DNS and how to host your domain name

In a nutshell DNS tells your computer where to look for a website, where the emails are sent and received and where services associated to your domain name are held. DNS is served by whoever provides the nameservers. There are always at least two set of nameservers. If you purchased your domain name through Eco Web Hosting then the nameservers are automatically assigned. Eco Web Hosting has two sets of nameservers which can be used. These are:

nameserversns.mainnameserver.com
ns2.mainnameserver.com

and:

ns1.ecowebhosting.co.uk
ns2.ecowebhosting.co.uk

It doesn’t matter which sets of nameservers you use, they’ll do the same job. The only real difference with the Eco Web Hosting nameservers is how they appear when a whois lookup is performed. One set is generic while the other set has the Eco Web Hosting branding on them.

If you have a domain name with another provider such as GoDaddy, 1 and 1 Internet or 123-REG and want to use Eco Web Hosting to host your website, you just create a web hosting package for the domain name and simply ask the registrar (the people who you pay to renew the domain) to change the nameservers to Eco Web Hosting’s. And that’s it really! All the other records will be populated by Eco Web Hosting automatically and after a few hours the website will be up online

A Records / Not able to change nameservers?

There are times when you don’t want to change the nameservers or cannot change the nameservers of your domain and you will be asked to create an A Record or CNAME to a set of IP addresses. As Eco Web Hosting websites can be hosted on a  number of web servers, there isn’t a standard IP address to provide to customers. You have you find out the IP address if the server your site is hosted on. This information is on the email regarding a hosting package setup but if you need to find this out again, you can by getting visiting the temp URL on a domain. First you access the hosting control panel via https://www.ecowebhosting.co.uk/cp/listdomains and select the domain name.

accountinfoIn the hosting control panel under the account info box, just select ‘Go’ and you are then taken to the temp URL for the web space.tempurl

 

In this case the server address is 79.170.40.170 which will be the numbers you provide to your domain provider if you are asked to provide them the IP address of the web server your web site is hosting.

The EWH Domain Panel

Eco Web Hosting’s domain control panel is accessed via https://www.ecowebhosting.co.uk/cp/managedomains where you select the domain name and there will be the option for DNS Management. The below image shows some typical settings of a domain held with EWH.

arecords

A sub domain is a prefix to a domain so if this domain name was abc.com and www was the sub domain then www.abc.com would go to 79.170.44.135. Whoever provides the emails is determined by the MX Records which stands for Mail Exchange.

mxrecords

In the case of the above image, mail.maycottachalet.co.uk will be providing the emails.

Propagation

When making any type of DNS changes whether it be nameserver changes or an A Record change, these need to propagate across the internet. This is when every computer around the world knows about the changes to your domain name. It’s a little like a ripple affect so takes a few hours after making a nameserver or DNS change so if you see a message “This domain is reserved for future use” don’t be alarmed. It’s quite normal and after a few hours your website will be displayed as expected.

Further reading

DNS is a massive subject. For further reading on this subject additional resources can be found at:

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/dns.htm

 

I hope this helps people with basic questions about DNS and how to use a domain name with your hosting.

Tak

Sales and marketing executive.
3rd degree black belt in Taekwon-Do.
Lives at the gym.
Enjoys burgers and cake.
Likes fast cars and lie-ins.

Prime numbers and playgrounds

As coding gets more involved it is very important to get into good practice which will save you a lot of time from finding out what went wrong. I myself spent many hours going through code line by line with some basic school boy errors. In my last blog I wrote about how Swift as a forgiving language. This week I found there were a few things it was not so forgiving about.

In the third app Is it Prime a lot of the back end code is done in Playgrounds and most of my frustrations were from there.

Statement cannot begin with a closure expression

Statement cannot begin with a closure expression

“Statement cannot begin with a closure expression”. What?! When I get a problem I do what most people do. I use Google! But putting this error message into Google wasn’t too helpful, there were many results but nothing very helpful.

The cause? It’s to do with the operand. In C, PHP and Javascript it is perfectly fine to do something like “if number !=2 …” but Swift doesn’t like this! There needs to be a space between a number and the operand for very good reasons I’m sure which I will find out later on. So just not putting in the space was stopping my app from comping and altering to “if number != 2 …” ensured I could continue.

The second most frustrating problem I had was “Prefix/postfix ‘=’ is reserved”, again I thought I could Google the answer, again Google came up short but this problem was quicker to fix.

prefix postfix error

In most programming languages such condition would be valid but in Swift having an exclamation mark at the end of a variable name means you want to unwrap it (telling Xcode the variable definitely has a valid value). So while I had “if number!=2 &&…” it should have been “if number !=2 &&…” all from missing a space! Such simple mistakes which causes such long delays.

In Rob’s iOS and Swift video tutorials he encourages you to pause the video, have a go and come back to see how his solution. So although he may take 7 or 8 minutes in a video lecture and you maybe spending an hour or 2. I can assure you that this is not out of the ordinary. And it is part if the learning process. And remember, if you get stuck the forums are available!

Keep coding! – Tak.

Sales and marketing executive.
3rd degree black belt in Taekwon-Do.
Lives at the gym.
Enjoys burgers and cake.
Likes fast cars and lie-ins.

To go with my new Apple Watch Kickstarter, I’ve put together a 16-minute video on how to make an Apple Watch app. We’ll see how to add buttons and labels to your app, and make a simple guessing game similar to the ‘How Many Fingers’ app in my Complete Web Developer Course.

I hope you enjoy making your first Apple Watch app!