Your site design is finished and you purchased your domain name from a domain registrar, but you are aren't sure how to connect your domain to your site. You can see a handful of errors in the DNS records in your Showit Account, but you aren't sure what any of that means.
This article will help to clarify some of the mystery surrounding DNS records. What they are, how they function, and why they play a pivotal role for your site.
What is DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name System. This system is comprised of records that exist to point your domain to your site. The records that need to be set are unique to your site, so you can find the values for them here in your Showit Account. Once you have your records they will need to be set in your domain registrar, which is the place that you purchased your domain from.
There is more info on how to set your DNS records here, but you might still be asking yourself, "What does any of this mean? What even are DNS records? What year is it?" And we have you covered for most of those questions. First, let's talk about the different types of DNS records.
Different Types of Records
There are a handful of record types that you will encounter in your domain registrar, but not all of them need adjusted. Here are the two most common records that you will need to set in your domain registrar:
An A Record, or an Address Record, is the most common DNS record. It points your domain to the IP value belonging to the server that your site is hosted on.
That might sound a bit confusing, but we've got your back. We provide that IP value for you! You can find it in your Showit Account.
CNAME stands for Canonical Name, which is a type of record that points an "alias" or an alternate domain name back to your root domain name.
This record is used to re-direct your domain from www.example.com to example.com, so that if someone types your website's domain into a search engine like Google with a www at the beginning, the search engine will still be able to find your site.
You might be seeing other types of records in your domain registrar and it has you feeling like
But don't worry! Most of these records are fine the way they are, and don't need to be adjusted. If you do need to make any adjustments to these, the Showit account screen will let you know. And if you would like more info on what these records are, you can find it here.
If you're still confused about which DNS records you need to set, reach out to the Showit Support Team and we will help you out!
Setting Your Records
When the time comes to set your records, you may see something like this in your Showit Account:
The screenshot above is a list of the DNS records that are unique to your site. If a line has a yellow note, then that record needs to be added in your domain registrar. If a line has a red note, that record needs to be deleted from your domain registrar. And if it has a green note, that record is set correctly. Nicely done!
Check Your DNS Records
If you aren't sure that your DNS records have been set correctly in your registrar, you can check in your Showit Account.
On your Domains screen, click on the button that says Check Site.
This refresh can be used once every 5 minutes to run a check on your DNS records. If your records have a green note next to them, they are set correctly. If the note is yellow or red, some changes might still need to be made to your records.
If you are certain that you've set your records correctly, but you're still seeing errors after checking your site, your DNS records might still be updating. See Propagation below.
You may notice a message at the bottom of your Showit Account that says it may take 24-48 hours for any changes made to your DNS records to refresh across the web.
This is due to DNS propagation, which is just a fancy term for spreading the updated info about your DNS records across the web. This takes time, so any changes made to your records in your domain registrar won't be immediate. So sit back and relax for a bit. Take some you-time, you earned it! Your site should be live and secure at your domain soon.
If it takes longer than 48 hours for your site to go live, there may be another issue. If this is the case, reach out to the Showit Support Team!