How to Point Your Domain to Your Server (Setup DNS)

Let’s say you’ve come up with the domain name you want to use for your new WordPress site and have registered it – maybe somewhere like Uniregistry (what I use) or GoDaddy. What’s next? How do you “connect” or point your domain to your web hosting account / server and get your new site up and running?

This is where DNS comes in.

DNS stands for “domain name system” or “domain name server”. The later phrase, “domain name server”, suits us best in this instance.

Basically, how it works is that when someone types your domain into their internet browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, etc) to view your site – let’s say www.hostt.com for example – DNS translates that domain into an IP address. That IP address then leads to the server on which your site is hosted and your website is “served” (ie displayed and accessible) to your readers.

So, thanks to DNS, instead of having to remember different IP addresses like 134.18.17.126 for Gmail, 202.45.104.56 for your favorite news site and 94.104.222.104 for Facebook, for example, you just need to remember the URLs (domains) for those sites, obviously being gmail.com, bbc.com (depending on your preference) and facebook.com.

Anyway, back to how to set the DNS for your new domain. The screenshots below might differ slightly depending on where you registered your name, but the settings are the same.

Uniregistry

In Uniregistry, you want to head to the “NS / DNS Records” screen as seen below and scroll down to the “DNS Records” section.

The DNS management section of Uniregistry

Now, what you need to do next will depend on your hosting setup. If you’ve followed my beginner WordPress hosting guide, all you need to do is edit the Name Servers so that they point to ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com. You can see I’ve done that in the image below. Just make sure you save your changes are you are done!

Changing your nameservers to BlueHost at Uniregistry

However, if you are following my more advanced WordOps guide, then you will need to use Uniregistry’s DNS servers and edit your domain A records.

To do that, ensure that the option “Uniregistry DNS” is selected in the top part of the screen, next to “Choose a template or new DNS”.

Save your changes and then click on “New Record” in the part below and add two new records. We don’t need to get into too much detail here, but basically what the various settings do is add the link between your domain name (eg hostt.com) and your web hosting server IP (eg 152.44.45.16). Make sure the “Type” is “A”.

Updating the A records for your domain DNS at Uniregistry

Make sure you save your changes and you’re done.

You might need to wait some time for the settings to be propagated (spread) around the internet, maybe up to a few hours. Usually, though, the changes happen very quickly though (like within 5 minutes). You can use this tool to check. Just enter your domain into the box and click “Search”. If your change has been propagated, the IP address of your server will show up next to each flag. You don’t need to wait for all the flags to show the correct IP address, just a handful, and the rest should follow quickly.

GoDaddy & Other Registries

The instructions for GoDaddy are more or less the same as above. Just navigate to the “DNS” screen of your Domain Manager and click “ADD”. Then fill in the details exactly like we did above – for either option you require (eg using BlueHost DNS as per my beginner WordPress guide, or using Godaddy DNS servers and changing the A records for your domain as per above).

By Sean Robinson

My name is Sean Robinson and I’ve been building and running my own blogs and websites since 2004, and have been doing it full-time for over a decade. If you'd like to know more about my story, please click here.

3 comments

  1. I’ve been using CloudFlare for many years now for my DNS, updates are almost instant whereas making changes at the registrar can take several hours. I remember it being that way, has it improved? The additional benefits of CloudFlare make it a no-brainer for me, I recommend everyone to use it.

  2. I appreciate the very clear guide! I’m very new to all of this and I have been trying to set up my first WordPress website. My domain is registered at GoDaddy so I followed your steps, changing the IP address and the nameserver values and, just like that, my website is accessible! Time to set everything up and learn some more.

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