So tell me more about domains and how they work

domain registration

When you decide you would like a website, and email personalised to your business, you will need to register a domain. A domain is like an address in the internet, it tells internet traffic where to go to find your email and website.

tell me something I don’t know

Well actually your domain registration is more a signpost than an address. And stay with me, because this is where it gets a little complicated.

When you register your domain , your domain registrar tells the internet “come here, I know all about”. I put the website address into a browser, and my browser is directed to the domain registrar. BUT, the domain registrar checks its records for something called a name server, and its these name servers that actually say where the website and email etc are. AND those name servers can be somewhere completely different.

for example, I could have my domain registered with google, and my name servers at

So, my browser has contacted the domain regsitrar, the domain registrar says, “ok go over there, they can help you”, and the name server says, ” this is where the website and email are”. The name servers have a list of records, DNS records, and these tell the broswer that the website is on this server over here. It will tell your email to go to this email server over there. Its a bit like trying to get through to BT to get your broadband problem sorted out, you get handed round a bit before you get the information you need.

So why do I need to actually know this?

You don’t really need to know this , but your web developer does.

And there is one really good reason why you need to know this, its going back to my previous blog post. Any time you make a change to this whole set up, it can take up to 48 hours. Do you want your email or website down for up to 48 hours? no? Then think about what you need, and ask your web developer what they are setting up. Get it right at the beginning and you wont have to change it further down the line when your website and email is crucial to your business.

Is everything in one place, email, website, domain and name servers? If not why not? There may be a good reason, but what is it?

In my next blog post I’m going to cover choosing where to host your website and email, and the things to consider when you do.

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