Hosting & DNS
I chose 000webhost.com. They are a free web hosting service. They do have some of the features of a paid hosting service, and they have a paid service as well. If you search, you will probably find some complaints about them. I don’t know if the complaints are accurate or not. Of course their free service does not have all the features of a paid service. I plan to switch to host the site on my own server at some point, and I think that for the time being the free one will work well for me, so I decided to start with it.
Configuring the DNS to point to my hosting account turned out to be easy (although I made some mistakes).
I had a choice to make right off. The hosting company gave me the names of its nameservers, so I could have used those nameservers by putting them into my domain registrar (Namecheap.com) account. Then I think there might have been some configuration to do in my hosting company account. I don’t know for sure, because I didn’t take that route. However, on one occasion (setting this stuff up for the website of my family’s business), we did go that route, and all I had to do was put in the hosting company’s nameserver names into our account with the registrar, and the hosting company took care of the rest. I think it would also work like that for 000webhost.com.
First I’ll show how to find 000webhost.com’s nameserver names, if you want to use it’s nameservers.
Here is the screen upon logging into the members area of 000.webhost.com (see the address bar for the url to get to the members area.
In the Action column, click Go to CPanel. Then you get this:
From here you click “View account details”. Which gives you this:
“Nameserver details” gives the nameservers. They can be entered into your registrar account.
Instead, I am using my domain registrar’s (Namecheap.com) nameservers, so I entered the IP address of the server that my hosting account (with 000webhost.com) is located on into the DNS record located at my domain registrar. This is the method indicated in the task on P2PU. I decided to do it this way, because I will probably be using Namecheap longer than I will be be using 000webhost.com. Also, I thought I would learn a little more that way.
So first I went to members.000webhost.com to find the ip address. I went to CPanel (see screenshot above), and the IP address was found at the right under “Account Information”.
Armed with the IP address, I went to my domain registrar’s (Namecheap.com) website and logged in:
To the right are a bunch of links. I found “How to setup DNS/Host Records.
- Login to your Namecheap account
- Click Manage Domains and click on the domain you wish to set the A (address) record for
- Click on All Host Records on the left (missing All Host Records option?)
- Enter an IP address for both WWW and @ fields and choose the record type as A (Address).
After following the above to get to the place to enter the IP address, and entering the IP address, the screen looks like this:
The hostname it shows as @ is just my domain name (makefriendswithalgebra.com). The one it shows as www is http://www.makefriendswithalgebra.com. By entering the IP address into the A records for both it takes care of it.
There are other types of records to add (including the CNAME mentioned in the task in P2PU) accessible through the drop down. It turned out that in this case, I only had to put the IP address into the A record. When I tried to also modify the CNAME record of http://www.makefriendswithalgebra.com, it messed it up. I think you can either put the ip address into the A record of www or modify the CNAME record of www, but doing both seemed to cause problems. P2PU said to use the CNAME, and Namecheap.com said to do it the first way. I went with the way that Namecheap.com said to use. Once I got it right, it worked pretty quickly (a few minutes). I think the up to 24 hours only applies if you already had nameservers set up, and you are changing something. Then the old info will be cached in various places around the country (or world), and it will take awhile for all the cached info to go away.