is DNS and What Does It Do?
The Domain Name System (most
commonly referred to by it's abbreviation DNS) is the system used by the
interet to translate your domain name from it's commonly used URL (ie.
www.example.com) into its true numerical IP address (ns1.example.com 126.96.36.199).
Those addresses are also commonly referred to as nameservers.
When you register your domain
name, you must give your registrar specific DNS information, so that your
www.example.com can be redirected to where your site actually resides.
You can also park
your domain name where your registrar will automatically insert their
own DNS information for their domain parking. Some hosts (such as GoDaddy)
offer this for free, while others may charge a fee for this service.
Even if you have your site
set up on a hosting company, if you do not point your domain name's DNS
to the correct address, your site will not be accessible when potential
visitors enter in www.yourname.com.
It can take up to 48 hours
for your DNS to propogate across the internet. This means that if you
have just changed your DNS information then go to http://www.yourname.com,
you will still be seeing your site on your old hosting company's server.
If you need to change hosting
companies, you can follow our the steps to make the change safely in How
Do I Change Web Hosts?