DNS: how to keep your business online

By Marty Friedel
Published October 12th, 2018
The internet is a system of globally-connected networks. Like a big web. The World Wide Web.
DNS: how to keep your business online

See what how I got there? Anyway, this web-like network has so many different pathways, routes and destinations.

Do you know how to get to your destination?

The DNS (Domain Name System) is the internet’s way of translating alphanumeric names (such as your domain name) into a numeric IP address. And for your domain, it’s used to point visitors towards your hosting (where your website lives), your email and any other services you may use.

It’s basically an address book for your domain name.

Often when you sign up for web hosting and a domain name, your web host also becomes your DNS host. This means any request to your domain name (such as "where is your website?" or "where do I route this email?") will go to your web host because that is where your DNS is located. Your web host often provides email too - so that lives in the same place.

But what happens when your host has an issue and their servers go offline?

Your DNS no longer works. Your website no longer works. Your email no longer works. And because the DNS is with your hosting, you can’t access it to change it to even put up a temporary redirect. Your entire web presence goes offline.

This is often done because the web hosting packages can take care of the DNS for you - transparently - so that anyone can get set up. From a consumer point of view, that does make sense - you don’t need to know how it all works because it does it for you. But from a business point of view, creates a risk of having all your eggs in one basket.

Think about this from your customer’s perspective. Maybe they purchased something from you online. But suddenly can’t access your website. So they email you. But it bounces. Nothing works - and you can’t even send emails yourself too. All because your DNS was kept with your web hosting. It’s a Jenga tower - one stumble, and it all tumbles down.

This is why we like to keep your DNS separate from your website and your email.

Domains registered with us have reliable DNS hosting managed at the registrar level. This means that we have the address book for your business in one place on the world wide web. This address book then points to one location for your web hosting. And points to another location for your email. And any other locations you need for your business. Suddenly your single Jenga tower is supported by multiple legs, and creates stability and flexibility for your business.

The benefit here is that your online presence becomes untangled (in a good way - like untangling headphone cables). Each part is kept separate so that if you need to move your hosting, that can be a single change to your DNS. If your web host were to go offline, your DNS is still available, and because your email is hosted elsewhere, your email still works. It means you have options - you could redirect web traffic effortlessly to another server, you can still receive email, and your business can stay online.

But don’t stress! We are here to help with all of this. We don’t expect you know how it all works - we do this every day, and we are here to help set up your business online with stability and reliability.

Is your business precariously perched on top of a Jenga tower, balanced all on one single piece? Now - while everything is working - is the perfect time to have your part of the internet's network built to survive any of those unexpected bumps. Don't let your business be poised to fall - let us help your business stand on solid ground.

Marty Friedel
Marty Friedel

Marty has a background in Computer and Information Science, software development, web development, multimedia and web accessibility, and is Mity Digital’s resident nerd.

Outside of his programming work, Marty is a keen landscape photographer, and also teaches Les Mills group fitness classes.