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Qeustions regardeing domain names.

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EDIT: i wrongfully created this topic in the game programing instead of general programming forum. Can a moderator please move it.

Hi.

As far as i understand the web developement forum was merged into this one so i hope its the appropriate place to ask.

I have a shared hosting solution that i use to host my website on at company A. Im renting a dedicated server to host my first person shooters server on at company B. I have installed apache on my dedicated server and i copied my website over to it and the website works if i access it using my dedicated servers static IP address. So now i need to have my domain name point at my dedicated server instead of my shared hosting solution.

If i use whois on my domain name it states that it is registered to company A . Is this normal? I understand that theyre managing it for me but since its mine and i pay for it shouldnt my name apear on it?.

I want to drop my shared hosting plan at company A but i want to keep my domain name.

Should i ask compay A to transfer ownership of the domain to me? or
should i ask company A to drop my shared hosting but to keep managing my domain for me and then to point it at my dedicated servers static IP? or
should i ask compay A to give "management" of my domain to company B? or
should i ask company B to take over management of my domain from company A?
or something else?


Thnx in Advance!

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*This isn't really a technical question, so I'm bouncing it over to Business. Up to Tom whether or not it better belongs elsewhere.

In essence, you need to have 3 things align:

  • A server with a static IP
  • A domain held by a registrar
  • DNS servers to associate your domain with your server IP

    It sounds like you currently have your domain registered with your shared hosting provider (not something I terribly recommend, but never mind). You have the option to either continue using your old hosting provider as your registrar, or transfer your domain name to another registrar.

    In either case, you need to configure the domain name to point at the DNS servers provided by your dedicated hosting company, and then configure your dedicated host to recognise the domain name.

    How to accomplish both these tasks varies by the company - if your hosting provider and registrar don't provide clear domumentation on these tasks, call up their customer support number and describe what you want to do.

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If I were you, I would do a few things:

1) Obtain control over your domain name

There is nothing worse, when you're running a website, than another entity holding the reins and having the ability to permit or deny you access to something upon which your IP (intellectual property) resides. The IP might be yours, but the hosting hardware is theirs, costs money, and can be justifiably shut down or have access restricted, particularly if you don't have a legally binding agreement with Company A (or if they don't pay the bills and have their own services shut off by another entity!)

2) Get your own hosting

For similar reasons to above, you should have your own server running someplace, with a contract of some kind between you and your renter, if applicable. This could be a paid service (I use MediaTemple and have nothing but good things to say about them) in a grid or VPS environment, or it could be your own server running somewhere on your home network, with clever network routing to make accessing it seamless (see #3 below). (I have dev testing machines on-side upon which I can do anything; it won't impact other users on the system (in a shared environment) and it won't disrupt a "production" server (in the instance where you have Version 1 running on your paid service and Version 2 is being developed, segregating Version 2 is a must)).

3) Learn DNS manipulation

Armed with your domain name managed as you choose, you can set up DNS records in the zone file at your leisure. As an example:

- You register example.com as your domain. www.example.com goes to your website, which is hosted on a minimal-cost web hosting service. You just need to serve up some static files, maybe PHP scripts and database content, right?
- You create a gameserver1.example.com subdomain via your hosting service, and point it (by IP address for an A record, or maybe SRV though I haven't looked into it much) to your dedicated machine. You host your Game #1 server on it.

Networking can really be your ally when trying to multi-purpose different systems based on your needs.

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*This isn't really a technical question, so I'm bouncing it over to Business. Up to Tom whether or not it better belongs elsewhere.


Dan and Mona are the mods here.

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I think you only need to add an A-Record to your domain account at your shared hosting that currently holds your domain.

The whois with the name of the host is because, probably, you have a privacy service turned on on yout account. This hides your name and puts the name of the host.

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Thnx for the replies.

Just one more thing id like more information on. Where does one go to "manage" a domain name. Lets say I ask company A to put the domain name in my name so i can manage it myself and they do it what then? Do I get some sort of username and password to log in "somewhere" to edit the "settings" for my domain name?

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That's pretty much the gist. Hosting companys usually have an admin login for users to manage their stuff. If you only have a domain, they let you access a domain manager.

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OK so i have to work with my hosting compay on this one. I cant do it "directly", who owns the DNS servers? the hosting companies? Isnt there a level higher? sorry i have a very limited understanding on this topic :D.

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Ok, there are two entities you have to deal with:

  • A registrar, who sells you and lets you manage your domain name, and,
  • A hosting provider, which leases you hosting space/dedicated server/rack space, and allows you to manage that.

    Now, I imagine that in your original case, your registrar and shared hosting provider were one and the same (this is not uncommon). Your dedicated server is presumably with a different hosting provider?

    You associate your domain name with your server via DNS. DNS servers are typically managed by the hosting provider, but under some circumstances you might use the DNS server of your registrar instead (they may provide more advanced functionality).

    At any rate:

    1. You have to access your domain control panel (via your registrar's website), and point your domain name at the correct DNS servers.
    2. You have to access your DNS control panel (via whichever company manages your DNS) to add an A record pointing to your static IP.
    3. You have to configure the webserver on your dedicated server to respond to domain name (it may just work, but apache config can be cranky).

    All of these steps should be thoroughly documented on the websites of the respective companies you are dealing with, and if their explanations are over you head, call their customer support and have them configure it for you - they are generally happy to do so.

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