Getting Started - DNS / Domain Name Setup

Getting Started
What Is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System.  DNS is responsible for routing requests for information on the Internet.  It associates domain names with servers.  For example, when a user types www.sitewizard.net into their web browser, DNS finds the server that hosts that website so that your browser can retrieve the requested web page.



Why Should I Care About DNS?


If you want to use your own domain name with SiteWizard CMS, you must allow SiteWizard to manage your DNS.  After you make a simple change through your Domain Registrar, SiteWizard will handle all of the technical details of DNS setup.  See "How Do I Transfer My Domain / DNS?" below.



What Is A Domain Registrar?


A Domain Registrar is a company that sells domain names (example: "yourdomain.com").  Popular Domain Registrars include Network Solutions and Go Daddy.



What Is A Nameserver?


A Nameserver is a server that controls DNS for a domain name.  SiteWizard hosts its own Nameservers and manages all DNS needed to run your organization's website and email.



How Do I Transfer My Domain / DNS?


When your website is built (via the website setup wizard), SiteWizard CMS automatically sets up appropriate DNS on our Nameservers.  However, there are additional steps that you must take for the Internet to recognize your new website.

You must tell your Domain Registrar that SiteWizard is your website/email host.  You do this by logging into your Domain Registrar's website and selecting your domain name (example: "yourdomain.com").  In your domain's settings, you should be able to set up your Nameservers.  Remove any current Nameserver settings and use the following settings for your domain:
Nameserver 1:  ns1.sitewizard.net
Nameserver 2:  ns2.sitewizard.net
After you save your Nameserver changes, it may take 24-48 hours before your changes are picked up by all Internet Service Providers (ISP's).  During that time, expect that some users may see your old site while others see the new site.

Important Note About Email:
  If you are moving from another web host, it is recommended that you do not change your Nameserver settings until you set up your organization's email accounts.  This will help prevent emails being lost during the transfer process.  See "Getting Started - Email Administration" for details.

Important Note About Your Old Website:  If you are moving from another web host, you will no longer be able to access your old website once you change your Nameserver settings.  It is recommended that you transfer all content from your old website to your new website before making Nameserver changes.


What If I Own Multiple Domain Names?


The best way to handle multiple domain names is to decide on one "official" domain name.  Then you can redirect all other domain names to your official website address.  Most Domain Registrars offer free website forwarding.  For example, you could set yourotherdomain.com to redirect users to www.yourdomain.com.  If your Domain Registrar asks whether you want to use "forwarding / redirect" or "domain masking", always use the forwarding/redirect option.

Redirecting your extra domains is recommended for Search Engine Optimization.  Unless you redirect your extra domain names, some search engines may penalize you for having "multiple websites with duplicate content."

The best reason for not redirecting your extra domain names is if your organization needs to receive email for multiple domains.  If this is the case, please submit a support ticket so that we may assist you with this special-use circumstance.



What If I Bought My Domain After My Website Was Built?


If you purchased your domain name after your website was built (or you answered "I don't have a domain name" during the website setup wizard), you must submit a support ticket to request DNS setup for your new domain.



How Do I Customize My DNS?


After you setup your Nameservers as instructed (see "How Do I Transfer My Domain / DNS?" above), SiteWizard CMS automatically manages your DNS.  There is rarely need to customize your DNS.  However, if this is needed, please submit a support ticket so that we may assist you with this special-use circumstance.

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