Setting Up Nameservers

Once you’ve purchased your domain name and your hosting plan, it’s time to point your domain to your server.

How is this done? It’s done using a set of nameservers (provided by your hosting company) or by pointing your nameservers to a third-party (DNS service).

Sound complicated? Not sure what all that jargon means? Let’s break it down into bite-sized chunks.

First we’ll cover the usual means of setting up nameservers, then we’ll jump into using third-party DNS services.

What Are Nameservers?

When you buy hosting, your website is put on a server. Every server has an IP address. With this IP address, your hosting company has registered what’s called a “nameserver” that corresponds to the IP of the server your website is on.

For an example, a hosting company like Bluehost takes every IP address that they own and they registered these IPs to correspond to the following nameservers: “” and “”.

So, everyone that hosts with Bluehost is going to need to use these nameservers regardless of the IP address on your server.

To connect your domain name to your hosting, you need to point your nameservers at the place your website is hosted. There are detailed instructions on how to do exactly that below.

How Do I Set Up A Domain Using Nameservers?

I am going to show you how to point your domain to your hosting account using my favorite domain registrar, Google. Keep in mind the process is going to be the same (or extremely similar) at other places, too.

Once you’re logged into the account where you’ve registered your domain name, follow these four steps:

1. Find and click “Manage My Domains”, or take any path necessary to get to your domain name management center within your registrar’s website.


2. Click on the domain you want to point to your hosting account.2


3. Click on “Configure DNS” on the Right side.3


4. Check off that you want to give custom nameservers, and enter the nameservers you were given by your web host. Usually, these come in an e-mail after you’ve set up your hosting account.4


And you’re done! Note that after setting up your nameservers, you may have to wait up to 48 hours for the connection to be recognized by your hosting company. It is usually very fast, but know that it is rarely instant, so don’t be alarmed if things don’t work immediately.

What is a Third Party DNS Service?

(Note: Most beginners can skip this section, but it may be helpful down the line if you choose to host different subdomains on separate servers or change the location of your e-mail services.)

DNS stands for “Domain Name System”. DNS translates your textual domain name (ie: into a numerical language that computers can understand. Every website has a unique DNS address.

A third party DNS service allows you to point your nameservers at the DNS service instead of your hosting provider, then edit your IP addresses within the DNS service.

Note that last part: Specifying your IP addresses for your website and e-mail is critical if you choose to go the third-party route. Google, GoDaddy and Namecheap offer this service.

You might be asking yourself, “Why would anyone do this?”

Using a third party DNS service makes it extremely simple to change the location of your email if you prefer to not use cPanel mailboxes. Using this process, it’s also very easy to host subdomains on different servers.


All of the above are considered “sub-domains”. If I wanted to, I could host all four of these subdomains on different servers or with different hosting providers by just specifying the server’s IP address within a third party DNS service.

How to Set up a Domain Using A DNS Service

1. Click “Manage Domains”.5


2. Click on the domain you want to edit.6


3. Click “Configure DNS”.7


4. Scroll down until you see a spot for custom resource records. Then create an “@” A record and “WWW” A record and put in your server’s IP address.8


With that in place, you’re finished! Take note that after setting up your nameservers, you may have to wait up to 24 hours for the connection to be recognized by your hosting company.

With your domain nameservers configured, you may want to log into the cPanel and get a lay of the land. In the next section, we’ll cover what the cPanel is and touch on some of its most common uses.