Dns?


#1

DNS is making my url: domain.com/home.html into home.domain.com, right? I may be a little dense… I have been spending a few hours trying but having trouble figuring out how to that on DH. Please help!

Would you like some ice cream?


#2

Welcome, Faerilyn!

Well, not really. The DNS is what allows your domain name to be used to connect to your website. It’s a “big” subject, but the “short version” is that when you host a website at Dreamhost, or any other web hosting company, your website is assigned to an IP Address, so that other computers on the internet can “address” your website and exchange information (make requests for pages, and have pages sent back). DNS converts “somedomain.tld” to the proper IP address so your site can be found. You designate your DNS servers with the company where you registered your domain name (for sites hosted at Dreamhost, they should be set to ns1.dreamhost.com, ns2.dreamhost.com, and ns3.dreamhost.com). Once you have done this, and the change is distributed around the Internet, a web browser will be able to find “domain.com” on Dreamhost. Why typing “domain.com” takes you to “domain.com/home.html” is another matter, discussed below.

The webserver program running at your hosting company is what actually delivers your pages back over the internet to users by answering the requests of their web browser, or other program, communicating with them via the appropriate protocol (HTTP).

At Dreamhost, that webserver program is called Apache. Apache can be configured to respond to web browsers’, and other programs’, requests in various ways.

The various options that can be used are many, but one of the options that is setup by default on Dreamhost, is that if a request (like http://domain.com) does not contain the name of a “page” or file (such as “domain.com/home.html” - the “home.html” part of the URL is the “page” or file), it will look into the directory “domain.com” for certain “default” files, and deliver them “automatically” if they exist. There are several such “default” file names or pages that are recognized by the Apache configuration at Dreamhost, and “home.html” is one of them.

Therefore, when a browser asks for “http://domain.com”, Apache sees that there is no request for a file or “page” and begins to work its way though the list of “default pages” it is configured to search for. As you can see from the link I provided, there are a “lot” of possible pages that could be found. The first such page it finds, in your case “home.html”, it then delivers to the web browser. Under the default installation at Dreamhost, if Apache finds no files with the names in the list, it will simply present an index of the directory “domain.com”, listing the names of all the files, and other directories, found there.

All this is a “simplified” version of what is involved, but hopefully it explains what is happening with your domain. Once you learn more, you can change some of this behavior, but for now, it is just important to make certain that the “opening” or “home” page of your website has one of these names, and that is the “right kind” of file (an .html file must contain .html code, etc.). In your case, on the current http://www.faerilyn.com/home.html, it does, as “home.html” is displayed whenever someone visits “faerilyn.com”. All you have to do to have that page work the same way on Dreamhost, is to put the home.html file in the faerilyn.com directory on your webspace using an FTP progam, along with your other pages, and your pages will be ready to go.

Once you tell your registrar to switch your DNS from their DNS servers to Dreamhost’s DNS servers, and the change has made its way across the internet (from a few minutes to several days - the amount of time will vary for various users) your site will be displayed from the Dreamhost servers.

If you want to “check” your site, or view it before the DNS update has been made at your domain registrar’s or has been “distributed” through the internet, you can do so as described in this Dreamhost Wiki Article on Viewing your site before DNS changes.

You might find this Dreamhost Wiki Article on Building a Website a good place to start, or begin exploring further by visiting the Dreamhost Wiki Getting Started Category Page, and selecting other topics from there. Good Luck!

–rlparker


#3

Word! (Damn fine description there RL…)


#4

Wow. Thank you! It is really gracious of you to respond that way. I just hope it is helpful for the original poster, as opposed to just creating more confusion :wink:

–rlparker


#5

It looks like magic until you spend a few weeks figuring out why your site doesn’t work right. Your description is about as simple as you can make it without oversimplifying or leaving out something important.

Thanks for taking the time to write it - and consider getting a copy of that out on the wiki…


#6

Good Deal! You are more than welcome, and I’m really glad you found the post useful. Welcome to Dreamhost, and good luck with your site! :slight_smile:

–rlparker


#7

thank you for the extensive answer to my question! the links in the articles also added great insight to help. the next quetion is: all i need to do now is to register a subdomain called home.faerilyn.com from “manage domain” in my web panel? if so then this is nice and easy because DH provides unlimitted hosting for domains and subdomains.

~~ Fae ~~
Would you like some ice cream?


#8

You’re Welcome, and I’m glad it helped.

You actually don’t have to “register” any sub-domains, as having registered the domain automatically included all the sub-domains. Registering and hosting domains are two separate things, and are often done by two different companies.

If you want to have a website at http://home.faerilyn.com, you just need to “Add a Domain/Sub-domain” from the Manage Domains section of the web panel, and enter “home.faerilyn.com” in the form that appears.

Note that this process has nothing to do with the faerilyn.com/home sub-directory. This might be a bit confusing because some webhosts are set up to place sub-domains in the directory path as sub-directories. Dreamhost does not do this, rather it sets up an entirely new directory under your user. In this case, just as you have a faerilyn.com directory, if you set up the subdomain as you suggest, you would also have a home.faerilyn.com directory under you main user directory, and each of these, by the default Dreamhost configuration, is a different website. You can change how that works to some degree with some of the advanced options, or by re-mapping, but it is generally not needed. :wink:

If you are still confused about this, I suggest you start a new thread for that question, so that others can easily find the topic should they have questions (or answers!) on that subject. Good Luck! :slight_smile:

–rlparker


#9

Let us know if you end up with any more questions. Subdomains here are VERY flexible and very easy to set up once the initial domain is resolving properly (it can take a day or two for the name to resolve to the number everywhere).