One frequently overlooked component of dedicated server management is domain configuration and optimization. A server that has no domains and no DNS is only known by its IP addresses. Realistically, this makes domains a necessity. More than likely, you have at least two domains, and if you are hosting other websites, you may have several. The following are 6 tips to help you make sure your server uses your domains efficiently.
1. Use a single registrar that you trust. Find a good registrar and stick with it. The good ones will offer you bulk registration deals or reseller discounts for getting other people registered. You will also have a single interface to manage all your domains.
2. Schedule renewals. Nothing is worse than waking up to find your website is gone. It has happened to me, so I have learned to schedule automatic renewals or at least renewal reminders.
3. Configure DNS Time-To-Live and other settings to meet your needs. Your server will come with default DNS settings, but depending on the services you are offering and the frequency at which you make DNS changes, you might need to adjust those settings.
4. Delete entries for canceled domains. Do not keep DNS records for domains you do not plan to renew. This is particularly important for hosting accounts.
5. Make sure your DNS is reliable. If you do not think your network is reliable enough to host your own DNS, use a third-party DNS provider.
6. Have at least one backup nameserver. According to Internet standards, you should have two nameservers from different physical locations. If your DNS goes down at one, your sites will still be accessible from the other.