Tuesday, April 16, 2024
For men, women, and teens

How to connect your domain to your web host [illustrated]

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Written by Vera C. Last updated on .

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, therefore I may be compensated, at no cost to you, if you purchase when clicking through my links. This helps keep the website running.

Rope knot - how to connect your domain name to your web host

Congratulations! You've just gotten your own domain name, and you need to point it to your web host. This is easier than it sounds. Here we're showing an easy illustrated step by step guide for how to do that.

1. Find out the nameservers for your web host

If you already have a hosting plan

If you have already signed up for a hosting plan, then the nameserver information will already have arrived in your welcome email shortly after signup. Somewhere in there (there's a lot of stuff in the welcome email!) it'll say something along the lines of:

nameservers: ns1.yourhost.com, ns2.yourhost.com, ..

It's usual for them to list anywhere from 2 to 4 nameservers. The nameservers will have different names depending on how your host names them. There is no guarantee they will start with ns1, ns2, etc. The point is, this information will be in the welcome email.

If for any reason you can't find it in the email, or can't locate your welcome email, just contact your host (support ticket, email, whatever) and ask what your nameservers are. They'll tell you! This is important information every customer needs.

If you don't already have a hosting plan

Get a cheap yet fully featured hosting plan. I have used and highly recommend A2 Hosting for this - they're fast, reliable and have excellent customer service. Their cheapest plan (the Startup plan) is sufficient for most people's needs when starting out. I also have used GreenGeeks if you're looking for cheap environmentally-friendly reliable hosting. You can't go wrong with either one.

If you're on the most shoestring of budgets, you could try Asura Hosting - it's unbelievably cheap but be aware that I haven't used it yet so unlike the other 2 hosts I mentioned above, I cannot attest to Asura's quality or reliability.

In the welcome email from your host that you receive after signup, you will see the nameservers, for example: nameservers: ns1.yourhost.com, ns2.yourhost.com, ..

2. Log into your domain name registrar

Pointing your domain name requires you to change the nameserver records at your domain name registrar (it's OK, we'll show you every step). This would be at the place where you bought your domain name. For example, NameSilo.com, NameCheap, or wherever else you got your domain name.

Click on "my account" and "manage my domains" after you log in on NameSilo. GoDaddy, NameCheap, and other registrars have similar names for this, e.g. "domain manager". It will be easy to find because it's one of the most common actions that most of their customers will want to use.

Now you will have a list of your domain(s). Whether you have 1 domain, 5, or 100 domains, the process is the same. Simply click on the domain of interest. Then there will be a place somewhere on the page that says "change nameservers" or "update nameservers". This is what you want to click on.

3. Change your nameservers

This is the important part. Below is what the "change nameserver" page looks like in NameSilo. At other registrars, you'll see a similar section with a set of text boxes for the nameserver information. You'll notice that there are already some nameservers shown there. That's OK; that'll be your domain name registrar's default nameservers.

What you want to do is replace these defaults shown in the pic above with your own nameservers that you received in step 1. Simply type those nameserver names (ns1.yourhost.com etc) into the boxes, one per box. Typically your host will give you anything from 2 to 4 nameservers, so you'll be filling 2 to 4 boxes. Delete anything that may be in other nameserver boxes besides those that you just filled in.

There will be a save button or confirm button that you'll need to click to ensure these changes get saved.

4. Wait for the changes to propagate through the internet

It can take anywhere from 2 to 48 hours for these updated nameservers to propagate through the internet. Even though your registrar will make those changes faster than that, it could take awhile even after those changes are made until you actually see it when you type in your domain name on your browser.

So get a cup of coffee or do something else.

Congratulations! You just finished pointing your domain name to your web host. After waiting for those changes propagate, you'll be able to set up your website.

If you need some ideas of what to do with your new website, why not create your own social network? I've created an easy illustrated tutorial for you about that - it assumes no coding knowledge.

If you don't yet have email set up, make sure you don't pick something boring like info@... Instead get inspiration from our guide to picking awesome role-based email addresses.

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