How to Set up Nameservers


You must first know how to set up nameservers for your domain name before you can publish pages and upload files to your website.

Setting up nameservers is really pretty straightforward. Here is what you need to know:

Nameserver Set Up Basics

There are really 2 main ways that you can set up your nameservers: regular and custom. Most people will only ever need to learn how to set up regular nameservers.

Setting Up Regular Nameservers

Setting up regular nameservers is very easy. Regular nameservers are provided to you from your hosting company and usually will look something like this: NS5891.hostgator.com and NS592.hostgator.com. For this example, if your hosting company is HostGator then your primary nameserver would be NS5891.hostgator.com and your secondary nameserver would be NS5892.hostgator.com (the exact digits represented are of course just examples as most hosting companies have many different nameservers for different customers). All that you need to do is log in to your registrar’s control panel to manage your domains, select the domain name that you wish to update the nameservers for, click on the nameservers section of the control panel, and then enter the primary nameserver and the secondary nameserver from above into the appropriate fields.

Click submit and that’s it! Skip on down to the DNS propogation section below to see how long it will take before you nameserver setting are updated.

Setting Up Custom Nameservers

Setting up custom nameservers is a little bit more involved but not all that difficult either. A custom nameserver is essentially a nameserver that you define from one of the domain names that you own rather than using the nameserver that a hosting company provides. Custom nameservers are most commonly used by companies that are hosting resellers and want to add an additional level of branding to their reseller hosting plans.

For example, let’s say that you have a domain name called bigjohnshosting.com and you want to set up custom nameservers to give out to your customers that are purchasing reseller hosting from you. Maybe you want to set up your custom nameservers so that they are something like NS27.bigjohnshosting.com and NS28.bigjohnshosting.com. This is certainly doable.

The first thing that you need to do is create the subdomains that you will use for your nameservers (in our example the subdomains are NS27.bigjohnshosting.com and NS28.bigjohnshosting.com). Then what you need to do is find out from your host what IP addresses you have been allotted with your hosting plan. These numbers will look something like 11.222.33.44 and 11.222.33.45. Then you need to take these IP addresses to your registrar’s control panel and find a place to define your own nameservers. The define custom nameservers section of your registrar’s control panel will have fields for you to enter to enter in your IP addresses and your newly created subdomains. Once you enter in the information into those fields then you will be all set up to use your custom nameservers when the DNS has finished propogating.

DNS Propogation: How Long Can You Wait…

After you have set up your nameservers then it will usually take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours for the DNS (Domain Name System: a naming system the Internet uses that translates letters into numbers since as humans it is much easier to remember bigbobshosting.com instead of 207.67.189.166 when we go to type into our URL bar) to fully propogate throughout the web. What this means is that within the first 24 hours or so it is very likely that it will seem as if nothing has been updated. Be patient and wait at least 48 hours. What this also means is that your domain DNS settings will not be updated everywhere at the same time. You may be able to view a domain’s updated DNS settings at one PC from one location and yet still see the old DNS settings from another computer at another location.

Find Great Domains With Our Domain Tools

Since every registrar is a little bit different when it comes to setting up nameservers you may also be interested in reading our how to choose a domain name registrar guide. Also, while you are waiting for your DNS to propogate why not find some great domain names by using our tools?

More Domain How To Guides

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