How to Map a Domain Name to a Hosting Account

Two most essential things that you need to get started with your own website are a valid domain name and a web hosting account.

Domain name with .com, .net, .org or other such extensions (technically known as TLDs) can be booked with domain registrars like GoDaddy.com and Limedomains.com.

Hosting space for your website can be booked either through the same provider, or an altogether different company.

Once you have purchased both (a valid domain name and a web hosting account.), you will need to configure your domain name details, so that it points to the hosting space that you booked for your website. All of this may sound complicated so far, but the steps given below will allow you to map your domain name very easily:

Step 1: Define the Name Server details for your host with domain registrar

Your domain registrar will identify the path of your website host through the name servers. Details of the name servers are usually sent by the web hosting provider through an email, after you purchase the web hosting account.

A typical name server would look like NS1.<hosting provider site name>.com and NS2.<hosting provider site name>.com. For example, for Fatcow.com, which is a popular web hosting provider the name servers are NS1.fatcow.com and NS2.fatcow.com. You must copy these details and keep them ready for the next step.

Step 2: Update the Name Server Details through Domain Manager

Domain manager is a secure page, provided by your domain registrar, to access and configure domains purchased by you through them. You will need to login to the domain manager page by using the credentials you receive during domain registration.

You will see your domain name listed, on the main page of domain manager. The page that opens when you click your domain name, will show you details such as Administrative and Technical contacts for the domain as updated on the global WhoIs Database.

You will also find two fields pertaining to the Name Server. You will need to update this with the Name Server details of your host that you noted in step 1. When you save it, Domain Name Servers around the world will start updating themselves with the new destination of the domain. Although this process is quite fast, a safe time estimate stated by the domain registrar is 24 hours.

While this is happening, you can immediately go back to your host and complete the domain mapping process.

Step 3: Configure the domain through Hosting Control Panel

You will need to login to the control panel of your website host through the login details provided during hosting registration. In the control panel, you will see a link to Domain Manager or Domain Central. When you click on this, you will need to further select “Add new domain”. When you do this, you will be prompted for the Domain Name that you wish to map to the hosting account, and a folder path on your host that will serve as the root folder for your domain name.

Once you have entered the details, upload the contents of your website in the configured folder. You will find your website go live very shortly.

Note that in some cases it may take up to 24 hours for Domain Name Servers around the world to update the name of your website.  So, be patient.

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