Understanding Nameservers and IPs

domain-name-system-dnsPart of running a website, blog or online business is understanding the technical side of things. You probably already know you need quality hosting, a domain name and the right platform or CMS for your project. However, understanding a few of the technical things can help save you time and money.

Nameservers and IPs are a couple of the easier things to understand. By understanding how to change your Nameservers, how they work and what IPs are, you will be better prepared when you make that call to the technical support team.

What are Nameservers?

A name server is assigned to your domain name, usually two are assigned, and it’s basically a specialized server that handles the questions and queries from your local computer when it comes to your domain name.

An easy way to think about how nameservers work is by thinking of a phone book. If you want to call a specific person or company, you’d look them up in the phone book. A name server does the same thing for your domain name. When someone types it into the address bar or clicks on a link for your website, the local computer looks up the name server and takes them to the data associated with the page they are trying to find.

What are IPs?

Better known as IP addresses, the IP stands for Internet Protocol. This is a numerical label given to each device, such as a printer or computer, on any computing network.

The IP address is sued to identify and locate the computer, printer, server or other device on the network. They are binary numbers and they look like this:

Changing your Domain Nameservers

The most likely time you will use nameservers is after purchasing a new domain you want to host somewhere other than the domain registrar you bought it from. Usually, you will need to change the domain nameservers to do this, which is fairly easy.

First, locate the nameservers associated with your hosting company. If you’re using a host with cPanel, they are located in the left column towards the bottom of the page. This location may vary from one host to another.

Second, go to the domain registrar you purchased the domain from and find your domain manager panel. This will be different for each domain registrar. However, they will all have an option for changing the nameservers.

Third, select the domain you want to change and select “change nameservers”. This should bring up a form with two nameservers already in the boxes.

Finally, delete the old nameservers and add in the new ones from your hosting account. Once complete, you should get a message telling you it could take up to a 24 hours or 48 hours for the changes to happen. Usually it happens within 12 hours, but this varies.

Changing WHM Nameserver IP’s

Another time you may need to work with your nameservers is within WHM. If you need to change your WHM nameserver IP’s, you can do this from the main menu.

Start by accessing the Server Configuration area and then the Basic cPanel & WHM Setup menu. Within this area you will find the nameservers.

Once you’ve accessed this area, you will see something like:

From here, you can change to the right IP address and your local host.

Once you’ve completed this step, you will need to access the file /var/cpanel/nameserverips.yaml. Change the nameservers and the IP addresses to the appropriate ones in here and restart your servers.

Make sure to double check the changes after you reset.

Why Nameservers and IP Addresses are Important?

Making changes that take a seasoned hosting veteran just a few minutes can save you time and money. You won’t need to contact technical support and wait for them to take care of the issues. By understanding how nameservers and IP addresses work, you can take care of these changes on your own.

This can also help if you decide you want to use private nameservers or if you plan to purchase multiple domains and host them on different servers. It doesn’t matter if you struggle with technical things or if it comes easy to you, understanding at least a few of the basics can go a long way.

Whenever you do need to contact the technical support of your hosting company, perk up your ears and pay attention to what they are doing. You may just learn something for the next time you encounter an issue and you may be able to handle it yourself.

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ITX Design is a Web Hosting and Domain Registration provider. We provide dedicated servers, shared web hosting, and domain registration for small businesses including Reseller Hosting, FFmpeg Hosting and Christian Web Hosting.
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