How To Connect Your Server And Domain With Free DNS Manager
If you have already installed all necessary software for Apache or Nginx, MySQL, PHP5 and an email server, you are ready to host your website or blog. In order to make your server accessible by entering a domain name in web browser, you need to setup proper DNS entries for your domain.
These are the ways to do that:
- Using DNS Manager provided by Domain Registrar
Big companies like GoDaddy and NameCheap have built-in DNS Manager.
- Using FREE or Paid DNS Manager
Here you have to look for alternative options. There are several free: NameCheap, EntryDNS, YPDNS, CloudDNS, DNSEver, Xname etc. We will choose CloudFlare, a free CDN (Content Delivery Network) service with ability to add, edit, and manage DNS records.
- Using Free DNS Manager provided by your server provider
Most trusted server hosting providers are also featured with free DNS server, for example, Playground server that is hosted by Digital Ocean, where you can simply use their DNS feature.
- Using your own DNS Server
If you have software like Bind9, your domain will have its own ns1 and ns2.domain.com but downside is Bind9 itself will eat some parts of your server.
1. USING DNS MANAGER PROVIDED BY DOMAIN REGISTRAR
Each domain registrar service has its own UI. The steps are different, so you have to find the link to each registrar.
2. USING FREE OR PAID DNS MANAGER
Google for free DNS manager services or find services like ZoneEdit, Dyn.com, Zonomi, DNSMadeEasy, etc. We will use CloudFlare.
Step 1 – Open CloudFlare.com and login using your username and password.
Step 2 – Add a new site. Enter your domain name and click the “Add Website”.
Step 3 – Wait CloudFlare to scan current DNS of your domain.
Step 4 – Press “Continue Setup”:
Step 5 – Now configure your DNS records. Verify that you are listed there.
Step 6 – Edit main records of your DNS. Press “Edit Record”.
Enter your server IP in the Value column.
Press “Save”. If you want CloudFlare to fasten up, turn the icon ON.
Step 7 – Do the same with CNAME record. Enter www in the name and enter domain.com in the value column.
Step 8 – You can add many other records there: A, CNAME, TXT, MX, TXT, SPF, AAAA, NS, SRV, and LOC.
Step 9 – Press the green button.
Step 10 – Select your plan, performance and security level. Free plan is enough for this purpose, and press “Continue”.
Step 11 – Here are name servers provided, that you have to update your domain to.
Step 12 – Go back to CloudFlare and press the following button. And that’s all.
3. USING DNS MANAGER PROVIDED BY YOUR SERVER provider
Depending on the company, the steps can be a little bit different, but the main points are: add / edit A, CNAME, and MX records. We will use DigitalOcean.com.
Step 1 – Login to your domain registrar and change your domain’s name server to:
Step 2 – Login to DigitalOcean control panel and click on the DNS menu in the left pane:
Step 3 – Press “Add Domain”.
Step 4 – Enter your domain name and your server IP address in adequate fields and press “Create Domain”.
Step 5 – Press “Add a new A record” button. Enter @ in the hostname field and your server IP in the next field. Press “Update A record”.
Step 6 – Press “Add a new CNAME record” and do the following:
Step 7 – That’s all. You can also add other DNS records like MX, TXT and SRV and Google’s MX records to make use of GMail with custom domain.
4. USING YOUR OWN DNS SERVER
You have to install DNS Software on your server and configure it. Choose a method for configuration to make your domain resolve to your server.