What is DNS?

DNS, which stands for domain name system, controls your domain name’s website and email settings. When visitors go to your domain name, its DNS settings control which company’s server it reaches out to.

For example, if you use POWERHOSTER.COM’s DNS settings, visitors will reach POWERHOSTER.COM’s servers when using your domain name. If you change those settings to user another company’s servers, visitors will reach them instead of us when visiting your domain.

What I’m seeing is more complicated than that…

DNS can be confusing. It’s made up of many different elements that control different aspects of your domain name. Here’s a quick explanation of each one:

DNS Element Description
Nameserver Nameservers “point” your domain name to the company that controls its DNS settings. Usually, this will be the company where you registered the domain name.

However, if your website is hosted by another company, sometimes they will provide nameservers you need to point to instead.

Zone File Zone Files are simply the files that store all of your domain’s DNS settings.

Your domain name’s Zone File is stored on the company’s nameserver.

A Record A Records point your domain name to an individual server using an IP address. An example IP address is 123.4.67.5.

Every domain name has a primary A Record called “@,” which controls what your domain name does when some visits it directly.

You can also use A Records to point subdomains (for example subdomain.coolexample.com) to a server’s IP address.

CNAME CNAMEs point your subdomains to another server using a server name, like server1.secureserver.net.

Most domain names have many CNAMEs.

Unlike A Records, CNAMEs cannot use IP addresses.

MX Records MX Records point your domain name’s email to its email provider.

If your domain name uses our nameservers, you can view or change your domain name’s DNS through us.

 

Registering Domain Names

Registering a domain name builds your credibility on the Internet. Use domain names to support your business and assist in creating a dynamic online presence. Your domain name establishes your online identity and increases branding, marketing and communication opportunities. Register multiple domain names to:

  • Keep your competition from registering a domain name that draws customers away from you.
  • Promote the products and services you offer.
  • Drive more traffic to your website.
  • Enjoy more opportunities to market to — and be listed on — search engines.
  • Create distinct advertising strategies to reach different target markets.
  • Provide customers more ways to find you on the Internet.
  • Capture common misspellings of your domain name, instead of sending visitors to an error page.
  • Protect your brand and online identity from unsavory parties.

To get started, check to see if the domain name you want is available. If available, register the domain name for a period of time you specify during the checkout process.

To Check a Domain Name’s Availability

  1. Go to our Home Page.
  2. In the Domain Name Search field, enter the domain name you want to register, and then select the domain name extension from the list.
  3. Click GO.

If the domain name you requested is already registered, we provide available alternatives. For example, you might be able to select a .info or .ws domain extension, rather than .com. Or you could register www.coolexample.info instead of www.coolexample.com.

If the domain name is available, follow the instructions to complete the checkout process. Be sure to include valid contact information for each contact. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the governing body for domain names, requires valid contact information (registrant, technical, billing, and administrative). If you enter false information, your domain name can be canceled.

Your contact information is public and accessible through the Whois database at most registrars. However, you can protect your privacy by registering your domain name with us using our private domain name registration services.

When you purchase private domain name registration, the Whois database lists the name of our privacy affiliate company, as well as their postal address and phone number — instead of your personal contact information.