Christopher Johnson 17 Jan, 2023

So you have decided you really want a website to better serve your business needs. You've talked to your web designers and you've talked to your support people and they have created a beautiful design and implemented it.

It is now time to put it on the web and let the world come to your doorstep ready to buy, learn, or connect. Whatever your site needs to do for you.

There is still one question that still needs to be answered, what is the name of my site going to be?

This will be your "domain name". Getting a domain name can be simple or complex and there are many parts to the process. Most of those parts are hidden from you, the end user, but they are all important.


Name & Registrars

First you pick the name you want to use for your site and a registrar to use. At Twel we recommend "" or "". These are two excellent registrars. If you want to use a different registrar make sure you speak with your support staff to make sure that they provide the facilities you will need.

registrars- recommendation

Now that you have decided on a name and a registrar you need to see if your domain name is actually available. If you have a great domain name in mind, it is likely that somebody else has already taken it or at least "parked" on that domain.

Say you are providing information about cars so decide to use "" This domain name is already in use. You need to find one that is not in use or you have to purchase this domain from its current owner.

​When you visit that domain it isn't parked on but it isn't a real site either. Just looking around you quickly find that there are placeholder images and text. Any time you see text that looks like it is Latin (or is Latin) it is likely placeholder text.

This is an example of placeholder text and is called "Lorem ipsum".​

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Given that this domain is currently not really there you can attempt to find the owner and buy it from them. Other domains will show that they are for sale outright when you visit them.

​You will at some point end up with a domain name you are satisfied with. This will now need to be "registered" with a registrar.

If your domain name already belongs to somebody this will be done by a domain name "transfer". If it is a new domain then it is just registered. If you are transferring a domain you might be best served by reaching out to your Twel representative to have us do it for you. We have extensive experience in the process.

Now that you have registered your domain name people can come visit your site... Well, not yet. You now "own" the domain but you haven't yet told the world about your domain. To do this you need to have a "domain name server".


Domain Name Server

A server is different from a registrar. The registrar is concerned with the ownership of the domain name. The server is concerned with converting a human readable domain name into a computer usable address.

​Every machine that is connected to the internet has at least one Internet Protocol Address associated with it. These are called IP addresses. There are two types: IP and IPv6.

​Your website developers should have recommended a web service to host your website. They will provide you with at least an IP address. We are going to use the IP address of

The registrar needs to be told where the domain name server is. Most of the time the domain name server is provided by the registrar but not always. There are many good reasons to use other domain name servers but it is important to know that most registrars provide the domain name service as part of their registration services.

​The domain name server must be configured with your IP address. This is in the form of mapping a particular "host" name within your domain name. 3600 IN SOA ( 1 1H 30M 1W 1H)
www 3600 IN A

​This line tells the DNS server it is the "Start of Authority" (SOA) for That the name of the DNS server is and that email about the domain should be sent to

The next line says that can be found on the web server located at the IP address of

But what happens if somebody just types in It fails. We need another line in the configuration.​ 3600 IN A

Because the name on the left ends in a period the DNS server knows that it should not append anything to the name.

Now we have and pointing to the same web server. Depending on the configuration of the web server, both names might work or just one.

The web server must now be configured to handle both names, outside of the DNS system. One of the most common configurations is called "forwarding" or "redirecting".

What redirecting does it is says that when a particular page on a particular website is visited, the web server sends a response back to the browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc) which tells the browser to go to a different URL.

In addition, your browser will commonly pre-pend http:// or https:// in front of what you enter into the URL bar of your browser.

So you type Your browser converts that to and sends the request to The web server on that host replies with "please go to" which your browser happily does and shows you the page.

It is important to note something here, the original request was done via HTTP while the redirected request is done via HTTPS. The "S" means "secure" or "SSL".

In order to have a secure site you need an SSL certificate that has been signed by a certificate authority.

Some registrars offer "forwarding". What this feature does is that it will automatically forward an HTTP request to another HTTP request. It will not (normally) forward HTTPS requests.

The reason is that the registrar doesn't have an SSL certificate for your domain name. What this means is that if you are using a registrars forwarding option that sometimes it will work and sometimes it will fail.

If your visitor types into their browser and your browser turns that into when their browser uses SSL to connect to the registrars service it will get a security error.

On the other hand, if they type into their browser it all just works.

For this reason you should not use the registrars forwarding option.

It is also important to understand that the forwarding happens at the HTTP/HTTPS level, not the DNS level. There is NO forwarding that takes place at the DNS level.

If this all sounds too complex to you, don't worry. The professionals here at Twel do understand the intricacies of DNS, web servers, and web development. Reach out if you want our assistance.