that the domain name is properly set up and that the DNS servers are working correctly.

Congratulations! Now you know how to set up a nameserver for your domain name.

How To Set Up A Nameserver For Your Domain Name

(Source: Pixabay)

Choose one of the options below to continue …

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Skip This Step (I Know Where To Install WP)

Back To WordPress Installation Tutorials Index

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Subdomains, Addon Domains And Parked Domains

Learn the difference between using subdomains, addon domains and domain aliases.

Subdomains, Addon Domains And Parked DomainsThis tutorial is part of our WordPress installation tutorial series, where we show you how to install a WordPress site or blog on your own domain name with no coding skills required.

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In our WordPress installation tutorials, we show you how to install a WordPress site or blog on your own domain name.

Typically, you will want to install WordPress either in the ‘root’ directory of your server (i.e. what visitors see when they type in your domain address – e.g. www.mydomain.com) or in a subfolder of your domain (e.g. www.mydomain.com/blog).

Depending on your needs and your digital strategy, you may also decide to do things like:

  • Register multiple domain names for different products or services,
  • Set up different websites with identical content,
  • Publish different content in separate areas of your existing domain,
  • Redirect visitors from other web pages or domain names to specific web pages on a new website,
  • Ensure that visitors who misspell or hyphenate your domain name can still reach (e.g. my-domain-name.com vs mydomainname.com)
  • etc.

All of these domain configurations can be set up inside your webhosting control panel.

Useful Tip

You should already be familiar with the following tutorials:

In addition to the comprehensive tutorials in the WordPress installation module, we also suggest watching the videos listed in our WordPress Installation Video Tutorials section.

Let’s take a look then, at some of the main domain types you will probably want to use and learn more about.

Subdomains, Addon Domains, And Domain Name Aliases

Subdomains

Subdomains are used to divide your primary website into different sections.

Each section or subdomain is then seen as a completely separate area of your website.

This is useful if, for example, you have an English language website and you want to create a separate Spanish-language version of your site using the same “root” domain.

Your English-speaking visitors would visit your website by typing in your regular domain web address (e.g. http://yourdomain.com), and your Spanish-speaking visitors would access the Spanish version of your site by typing something like http://es.yourdomain.com.

As described in the official cPanel documentation site …

“Use subdomains to create memorable URLs for different content areas of your site. For example, you can create a subdomain for your blog that is accessible through blog.example.com and www.example.com/blog”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Subdomains

Addon Domains

Addon domains are used when you want to add a new domain name to your existing hosting account instead of paying for new hosting.

The cPanel documentation site describes addon domains as follows …

“Addon Domains are additional websites that are hosted on your account. Each addon domain has its own files and will appear as a separate website to your visitors.”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Addon Domains

Parked Domains

There is also another type of domain called a parked domain (also called aliases). Aliases point visitors to other domains while displaying the parked domain URL on the visitor’s browser.

Once again, if we refer to the official cPanel documentation …

“Domain Aliases allow you to point additional domain names to your existing hosting account. This allows users to reach your website if they enter the pointed domain URL in their browsers.”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Parked Domains

Redirects

“Redirects allow you to make a specific web page redirect to another page and display the contents of that page. This allows you to make a page with a long URL accessible through a page with a shorter, more memorable URL.”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Redirects can be set up to point visitors from one URL to a different URL in the same domain, or to redirect visitors from web pages on a domain name that you are no longer promoting to pages on a new website.

This is useful if, for example, you have great content on an old website that you want to duplicate on your new website or content with updated references.

Redirects

You can also inform search engines whether to treat the redirection as permanent or temporary.

Using Subdomains, Addon Domains & Parked Domains

This tutorial provides more information on the difference between addon domains, subdomains, and parked domains, and shows you how to set these up in your webhosting control panel.

Addon Domains

An addon domain makes it possible to host two or more sites with two or more domains on the same hosting account. Addon domains are useful if you want to register and promote another domain name but don’t want to pay the additional cost of having another web hosting account. In this case, (if your web hosting company allows it), the best solution would be to create an addon domain.

An addon domain, therefore, is just like having a separate website. You host or point your addon domain to a folder in the public_html folder of your main domain name. Like your main domain, you will need to register your addon domain and set the nameservers for the addon domain to point to the same nameserver as your main domain name.

If your main domain name is called domainname.com and your addon domain name is called addondomain.com , then you could access your addon domain in one of the following ways:

  • addondomain.com
  • domainname.com/addondomain
  • addondomain.domainname.com

Benefits Of Using Addon Domains

One of the main benefits of using addon domains is that it helps to optimize your web hosting space. The addon domain uses the same space and bandwidth as your main account and has its own CGI and FTP access, as well as its own email accounts and web statistics, but it doesn’t have its own cPanel (web hosting manager) account.

Summarizing then, the benefits of using addon domains include:

  • Since typing addondomain.com into your web browser displays that exact domain name in the address bar, it’s like having a completely separate website.
  • You can create multiple domains and websites on the same web hosting account.
  • You save money and web space by using one web hosting account instead of having to purchase separate hosting accounts.
  • Your addon domain shares the same resources as your main domain name (i.e. disk space and bandwidth).
  • Your addon domain will have its own FTP access, site stats, and cgi-bin.
  • You can access your addon domain using different website addresses.

Subdomains

A subdomain uses your existing domain name. It is a subfolder of your main domain name and does not have its own separate domain name. So, for example, if your domain name is mydomainname.com and you install a blog inside a folder of that domain name called blog, then your blog would be located in a subdomain called mydomainname.com/blog.

A different variation of a subdomain that is also commonly used is blog.mydomainname.com. For example, you can access many of your Google accounts by typing in the subdomain myaccount.google.com into your web browser …

An example of a subdomain

(An example of a subdomain)

Parked Domains

A parked domain is a domain that is registered but does not have a web hosting account – it simply points to an existing domain. It is an additional domain you own that directs all traffic to the domain name it is “parked” on top of. If visitors type in the address of a parked domain name into their web browser, they will be directed to the main domain name and will see exactly the same information they would get if they had typed in the main domain name address.

In other words, it’s like building multiple websites that contain exactly the same information using different domain names, but only having to maintain one.

Practical Tip

A parked domain name is useful if you own a “domain name family” (e.g. domain.com, domain.net, domain.org, domain.us), or similar / related domains, but you only want to build and promote a single domain name (i.e. one website).

Similarly, if you plan to build a global brand but are just starting out, you can initially point domains that you have registered with different country extensions (e.g. .au, .de, .ru, etc.) to your main website so that all visitors can access the same content until you are ready to expand and create different websites for each country.

Note: Your parked domain needs to be registered and pointing to the same nameservers as your existing domain name.

Comparing Addon vs Parked Domains

If you’re trying to decide what kind of domain configuration you should use, here’s a quick guide:

  • If you want to use different domain names to show the same content as your existing website, choose a domain name alias.
  • If you want to add a new domain name that shows different website content or uses different e-mail addresses as your existing website, choose an addon domain.

The screenshot below provides a quick comparison of Addon vs Alias (Parked) domains …

Addon vs Parked (Alias) Domains

(Addon vs Parked (Alias) Domains – Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net)

Creating Addon Domains, Subdomains & Parked Domains In cPanel: Tutorial

Log into your cPanel account …

cPanel Login Screen

Creating Subdomains

Scroll down to the ‘Domains’ section and click on Subdomains

cPanel: Domains - Subdomains

(cPanel: Domains – Subdomains)

Adding a subdomain will create a new section in your website using any prefix you choose (e.g. “support”, “tutorials”, etc …).

Type in the name of your subdomain in the ‘Subdomain’ field, then click the blank field in the ‘Document Root:’ section. cPanel will automatically fill this section with the correct path information for your subdomain.

Click the ‘Create’ button when you’re done …

Creating a subdomain in cPanel

(Creating subdomains in cPanel)

Your new subdomain will be set up …

Confirmation of subdomain setup

(Subdomain created – confirmation message)

Note: If you get an error message, make sure that your hosting setup allows you to create subdomains …

Contact your web host if you get error messages

(Contact your web host if you get error messages)

You can easily remove a subdomain using the cPanel Subdomains feature.

How To Delete Subdomains

To delete your subdomain, go to the Subdomains > Modify a Subdomain panel, select the subdomain to be deleted and click Remove

Removing a subdomain

(How to remove a subdomain)

If you are sure that you want to permanently remove the subdomain, click on the ‘Delete Subdomain’ button …

Confirm subdomain deletion

(Click ‘Delete Subdomain’ to confirm deletion)

Your subdomain will be permanently removed …

Confirmation of permanent Subdomain deletion

(Confirmation of permanent Subdomain removal)

Creating An Addon Domain

Scroll down to the ‘Domains’ section and click on the ‘Addon Domains’ link …

cPanel: Domains - Addon Domains

(cPanel: Domains – Addon Domains)

Enter your domain name in the ‘New Domain Name’ field (no http:// or www is required). Note: cPanel will automatically complete the “Subdomain/FTP Username:” and “Document Root:” fields.

Click Add Domain to create your addon domain …

How To Create addon domains

(How To Create addon domains in cPanel)

Your addon domain will be set up and ready …

Confirmation of addon domain setup

(Confirmation of addon domain setup)

Note: Make sure that your hosting setup allows you to set up addon domains …

Contact your web host if you get error messages

(Contact your web host if you get error messages)

You can also remove addon domains using the Addon Domains function.

Deleting Addon Domains

To delete addon domains, go to Addon Domains > Modify Addon Domain, locate the domain you want to delete and click Remove

How to delete addon domains

(Deleting an addon domain)

If you are sure that you want to permanently remove the addon domain, click on the ‘Remove’ button …

Confirm addon domain deletion

(Click ‘Remove’ button to confirm deletion)

Your addon domain will be permanently removed …

Confirmation of permanent addon domain removal

(Confirmation of addon domain deletion)

Creating Domain Aliases

To “park” a domain on top of another domain, first make sure that the domain’s nameservers have been set up correctly (see this tutorial for more information about setting up nameservers).

Log into your cPanel admin area and scroll down to the ‘Domains’ section. Click on Aliases

Domains - Aliases

(Domains – Aliases)

Note: In some versions of cPanel, the ‘aliases’ feature is listed as Parked Domains

Domains - Parked Domains

(Domains – Parked Domains)

Enter the name of the domain you want to park on top of your existing domain and click on the Add Domain button to create a new domain alias …

Creating a domain aliases

(How To Create a parked domain)

Your new parked domain will be created …

Confirmation of domain alias setup

(Parked domain created)

Important Info

Unless your web host has added limitations on your server, you can have multiple parked domain names on your existing domain. For example, this site is built on WPCompendium.org. We have also registered the related domains WPCompendium.com, WPCompendium.net, and WPCompendium.info, and parked these on top of this domain. To see how parked domains work, just type in any of the domain aliases into your browser (e.g. type in WPCompendium.net) 

You can park multiple domain names

(You can park multiple domain names on your existing domain)

You can also remove domain aliases using the Aliases feature.

Deleting A Parked Domain

To remove a domain alias, go to Aliases > Remove Aliases, locate the parked domain to be deleted and click Remove

Deleting a parked domain

(How to remove a parked domain)

If you are sure that you want to permanently remove the alias, click on the ‘Remove Alias’ button …

Confirm alias deletion

(Confirm alias deletion)

The alias will be deleted …

Confirmation of alias removal

(Confirmation of permanent alias removal)

Note: If you get an error message, make sure that your hosting setup allows you to create domain aliases …

Contact your web host if you get error messages

(Contact your web host if you get error messages)

Info

If you have not set up your domain nameservers correctly, you will get an error message when you try to perform the above tasks …

Don't forget to set up your DNS servers to avoid errors!

(Don’t forget to set up your DNS servers to avoid errors!)

See this tutorial if you need help setting up nameservers for your domains.

Congratulations! Now you know how to create subdomains, addon domains, and parked (alias) domains.

Subdomains, Addon Domains And Domain Aliases

Learn How To Register A Domain Name

Learn How To Set Up Webhosting

Learn How To Set Up Domain Nameservers

Learn How To Create An Email Account

Back To WordPress Installation Tutorials Index

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