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If you have ever created a website you most likely have come across the term nameservers. However, it might be possible you’re not well versed in what a nameserver is and what they are actually used for. In this article, we are going to cover the basics as this can prove useful for managing your website.

In short, nameservers are essential in making the connection between your domain name and your web hosting company servers. Thanks to this connection, your website will load with the content you upload to your web hosting account and not the content from another server.

So what exactly are nameservers and how do they work?

Whenever you type in a website URL into your browser (for example: hostdash.com), you would expect to simply see the HostDash homepage, right? While technically true, why are you seeing our website and not that from another server? The answer stems from the nameservers and the extensive proces that occurs behind the scenes once you tell your browser what website you would like to go to.

That process looks like this:

That might seem like a lot, yet it is completed so fast you typically never notice it.

Without such a system in place, you and your website visitors would need to remember the IP address of each website you would like to access, which is almost like learning a phone number. What makes things worse is if you transfer your website to a new hosting provider, you’d have a new IP address to remember. So we can thank nameservers for saving us significant headaches in that area!

Nameservers vs DNS Records

There is one piece to the above puzzle that was kept out, which is equally important. DNS Records. If nameservers are comparable to phone numbers then DNS records is comparable to extensions on those phone numbers.

In other words, DNS Records contains the individual pieces of information such as the actual IP address whereas the nameservers acts to store and organize those DNS records.

If you’re curious, the full process including DNS record lookups looks like this:

Should you consider private nameservers?

In most cases, using the nameservers provided by your web hosting provider would be more than sufficient. However, there are certain scenarios where you may want to consider registering custom nameservers (also commonly referred to as private nameservers).

For example, if you are on a reseller hosting package you may want to offer your own custom branded nameservers to your clients instead of those provided by your reseller hosting provider. This will help you develop a stronger, personalized and white-label experience to your end users.

Whatever the reason, there are benefits to registering your own nameservers such as:

So while private nameservers are not essential, they do serve a clear purpose.

How to setup domain nameservers

Thankfully, setting up nameservers is a straightforward process and once the process has been done once, you typically won’t need to make any changes to your nameservers again (unless you are changing hosting providers).

Before proceeding, it is worth mentioning DNS changes can take up to 24 hours to apply globally. Typically however, this process lasts no more than a few hours. You can also preview your website before the DNS changes are propagated globally.

Changing your nameservers

The instructions below covers how to update your nameservers for a domain name registered at HostDash. If you have registered a domain name at another registrar, we have specific guides which may prove beneficial to you:

To update your HostDash registered domains nameservers, follow the steps below:

And that is it! You have now successfully set your nameservers for a domain name registered at HostDash.

Nameservers Conclusion

Nameservers prove to be an essential way to surf the web. Without them, remembering website addresses would be extremely difficult and near impossible to maintain with a host changing hosting providers (as the IP would change). Thankfully nameservers are extremely fast to do what they need to do. In most cases, your website visitors won’t even know they’re there in the background.

Are you looking for domain management services? Register your domain with HostDash today!

Are you planning to launch a website for your business but are struggling to come up with the right domain name? Changing domain names is not a convenient process, so you will want to get it right the first time around. After all, your companies domain is one of the most important pieces of branding and marketing. It is how your customers will recognize you and find your online presence.

In this article, we will cover a few tips on selecting a great name for your domain.

Choose a Name

There is a very good chance your most preferred domain name has already been registered in today’s domain market. With that in mind, the first step should be to brainstorm any potential names that you could use and/or are related to your company name. 

For example, you could combine two words to make your domain name. If you are a data center, that could be exampledc.com. You could even combine your physical location, such as flowersflorida.com, or opt for a catchy domain that rolls off the tongue. 

Once you have determined the right name, you can optimize it with the simple steps below:

Avoid Confusion

One of the worst things you can do when choosing a domain name is to make it confusing or complicated. Numbers, hyphens, and/or symbols all contribute to the complexity of your domain name. Ultimately, this can make it difficult for your own customers to locate you.

When it comes to avoiding confusion, do the domain name radio test. The radio test is when someone says your website name, and they need to type it in their browser, but can they easily do that? You might be asking, does anyone even listen to the radio anymore, and while that is a good question, the radio test really applies to many other cases. For example:

Would your domain pass? If not, the domain name you have chosen is probably not the best to proceed with for your long term success.

Do Comprehensive Research

Before making the final purchase decision for your perfect domain name, it is important to research that name and even names similar to the one you’re choosing. You want to ensure you are not infringing on anyone’s copyright or trademarks. There is nothing associated with the name or another potentially confusing name that might detract attention from your website or give you dreaded negative publicity. 

Once you have found the perfect name, you are ready to proceed with registering the domain before someone else does. Domain names come and go very fast. What is available today might not be available tomorrow, so once you have found the right fit, it is recommended to register it as quickly as possible. Until you have actually launched your website, you can still change it.