If you have your website and are the one who runs it to, you might have heard of the term “nameserver”. But, some haven’t heard of this term. To know exactly what this term is, here’s one question. Have you ever given a thought to how computers recognize each other and interact?
Let me tell you about it. Computers identify each other because of a set of numbers that are known as IP addresses. These IP addresses are lengthy and complicated numbers, which are difficult to memorize.
Nameservers act as a connection point between URLs and IP addresses. They not only save our effort but also our time in getting to a website that we are looking for. They are like the backstage artists that give their best performances in order to let the show go on without any inconveniences.
Without having name servers, it would be really difficult to get access to any website. They are also known as the ‘phone book of the internet’. The sad part is that its works are so crucial yet so quick because of which the majority of the people fail to notice its importance.
In this write-up, we shall look at name servers in a better way so as to know what they exactly are and how they can be made use of, thereby benefitting you and your website. So let’s have a look.
- 1 What are Nameservers?
- 2 What’s the difference between DNS server and a nameserver?
- 3 Why you should, or you might want to register for your own nameserver?
- 4 How do you set up a new nameserver to your domain name?
- 5 How do you know which nameserver does your website makes use of?
- 6 Have you ever heard of these nameservers?
What are Nameservers?
When you need to access a site, you type the URL to the site, and it gets done within seconds for you. Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes after you have typed the URL in the address bar and hit enter?
Here is the part where nameservers come into the picture. They are part of DNS servers, i.e., Domain Name System. DNS server is like a huge logbook that keeps the record of all the devices and their IP addresses.
The main job of a name server is to be connected between the URL and the web server that powers that website under that particular domain name. So the name server makes use of the information in Domain Name System / DNS server to go about with its work.
We usually do not tend to see all these processes taking place because they happen within seconds. All we have to do is type in the URL for the website we want, and then the name server does the work of locating and sending the website’s page onto our browser.
It would have been so difficult if we had to type out the whole IP address of a server in order to visit a site or even memorize IP addresses. But that isn’t the case now because of name servers. They look like any other domain name you might have seen before, but they are the best ways of connecting the IP address of a server and the URL.
Name server usually means a server that manages customer domain names and is possessed by a web host provider. The benefit that is provided to us by the work a name server does is just excellent.
What’s the difference between DNS server and a nameserver?
As mentioned earlier, Domain Name System or DNS server is like a storage center, without which one would have to by heart numbers or IP address of every website they visit. DNS servers keep track of all the actual information that is required by other web browsers to be able to have a connection with one another. On the other hand, name servers are components of DNS servers that help in storing and managing DNS server records.
Now, whenever you are looking for a particular website, you cannot directly jump to the DNS record in the DNS system. Therefore, you go to the name server, which then does your work by taking the information out from the DNS server and provides it to you.
For instance, when you type the URL myplace.com, your browser sends a request for the information. Then the name server does its work of getting your browser the specific IP address of the site you are looking for from the DNS server and sends it back to the browser.
Why you should, or you might want to register for your own nameserver?
Registering for your own name server is always beneficial in many ways to you as well as your website. By having your own name server, you can have your own brand name. Furthermore, this will develop a better platform as compared to using old domain names that were attached to your host.
Rebranding your hosting that too under your own domain name is a piece of cake, which you get when you register for a private name server. This provides you with a better and more secure sense when it comes to hosting.
You also have the ability to change your hosting provider without having to go through the whole mess of having all your customers update their name servers. This is especially for the ones that make use of a reseller account.
Apart from that, what catches my attention the most is when you have your own name server, you can easily avoid providing the ‘other’ personal information to your customers. It thereby ensures having your own safe space.
Also, it is more beneficial to have custom name servers if you have a business website or a reselling hosting. Yet, whether you choose to go for it, that is completely optional.
How do you set up a new nameserver to your domain name?
So setting up a name server isn’t as complicated as it might seem. It’s pretty simple and can be accomplished with few basic steps. There are quite a few methods to go about this process, but currently, I will show you two of the most widely used options.
So let’s get started:-
The First Method – Changing your Present Nameserver
For this method, first, you will have to log in to your hosting account. After you are done with that step, click on the ‘Domains’ option, which you will see on the top bar. Under that option, select ‘my domains.’
With this, you will be able to select whichever domain name you want to make use of. Then, under the managing settings, click on the option ‘Nameservers’. Here, you will be showcased many options available.
Based on your requirements, you can select whether you want to make use of the Default Nameservers or go for the Custom Nameservers. Also, most importantly, if you do want to manage your DNS server settings through the hosting customer portal, then you must surely select the default name server. This is mostly the case regardless of your hosting provider.
The Second Method- The way to set a Custom Nameserver
The previous method was only related to changing your current nameserver, whereas this method is associated with setting up a whole new Custom Nameserver.
For this method, the important thing is to check that your A records are in their perfect place. For instance, if you are using a reseller hosting account, then you will have to create its DNS A records without fail.
Now comes the part where you have to register the nameservers that you will be using. For that, again go to the Domains option like in method one and click on My Domains.
Under the My Domain section, you will find Manage name servers. Then click on ‘Private Nameserver.’ Add a name for your nameserver under the Register A nameserver for the very first time.
Then you could also add the other details such as the IP address and remember to save your changes. However, if you wish to add on more nameservers, all you have to do is repeat this small process over again. It’s as simple as that.
How do you know which nameserver does your website makes use of?
Many-a-times, people aren’t aware of which nameserver they are presently using. However, it is essential to know this information, and the steps to find out too are very simple.
Whois has many lookup tools that can help you find out which nameserver you use currently. You can choose any one of the tools and add your Domain Name to it. Just by doing this, you will be shown the names of all the current name servers your website or hosting account has been actively making use of.
Apart from that, you are also free to run a test from your very own computer. For instance, if you have windows, you can use PowerShell, and if you have Mac, you can try Terminal.
Have you ever heard of these nameservers?
You might not have heard about Vanity Nameserver or Namecheap Nameserver or all the other available nameservers on the internet. Here below, I’ll be explaining to you the types and their work. For instance, let us begin with Vanity nameservers.
A vanity nameserver runs differently from the other public nameservers. This nameserver is branded to a website based on your choice, thereby making your website look more professional and different.
What exactly happens here is you get to mask the hostname of the public name servers. When you set up a vanity nameserver on shared hosting, it is much more different than your custom nameserver or even a dedicated server than it seems.
This is one of the main reasons why you should opt for vanity nameservers. For example, before you use these nameservers, if you looked upon your Domain name to check which nameserver is being used, it would show you the names of whichever nameservers you have been using.
Whereas now, with the use of Vanity nameservers, that part gets masked, and it isn’t visible to anyone even though you are still using the public nameservers. Having a vanity nameserver is very beneficial to you as well as to your site.
This nameserver gives responses to all the questions asked about the Domain names. If the queries are specifically configured by the administrator, then only does the authoritative server give responses to them.
Authoritative nameservers could be primary as well a secondary nameserver. The primary server is also called the SOA (Start of Authority) because it has the DNS records of all the versions in the particular zone.
On the other hand, a secondary server makes use of an automatic updating mechanism. Through this mechanism, it maintains an identical copy of the database of the primary server concerned with that zone.
This is especially for those people who make use of Kinsta hosting company. If you wish to find out what nameserver your site’ been using, you can easily find it in the Kinsta DNS Tab.
Also, there is no actual need for you to use Kinsta’s nameserver. Instead, you can simply edit your record at the domain registrar’s nameserver or any other if you wish to point your Domain name to Kinsta.
Now you might be wondering how does one goes about this process. You again have two different methods that can help you reach your goal.
Method no. 1 – Pointing your Domain name to Kinsta (with A record)
For this method, first and foremost, you have to have your domain names under the Domains section in MyKinsta. Then go to the site info tab on MyKinsta’s dashboard. Here you will be able to find your website’s unique IP address.
The next step is you will have to go to your domain registrar or any other DNS server provided in order to set up your Domain’s A record according to the website’s IP address you just located.
That’s it! Once you have done these two basic steps, your work is successfully done!
Now moving on to the second method of pointing your domain name to Kinsta.
Method no. 2 – Pointing Domain name to Kinsta (with nameservers)
Just like the previous method, this method requires you to add your domain names under the Domains section on MyKinsta. Then click on the Kinsta DNS that you will find under the MyKinsta dashboard.
Choose Add Domain option and then add in your domain name. For the people that make use of Gsuite, ensure you select the ‘Add Gmail MX record’ option. By doing so, the important MX records will be automatically added without you having to do any extra work. (MX records are specifically used in order to route mail)
After doing this, your WordPress site will be needing A record and a CNAME. Click on your domain, and you will be prompted to add your very first DNS record. First, you add you’re A record and then the CNAME record.
Now the last and final step is for you to point your domain with the help of your domain registrar to the brand new nameservers. On the Kinsta DNS page, you will be able to see them by yourself.
Nameservers are essential to everyone having a website or a hosting page. They make work easy and quick. They also play a very important role when it comes to directing traffic on the internet.
It’s nearly impossible to think of life on the internet without having a nameserver. Their work is so swift that the majority of internet users aren’t even aware of the fact that they do exist.
Also, there may be instances where you would want to have your very own nameserver, and for that, all you have to do is follow the two basic steps that are
One- make sure you change the currently used nameserver and
Two – after done checking you’re A records, set up your custom nameserver for the VPS accounts or reseller accounts. It’s that easy! You can also check our article on 10 Reasons to Love WordPress.
So, this was all about what nameservers are and how they can make you’re work-life much better. If you did not know what a nameserver was at the start of this article, I hope you are well aware of it now and what purpose they serve.