The first thing you'll need to do is to find out the list of name servers used by your web host.
127.0.0.1, called IP addresses. Name servers translate the domain name you and I use to the actual numeric IP address used by the machines on the Internet.
When you sign up with a commercial web host, they will configure their name servers so that it will furnish your website's real IP address when there is a query for your domain name. As such, in order for your domain to be found on the Internet, you must link your domain to your web host's name servers.
(There's a bit more to this than that, but I'm sure you're not here for a long boring technical lecture on how things operate on the Internet. Suffice it to say, in order for your domain name to resolve, a lot of different computers are involved, including your Internet provider's name servers, your registry operator's name servers, your web host's name servers, etc. Don't worry. Much of it is automatic. All you need to do to make it all work is given below.)
The list of name servers will often look like
ns2.example.com, and so on, where "
example.com" will probably be replaced by some other domain name used by your web host for their servers.
Your web host may give you 2 or more name server addresses. Note down all these names. Better still, keep the email or web page containing these names open on your computer so that you can cut and paste them later. You'll need to enter these names, exactly as given, into your registrar's system.
Enter the Name Servers into Your Registrar's Settings for Your DomainOnce you have the list of name servers, go to your domain name registrar and log into their system. You will obviously need the login name and password that you created when you first registered your domain.
Once logged in, you will need to look for some option to either set your domain's name servers or change them. Every registrar has a different way of doing this, and there is no standard method, so it's not possible for me to give you a detailed blow-by-blow account of how to get to the appropriate screen. (Even if I did, my description will quickly become out-of-date since registrars, like all webmasters, change their site design every now and then.) What I'll do instead is give you some idea of what to look for.
In general, try the following to get to the page on your registrar's site that lets you modify the name servers:
- Find a way to list all your domains in the registrar's site. Sometimes this can be found in a "My Domains" page, or a "Domain Manager" page, or something similarly named.
- Select the domains for which you want to set the name servers. Sometimes this involves checking a box beside your domain name in the list of names. Alternatively, if you only have one domain name, you may even be able to click the domain name to get to the settings screen.
- Some registrars have a "Manage DNS" menu link, or a "DNS" button, or a "Nameservers" button. If you see such a link or button, that's probably the one that you will need to click. Basically look for things that say "DNS" or "Name Servers" or "Nameservers", whether to "set" it, "change" it, "manage" it, "modify" it or some other thing to that effect.
Put your first name server from your list, usually the name beginning with "
ns1", into the "Primary Name Server" field. Then type your second name server, the name beginning with "
ns2", into the "Secondary Name Server" field. And so on. A domain name should have at least 2 name servers associated with it. Some web hosts give you more, others only 2. Some registrars allow you to enter up to 6 names, others only 2. If you only have 2 nameservers to enter, but your registrar gives you 6 fields, just enter the first 2 and leave the other fields blank. If you have 3 nameservers to enter, but your registrar only allows you to enter 2, just enter the 2. Don't worry about the fields you didn't get to use, or the extra name servers that your web host provided that you couldn't enter. Your domain will work fine without those extras. They are there to provide a bit of redundancy, so that your site will still work if the first name server fails.
If you cannot find the place to set your name servers, or you don't want to just blunder around the registrar's website looking for the correct option to try, look for the "Help" or "FAQ" documentation on your registrar's site. This is such a basic procedure that everyone needs to do that they are likely to have some sort of guide on their site, if only to avoid having to answer the same question over and over again from their customers.
At worst, if you are completely lost, and dare not poke around in the registrar's site because you're afraid you'll change something you shouldn't, write to the registrar to ask them for help. Don't expect a fast reply though. Some of them take days to reply, and often only to point you to the relevant documentation on their site. As is the case for many other things, if you want something done fast, you'll need to figure it out yourself. Hopefully the tips in this section will give you enough information so that you know what links/buttons to look for and click.