One of the first things you need to do is setup the DNS for your domain name. With slicehost there is an excellent DNS panel for you to do just that...
So let set up your shiny new domain by logging into your control panel.
Once you have logged in, you're faced with the simple and very effective admin area. Notice the three tabs in the menu area: Slices, Support and Account.
Slicehost Admin Area
We'll be concentrating on the Slices tab as we're going to set up the DNS Records. Notice in my screenshots that I have two slices (so far). I have blanked out my login name and some of the details of each slice but you get the idea!
In the menu area, click on DNS Records which will take you to your domain management area.
As before, you'll see that I have a few domains setup (the details have been blanked). You may have no entries yet - we'll sort that out shortly.
First thing to do is sort out some reverse dns entries. Click on the reverse dns link.
I have blanked out one of my entries but left the other one so you can see exactly what I have entered (the information is not difficult to find anyway. Hint: ping this site!).
Right, once you've entered the name for your reverse dns, go back to the DNS Records view and click new domain. We're going to add your domain now. As an example I have entered 'mynewdomain.com' - this is so you can see the actual entries for the A records, etc.
Adding your new domain
Once you've entered your domain name (without the www part) click 'Create this zone'. Once back in the DNS Records you'll see the new domain showing at the bottom of the domain list.
New domain showing
As we are going to doing some 'advance' dns entries for our domain, click on the 'advanced view' link at the top of the DNS Records page.
The DNS records view has changed slightly. There are actually fewer direct options available but what is available is more powerful.
Advanced DNS Records view
Click on the 'records' link next your domain name and you are taken to your domain DNS entries - at this point the mynewdomain.com A record is pointing to EMPTY.
Empty A record
To change the entry to point to the IP address of your slice, click on the 'edit' link and enter the IP address given to you by Slicehost. In this example I have used the IP 126.96.36.1990. Obviously this is a made up IP address and was used to show you the process. Once done, click 'Update this Record'.
Enter your IP address
Now we add the www A record. It's a very simple procedure and you would follow this method for any subdomain such as 'blog' or 'admin', etc. Click 'new record' and enter the details needed. In this case we are going to add www for the name and the IP address of our slice. Note that for subdomains you don't have to use the IP address of your slice. You can point it aywhere you want. Maybe you have an subversion repository elsewhere? You could point 'svn' to that IP address.
Adding www to our DNS
Now for some more advanced stuff - we're going to add NS records so that all is well when resolving the domain and no errors are produced in dns searches and checks.
In the same way as before, click 'new record' and ensure the drop down menu has 'NS' (short for Name Server) selected.
For the name enter your domain name with a period (.) at the end. In this example I entered mydomain.com.
For the data, enter ns1.slicehost.net. Again, note the period (.) on the end.
Adding NS DNS entries
When you originally set up your domain name with your domain name company (where you bought the domain from) you would have entered the nameservers for Slicehost. You would have entered:
ns1.slicehost.net and ns2.slicehost.net
You may have entered a 3rd nameserver as well:
This is important: Repeat the above procedure and add an NS entry for each nameserver you set up with your domain name company. Don't add a third NS entry if you only have two DNS entries pointing to your domain name.
Real example: For this website (www.usefuljaja.com) I entered 3 DNS entries with the company I brought the domain from. I used ns1, ns2 and ns3.slicehost.net. So in my Slicehost Control Panel, I entered 3 NS entries pointing to ns1, ns2 and ns3.slicehost.net.
Back to the example DNS records for mynewdomain.com. I have added 3 NS entries as shown below:
Completed DNS entries
You can see I have 5 entries for mynewdomain.com:
- A record: mynewdomain.com
- A record: www
- NS record: ns1.slicehost.net
- NS record: ns2.slicehost.net
- NS record: ns3.slicehost.net
That's it - finished!
You now have the basics of the DNS setup. Simply repeat as required for any subdomains or other domains you point to Slicehost.
Finally, if you want to check how your domain is setup and what warnings or errors your set may produce, I recommend www.dnsstuff.com. They have a multitude of tests that can be done.
Do remember that although the changes will be real-time with dnsstuff.com, it can take a while for the changes to filter through to your ISP (they don't use real-time details, they will cache information and update it a few times, or only once, a day). So although dnsstuff.com is reporting everything is very cool, it may be 24 hours or so before you see the changes from home.