What is a custom domain and how to set it up.
The domain is the main part of the URL that directs the browser to the correct web server to retrieve the content of the web page.
So what is a “custom” domain? If you purchase a domain name that you can define yourself, this is called a custom domain. The opposite could be the domain you get from a service like WordPress.com or Blogger.com.
Online publishing services that provide you with a domain name usually provide you with a â€œsubdomainâ€ under their own parent domain. For example, WordPress.com provides you with a blog with the URL â€œyoursite.home.blogâ€.
In this case, home.blog is the parent domain and yoursite is your subdomain.
How to Set Up a Custom Domain
Before you can set up a domain name to point to your website, you need to buy it.
The cheapest way to buy your own domain is to find an unused one. All domain registrars from whom you can buy your own domain name provide you with a search function for this.
The most popular and well-known domain registrars that you can search for and buy a domain name from include:
You can usually also purchase your own domain from a web hosting provider, so this might be a good first place to check.
Expect to pay between $ 9.99 and $ 24.99 per year for an affordable domain name. If you don’t want people to look up domain ownership on a service like ICANN or Whois Lookup, you can purchase what’s called domain protection or privacy protection.
This is available for a small annual fee (typically $ 2.99 to $ 7.99) and gives you peace of mind that spammers or others can’t get your email address or phone number.
How to Configure Your New Custom Domain
Once you’ve purchased your own domain, you still need to point it to the web server that hosts your website.
To do this, log into the account where you purchased the domain and find the DNS management settings for that domain. This will take you to an area where you can change the “custom nameservers” for your domain.
Name servers are servers (usually provided by your hosting company) that the domain registrar will direct web browsers to whenever someone enters your personal domain into their web browser.
The web host’s nameservers handle redirecting traffic to the correct server that is hosting your site. How do I find the right nameservers for my web host? You can find them by logging into your web hosting account and going to the admin panel where “Site Info” is displayed.
Just look for the IP and DNS Servers section and you will see the names of your web host’s two DNS servers.
Make a note of these two nameservers, then go back to your domain registrar account and enter them in the fields for your domain’s custom nameservers.
Just save your changes and you’re done.
Name server changes usually do not take effect immediately. In fact, it can take up to 24 hours before changes begin to spread across the Internet. You can use a service such as whatsmydns.net to check if your domain’s IP address and DNS record information is spreading across the Internet.
Once this process is complete, every time someone enters your new personal domain into their browser’s URL field, the browser will be redirected to your web server hosting your website.
How and Why to Redirect a Custom Domain
Domain redirection means directing the web host you pointed to the domain to redirect incoming traffic for that custom domain to another. There are important reasons why you might want to redirect your custom domain.
The most common reason for this is if you want to register multiple alternate spellings of your domain name so you can point them all to your main domain. This can help you recover potentially lost traffic due to spelling errors.
For example, if you enter â€œgoogel.comâ€ in the URL field of your web browser, you will notice that the URL will automatically change to â€œgoogle.comâ€ and you will be taken to a Google search engine. This is because Google is redirecting “googel.com” to “google.com”.
To do this, register a custom domain with alternate spellings and follow the same steps above to point that custom domain to your web server using the correct nameservers.
Then log into your web hosting account and find the “Redirects” menu item.
You will see a window where you can select the original (usually misspelled) custom domain that you registered. Then, in the Redirects To box, you can specify to which URL the web host should redirect this custom domain’s traffic.
Remember, you can enter any URL, even if it doesn’t belong to you. For example, you can redirect your custom domain to “google.com” if you like. It wouldn’t make much sense, but this is how forwarding works.
You are not redirecting directly to the web server that hosts your site files. Instead, you send incoming visitors to the URL, which then delivers them to the web host’s address.
Other Uses for a Custom Domain
Another useful benefit of registering and redirecting a custom domain is that you can also create your own email address containing that custom domain.
For example, if you create your own domain for a profile website using a domain with your own name, you can then create an email address with your own name. To set up such an email, you first need to redirect the custom domain to your web host by following the steps above.
Then log in to your web hosting account and select Accounts from the Email menu (the menu itself may be slightly different).
Here you can create any email account you like. For example, with my registered domain name ryandube.com, I can create an email account email@example.com .
A custom domain name allows you to create your own email accounts using your own domain ending in an email address. For many people this is enough to register their own domain even if they don’t host a website to redirect it.
Whatever the reason for registering a custom domain, as you can see, it’s easy to do and good to have.
What is a custom domain and how to set it up
What is a custom domain and how to set it up