An Extensive Guide on WordPress DNS: Everything You Need to Know

An Extensive Guide on WordPress DNS: Everything You Need to Know

DNS, or domain name system, can be a daunting topic for those who are not familiar with it. The system involves various records with numbers, names, and values, making it overwhelming for beginners. However, fear not! This guide is here to demystify the world of DNS and provide you with all the information you need.

Firstly, let’s understand what DNS is. In simple terms, DNS is like the phonebook of the internet. It stores domain names and converts them into IP addresses, allowing websites to be served to visitors. In the context of WordPress, DNS is used to determine what your domain displays and how it interacts with different services. For example, your A record determines where your website is hosted, and your MX records manage your emails.

When it comes to registering a domain, you have two options. You can either register your domain with a provider like Namecheap and host your website elsewhere, or you can register your domain and hosting with the same provider. The latter option is recommended for security purposes, as it makes it difficult for someone to gain control of both your website and domain simultaneously.

Managing DNS is done from wherever the nameservers reside. If your nameservers are controlled by your domain registrar, you can easily access and edit the DNS for your domain. It’s important to ensure that you have full domain control when purchasing a domain, as some providers may not offer this feature.

There are four primary DNS records that you will likely work with when managing WordPress DNS:

1. A Records: These records control where your website is pointed. By changing the A record, you can point your domain to a website hosted elsewhere without affecting other records.

2. Nameservers: Nameservers determine which provider is responsible for managing your domain’s DNS. Changing nameservers allows another provider to manage all associated records. However, exercise caution when changing nameservers to ensure that your DNS records remain intact.

3. CNAME Records: CNAME records are used to alias one IP address to another. They are commonly used to make the “www” version of your domain point to the non-www version.

4. MX Records: MX records manage your domain’s email and determine where it comes from and how it is received. For example, if you use G Suite for email, you would need to set your MX records accordingly.

Pointing a domain is a common task related to DNS. It involves changing the A record of your domain to a different IP address, allowing the domain to load a website stored elsewhere. This is useful when your domain is stored in a different location from your website, or when you want to move your website to another hosting provider.

Redirecting a domain is similar to pointing a domain, but it involves using a 301 permanent redirect setup within your cPanel. This ensures that visitors who access the old domain are automatically redirected to the new domain.

If you have multiple websites, you can host them all on one hosting plan using add-on domains. These domains have their own subfolders within your hosting account and exist independently from your primary website.

Changing nameservers gives another provider control over your DNS. To change nameservers, you need to access your domain’s DNS settings and input the nameservers of the destination provider.

DNS propagation refers to the time it takes for a DNS change to be reflected by Internet Service Providers worldwide. It usually takes a few minutes to propagate, although it can sometimes take hours in certain locations. You can use tools like “What’s My DNS” to check the status of your DNS propagation.

It’s important to note that changes in nameservers can affect your MX records and break your emails. Take precautions when switching nameservers or transferring a domain to ensure that your MX records remain intact.

Caching can be a cause of frustration when it comes to DNS. WordPress caching stores a version of your website and displays it to visitors, which can result in an old version being shown if changes are made. To overcome this, you can clear your cache at the server, plugin, and CDN levels.

CDNs, or content delivery networks, can add complexity to managing DNS. When using a CDN like Cloudflare, you need to let them manage your nameservers. This means that changes made outside of Cloudflare will not take effect.

In conclusion, understanding DNS is essential for managing your WordPress website. By familiarizing yourself with the various DNS records and following best practices, you can ensure that your website functions smoothly and efficiently. Whether you’re pointing a domain, changing nameservers, or managing DNS through a CDN, this guide has provided you with all the information you need to navigate the world of WordPress DNS.

Stay in Touch


Related Articles