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Brief overview of how to point your domain at a third party server:

IP Forwarding

 

There are a couple of different ways to point your domain at a third-party server apart from using simple 're-direct' coding. Assuming your registration service offers a decent 'dashboard' where you can configure the 'A records' and 'MX records' (both 1and1 and GoDaddy offer such a dashboard), you can add an IP address to these records.

By default, a domain will be pointing at the registrars server, if you know the IP address of your webhost server, you can change the 'A record' to have a website traffic directed to your third-party server, or the 'MX record' to direct your emails at the third-party server.

You will need to be able to inform the web host server that the traffic/email from that domain is expected - how that is done depends on how the webhost is setup - if it uses 'Cpanel', you would click on the 'add-on domains' icon.

The drawback of using the IP address is that some hosts like to move sites from server to server for maintenence, and the IP address can change frequently - this is why I prefer to use nameserver settings.

 

 

Nameservers

Again, by default, the nameservers attributed to a domain will be the nameservers of your domain registration service. Your web host should be able to tell you what nameserver they use. Via the registration service user dashboard, change the default nameservers to the nameservers of your chosen hosting service.

This will automatically bring over both the website traffic AND the email traffic, so if you intend to use email for this domain, don't forget to set it up with your webhost. Again, you will need to add the domain to your host service, so that they know that they need to update their records. This two-stage process ensures that the traffic is not only sent, but that the host service knows what to do with it when it arrives!

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Usually there are at least two nameservers used, some services use more, but two are normally perfectly adequate...

I use 1and1 internet and GoDaddy for domain registration, and webhostingpad for unlimited hosting (multiple domains for one low price), I wrote about these value-for money services here...

For specific information on changing DNS settings, click a link for GoDaddy DNS settings, or 1&1 internet DNS settings.

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