DNS stands for Domain Name System (or Service)A DNS is a service that translates domain names from words into numeric IP addresses.

Setting up the DNS properly is a critical piece of the initial set up of your website. If this is not done correctly then your site will not appear at all and there will be nothing there too see. Not to worry though, it’s easy to do. 

It’s a translator, people use domain names usually in English words to find websites
Computers use numeric IP addresses to find those same websites.

Given the fact that humans think, read and write in words and letters it makes sense that we would choose our domain names in primarily English letters and phrases. It makes it easier for us to remember, especially if they are unique or memorable in some way.

Computers don’t think in words, they think in numbers…and a lot of them! Imagine if we had to choose, buy and remember all of our domain names in NUMBERS?

It would be a nightmare, right?

Without DNS service we would have to type in something like this each time we wanted to go to a website: http://104.19.351.552 (randomly chosen number)

This is where a DNS service comes in, it simplifies one of the many complexities of the computer language of the internet and how websites display for us so that we understand them and enjoy them. 

Set the Nameservers

When you initially purchase your domain name, during the checkout process you will mostly likely be given the opportunity to set your name servers. If not or you miss it, then it can be done after the fact with no problem. 

Each hosting company has it’s own DNS names. They would look something like this:

“ns1.mywahosting.com” and “ns2.mywahosting.com”

When you enter these in the correct fields of your domain registrar (Namecheap, 1&1, GoDaddy, Name.com and others) your domain name and your IP address will become linked. 

Remember that a domain name looks like this www.MyAwesomeWebsite.com but an IP address looks like this: 154.316.787.9

The computer quickly and automatically links the phrase in words to its respective numeric IP address and host.

A DNS service operates on a network of its own, if one server cannot translate the domain name then another one will try until the right IP address is established.

There are several steps that a DNS goes through in order to establish a connection, but this all happens in less than a blink of an eye with lightening computer speed.

Another DNS?

A secondary meaning came into being long ago when Bill Gates coined the term “Digital Nervous System” for the DNS. This is an apt name because of how critically important it is to the communication of the entire internet and website operation.

I hope this will help you understand just a little bit more about how we get to see all of the millions of websites out there in cyberspace.

Leave a comment below if you have questions or need help with DNS.

Next Topic: What is a Keyword?

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