Where ever your domain is registered is where you will find settings to point your domain to your website. For example if your domain is registered at GoDaddy.com that will be the place to login and find settings. GoDaddy has made it little less intuitive to find these settings than other registrars, but you can also contact support and have them help you. The most important thing is to know what you are asking for and the difference between the 2 ways to connect your domain to your website.
The first way is to update Name Servers. They usually come in pairs but can also come in fours. They generally look like ns1.newserver.com and ns2.newserver.com. It is possible that the name servers will have odd numbers and letters, but to be sure, you will find the information from your hosting account. So in this scenario the domain is at one place and the website is at another. Of course in the example of GoDaddy you can have both your domain and your website in the same account and with that the connection is easier. However, if you want the best for your website, chances are you may like registering at GoDaddy, but want to host your website on a faster server somewhere else like SiteGround.
So, to find your new name servers you will need to login to your hosting account and look for server details. There you should see not only the name servers but also the server IP address. If you can’t locate these, you can always call support or use chat to talk with a support representative.
The big difference between these two methods is that Name Servers carries with it the control over email. If you have existing email accounts attached to this domain, they will be oblitorated. Once you hand over control of the domain to the new name servers your email control will be at the new web hosting account. This scenario works fine for new websites or if there wasn’t any existing email accounts. It is possible to transfer email messages from the old server to the new, but it will take time and money to do so.
This pertains to domain related email accounts not 3rd party like Gmail or Yahoo.
The IP Way
The other way to point your domain to your website is with an IP address. This is a series of numbers with three dots that look like this: 184.108.40.206. Again, if you can not locate the IP address for your website, contact support at your web hosting.
In order to point your domain with an IP address you need to get into the DNS settings for your domain. This is really geeky stuff so you might want to consider calling support to help you out. If you are feeling brave, start looking for buttons or links that have to do with DNS management. You should come across a table of records with first one on top being an “A” record. Different registrars and hosting outfits will have different displays and editors. The main thing is to be able to edit the “A” type record. There are four values in an “A” record; Type, which will be A, Name, which could be a sudomain like “mail” or “ftp” (in this case it should be the @ symbol), Value, this is where you stick your new IP address and then TTL, this is where you enter how long you want it to take for the server to update. TTL stands for Time To Live. The number you put there is in seconds. For example 1800 seconds equals 30 minutes. Some will have a dropdown to select the time you want and others may error until you put the excepted time allotment. Minimum time allotments vary. The ideas is to find the fastest they will allow you to update. You might be lucky to find ones that will update in 10 or 15 minutes.
The nice thing about using the “A” record is that it only points the domain to the website and does not change any settings with the pre-existing email accounts if there are any.
When you make this change it may take awhile for the change to propagate on the web. I’ve seen IP address updates resolve almost immediately while Name Server updates can take as little as 15 minutes to three days. It’s nice to have an expert in your corner to ferret out all this geeky stuff. You can rely on Site Mechanix to help you when you are ready.