Problems mapping domain name to ip address? Here’s how

namecheap homepage

This article will show you how to purchase a domain name from a domain registration website and then do a domain name to ip address connection. It is the second article in the series Installing and Configuring WordPress on Digital Ocean.

In the previous article we installed WordPress on a Digital Cloud server. We could only access the server using an IP address which is fine for computers but not so good for humans. In this article we will purchase a domain name and associate it with our WordPress server. If you have not yet installed a WordPress server you may want to refer to this previous article.


The steps we need to take are:

Check domain name is available

For this example I will purchase a domain from namecheap.com. There are other domain registration websites you can use but I find namecheap to be easy to use and low cost.

Go to the home page and type in the domain name you would like to purchase, for example, myfantasticwebsite.com

namecheap homepage

Namecheap will then check to see if it is available. In this case we are in luck! It’s available!

namecheap search results

Notice how those Brits have purchased the .co.uk site! They don’t miss a trick do they. Never mind, we are happy with the .com site. It may be a good idea to purchase the .net site as well to avoid confusion if some other site purchases that site in the future.

Purchase the domain name

Now, here comes the painful part. We have to purchase the domain, luckily, we are purchasing from namecheap.com so it isn’t going to cost us much.

You may want to consider purchasing an SSL certificate for your site, it’s cheap and if you ever want to do any ecommerce in the future you are going to need an SSL certificate. Add any additional options you want and then go ahead and purchase your domain.

ssl certificate
It’s okay, I’ll wait…

Domain name to IP connection

From your account click on Manage Domains.

manage domains

Every time you purchase a domain with the same account it gets added to your manage domains screen. Click on the link of the domain you just purchased.

modify domain

On the left hand side bar there is a link called ‘All Host Records’, click on that.

This is the screen we want. From here we can do the domain name to ip connection that will associate the domain name with our existing WordPress install. If you don’t have a WordPress install you can read this article.

For the next step we need to know the IP address of the server running WordPress. If you are using Digital Cloud, the IP Address of the server is available by clicking the Droplets link in the left hand sidebar:

ip address

I changed the original IP Address in the screenshot to be 1.2.3.4 and I will use that IP Address in the next section.

Modifying the All Host Records screen

Now fill out the host records details by typing the IP Address, 1.2.3.4 in our example, into the IP ADDRESS/URL text field for the HOST NAME @. Make sure the RECORD TYPE is set to A (ADDRESS). In the line that starts with www set the IP ADDRESS/URL text field to your domain name you just purchased, in our case myfantasticwebsite.com. Set the record type to CNAME (Alias).

Once you have done that the screen should look like this:

host records

Yay, domain name to ip connection done!

Make sure to save your changes.

Configure email forwarding (optional)

If you want email addresses that use your new domain you can configure mail forwarding on the E-Mail Forwarding Setup screen.

mail forwarding

Verify domain name points to your install

This part is easy. Just type www.myfantasticwebsite.com, or whatever the domain name you purchased is called, into your browser and see if your WordPress blog displays! You may have to wait a while for the DNS changes to propagate so don’t panic if it doesn’t work first time.

To check if your email forwarding is working just send a test email to one of the email addresses you registered and see if it is forwarded to your email account.

Conclusion

In the first article in this series I showed how to do a custom install of WordPress. Now we have purchased and configured a domain name to point to our new blog!

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