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Information Centre

How do I "point" my domain name to a web hosting account?

When you register a domain name for use with a hosting account - either with us or elsewhere - or switch to our hosting services, your domain name needs to be "pointed" to your hosting account. This is known as delegation and is simple to do.  

You'll need to familiarise yourself with some hosting jargon so you know what you need to ask your new web host for in relation to delegation - the terms are "dns server" or "nameserver"; also referred to as name server.

In the world of web hosting, these terms mean the same thing.

Essentially, a name server is a little like a telephone book; translating a domain name into a set of numbers. The translated numbers point to the hosting service. The hosting service looks at the domain name the request is for and returns the right files or pages from the right account to the person requesting them - such as someone visiting your web site.

Each domain name needs to have 2 name servers listed, a primary and a secondary in case the primary nameserver isn't functioning.

The first thing you need to do is ask your new web host the nameserver details that will apply to your account, which will look something like this: 

ns1.example.com 
ns2.example.com

The reason for there being two nameservers is if one fails, the other one can resolve requests; or it can also be used for load balancing if traffic is particularly heavy.

Armed with the nameserver details, then:

  1. Go to the domain management interface
  2. Enter your login details
  3. Click on "domain name delegation"
  4. Enter the nameserver details. Remember you need to enter a minimum of 2 nameservers - but you don't need IP addresses
  5. Click "delegate domain"

A couple of important notes:

After updating your nameserver details, it can take up to 24 hours for the new information to propagate throughout the Internet. This means that depending on your location, you may not be able to access the new location via your domain name until that time. The propagation window is something that's out of our and any web hosting company's control - it's just the way the Internet works.

Also, when you have requested nameserver details from your new web host, they may also provide you with IP addresses (sets of numbers only). It can be unwise to use an IP address only when updating your name server as web hosts sometimes change these numbers. Only use IP addresses if they have not provided you with nameserver details in the form of the examples above; or only if the web host specifically requests you to use the IP addresses instead.

If you are contemplating changing web hosts, you are of course welcome to select any company you wish; but we warmly encourage you to consider utilising our web hosting services. Domain Registration Services offers simple, reliable and efficient web hosting with premium features that are flexible and easy to use - and at a price that won't break your business budget.

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How to register a name: Enter your choice in the search tool and click 'GO'. If after the check the domain names search results show your choice is available, you will then have the option to proceed to purchase registration; which is a very quick and easy process - start a search and find your ideal website address now.