Pointing domain name to server

A domain name an name which you have purchased on the internet. Some of the most common domain names include .co.uk, .com and .net. By purchasing the domain name, you reserve the right to use the domain name. The minimum period for a domain name is 1 year, however some other domain names has other terms and conditions or restrictions.

If you write your domain name into the browser, you will realise that it may not load up or show any content, this is because it may not be linked to a server. For the domain name to show some content, it must be linked to a server, the technical term is called pointing domain name to an server IP address.

In the instance where by you have obtained a hosting package your hosting provider may of registered your domain name on your behalf and helped you point the domain name to an server IP address. We will look to do this manually and to point it to a different IP address.

Each domain name would need 2 DNS name servers, the DNS name servers will be service which will associate the domain itself to the IP address. Most hosting providers will provide you with the 2 DNS name servers already. Inside the DNS name servers, it will hold the DNS Zone. It is at this location that we can specify the IP address for our domain name. Inside the DNS Zone, it would contain many records, the record to point our domain name to the server is called the A record. If we was to edit the A record to an IP address our server, our domain name will now start loading the content from this new IP address.

Here is a diagram which represents how pointing domains to servers work

A record to A record to A record to
By using your own name servers, you can customise your DNS name servers, however at the same time, you would need to manage it. DNS management can be trick if its not something you have done before. By using a 3rd party provider’s DNS name servers, the name servers has been set up for you already and it means you can just modify the DNS zone A record to link your domain name to your server’s IP. There is an DNS type called DNS anycast, this means that the DNS is replicated across multiple locations across multiple servers, this would mean your DNS would work faster compared to traditional DNS.
The IP addresses in this diagram doesn't represent the real IP address of services, the name servers which has been listed are for example purposes, come providers may have multiple DNS name servers and you may be assigned a different name server than listed.