What does it mean when they say “point your domain name to your hosting account”?
Technically, the term domain name pointing refers to the process of changing the DNS settings of a domain name to another destination. However, to most laymen, pointing a domain name to a hosting account simply means connecting a domain to a web host’s server. The term could also be used to describe the process of directing or perhaps redirecting additional domains to a primary domain.
The process of pointing a domain name takes place after you register your domain name with a domain registrar. However, the same process could also take place even when your website has been in operation for a long period of time, which is when you decide to move your website to another webhost. You see, when you move your website to another webhost, you need to change the DNS settings of your domain and have it “pointed” to your new webhost.
Usually, the webhost takes care of the domain name pointing process for you when you signup to host your website with them. This is because, typically, a website’s webhost is, more often than not, the same as the agency as that where the domain name is registered. This is the reason why most people are not familiar with the task of domain name pointing. However, the task could become your task when you decide to host your website in a webhost different from that where the website is registered. It is vital to change the settings so that a link between the two could be established.
What should I do to point my domain name to a hosting account?
Pointing a domain name often sounds and seems like a very technical and intimidating task. However, nothing is farther from the truth. As a matter of fact, the task is very simple and easy, and could be done in a very short span of time. You don’t need an IT professional to point your domain for it requires no technical knowledge. What is vital is that you do need are some technical information about your website and your new webhost.
Before you start the domain name pointing process, it is expected that you have already registered your website with your new host. To point your domain name, simply follow the steps below:
- First, you need to have the Nameserver information, called the Primary and Secondary Nameserver, of your new webhost.
- You can find this information from the first mail that you received from your new host right after registering your website. If not available, you can get this data from their customer support services. The name server information you are looking for should look like this:
- Once you have the information in hand, login to your Domain Name Registrar’s system.
- To log in, you may be required to use your username and password. Once logged-in, you need to access the account manager module. This should have a heading like “Domain Manager” or “MyDomains” or any other heading, depending on your account manager interface.
- Next, select the domain name that you need to set up.
- Selecting it simply means either clicking on it or clicking on a checkbox, depending on the interface.
- Then, select the DNS Manager or Nameserver button.
- Once the Manager is open, you need to choose the Modify the Nameserver option.
- You could be asked to choose other options like domain parking or forward the domain. Among these option should be the Modify the Nameserver.
- Fill in the required nameserver information on the fields provided.
- You need to fill in the fields with the information you have earlier. The primary DNS should have the word ns1 while the secondary DNS carries the word ns2.
- You do not need to concern yourself with other fields that might be found on the page. Simply leave them vacant. What is important is that you have filled-in the data for the nameservers.
- Should there be data already existing in the nameserver field, simply overwrite them with your new information.
- The last step is clicking the “OK” button usually found of the bottom of the page.
- Clicking the OK button means that you are done with the domain name pointing process.
- It is important to note that it might take some time before the changes take effect, often between 4 – 8 hours for some domains, but for as long as 24-48 hours for some.
Can the process of domain name pointing verified if done successfully?
Definitely yes, there is a simple test involved to verify if the process was successful or not. It is important to remember, though, that it often takes time before changes take effect. However, to verify whether you are successful or not, follow the following steps:
- First, you need to visit the site www.network-tools.com;
- On the left side of the page, select the Ping button from the options that are available;
- Enter you domain name on the space provided and then click Go;
- Check to see if the IP address 126.96.36.199 is displayed. If it does, it means that your domain was successfully pointed.
Why should I need to point my domain name to a webhost?
Pointing your domain name to your webhost creates the required link between the two. This link is required so that whenever your domain name is typed on the browser it will automatically and without fail lead the user to the website only