jfb-acp-system-settings-domain-manager [Jcink.com Wiki]

Domains Control Center

Introduction

So you want to add your domain or a sub domain to your board? Although it looks complicated, it is a very simple process. Use the guide below to help you. We explain in full details how you modify your domain's settings to work with the service. This is a common process and it's also how you modify a domain name to do anything in general, so for other guides after this you may wish to Google search or consult your provider's documentation. These are just general instructions that may not fit into your domain hosts spectrum of capabilities.

Instructions

1. Getting started

The first thing that you need to know how to access is your domain's DNS settings, and more specifically, the Host Records for your domain name. Some companies provide this for you, others do not. You need to visit the site where you registered your domain or bought hosting from and login to their control panel. To figure out if they allow this, check their FAQ or browse the controls. Usually these settings are logically named and easy to access.

NameCheap.com is a great domain provider to use that allows DNS access if you have never registered a domain before or don't already have one registered.

To access DNS settings on Namecheap:

  1. Log into your Namecheap account.
  2. You'll be taken to a page that lists all your domains. Click the “MANAGE” button next to your domain name. [PREVIEW]
  3. On the next page, click the “Advanced DNS” tab. Look for “Host Records” and click “MANAGE.” [PREVIEW]
  4. There should be two records, @ and www. Set status of them to “ON” if not already, and click edit on the @. [PREVIEW]
  5. Set the record type to CNAME and put down s1.jcink.net for the value. [PREVIEW]
  6. Repeat the process for the 'www' record. Set s1.jcink.net for the value. [PREVIEW]
  7. Your host records page should look like this. If it does - you've correctly set up the domain on NameCheap, wait 30 minutes or so and then add it to the JFH domain manager. [PREVIEW]

Still can't find it?

Then ask your domain provider's support “Where are the DNS settings.” Some do not offer that, and we'll address this in the troubleshooting section. Until you can find these, you can't go on to the next step.

2. Modifying the DNS

There are 3 things to look at when changing the DNS options.

Record Type

There are many types of DNS records. The one you want to choose, if possible is called CNAME or A record. Choose CNAME first if it's available, but if not, pick A.

Host Name

This is the actual name or subdomain that users will type to access your forums. By default, most domain providers already have two host names added. They are called @ and www. These two simply mean your main domain WITHOUT www, for example, http://jcink.com and http://www.jcink.com

IP Address/ Name / Record Value

This is the where you tell your domain where to go. What you enter here depends upon what you picked as record type. If you picked a CNAME record then you need to enter s1.jcink.net, but if you pick A you must enter our IP Address instead, 199.59.160.249

Always choose CNAME if available to you. Some hosts will not let you use CNAME, but it is ideal to set your domain to CNAME in case the server IP address ever changes. That means when we do the changes on our end, your domain will be updated automatically. But if you put in the IP address you will have to do this manually yourself if, and when it changes. Currently we use a static IP implementation, however, it can still change if we move servers or change providers elsewhere.

Making the changes

Now that you understand the DNS options, you have two ways you can configure your domain.

Domain

The first would be to just point the root domain (for example, http://jcink.com and http://www.jcink.com) to your forums. That means when someone visited the domain directly they'd see your site. To do that, you add the CNAME or A record value to the @ and www host records. So that it looks like this.

Sub-domain

What if you have a website (like we do here at http://jcink.com) and you don't want the root domain to direct to it? Instead, you want something like http://forums.jcink.com/ The answer is to add a new Host Name. There are likely other boxes or a section within your DNS settings that you can add additional subdomains and records for your domain name. Once you find that, title it whatever you want and fill out the information the same way you would for the @ and www records.

3. Add the domain

Add the domain to your JFH domain manager under AdminCP → System Settings → Domain Control Center. Simply type the domain name in all lower case, without http: and without www, e.g. forums.jcink.com

4. Wait for X hours

The domain will likely read BROKE in your ACP. This is normal. Because although you saved the settings, they have not been updated yet. Domain records take time to update, in fact, it can take up to 24 hours for your domain provider's settings to take effect. Usually however, it updates within the hour. So you will just want to wait a full 24 hours to make sure that the settings took effect before you address the *BROKE message in your ACP.

That's pretty much it. Once you can visit the domain, or it reads “OK” in the ACP, you're all set up. However, if it's been 24 hours and it's still not working, continue to the troubleshooting section below.

Troubleshooting/FAQ

I. Won't load, been 24 hours, and says BROKE in the AdminCP

First check the IP address that your domain has currently by clicking on the [?] link next to the domain. If it doesn't match the IP listed in the Domain Control Center, then it means that the domain name settings did not take effect, or something went wrong while entering them. (Be sure to enter the numbers exactly to ensure it works.)

II. BROKE in the AdminCP but the domain is working fine for me.

Congratulations, it means it was done properly, but your internet provider updated their information about your domain name faster than ours. In time, it will say OK on our end as well. Either way however, seeing this means that the process was done correctly and all you need to do is continue to wait. We recommend waiting the full 24 hours so you can be sure everyone's ISP across the globe has updated their settings.

III. OK in the AdminCP but the domain is NOT working for me.

Similar to the above situation. Our ISP updated the information faster than you. Once again, this means you did the settings correctly, but you need to continue to wait - sometimes up to 24 hours.

IV. Can I get a free .com, .net, etc domain name?

No, no, and… no. These are called top-level domains and they are NOT free. Domains cost money OR you will need to do favors, offers etc at some websites for domain names to get them for “free”, so they really aren't “free.” However, you can get totally free subdomains from many companies. Some providers that offer both free DNS, and subdomains supporting A and CNAME records are:

*http://cjb.net (yourname.cjb.net)
*http://afraid.org (yourname.sytes.net)
*http://no-ip.com (yourname.no-ip.* and various others)

Register at these sites to see the benefits and what they have to offer. You add these subdomains under the same premises as you would a domain name, with CNAME and A records.

V. I'm a first timer, where should I buy a domain?

As a personal recommendation, we prefer NameCheap.com because of the low price and free identity protection they offer for you, as well as an easy to navigate control panel. Please note however we are not in any way affiliated with NameCheap or any other registrar. They offer all of the tools you need to get this done as well.

VI. My provider doesn't let me access DNS settings!

While most providers offer DNS settings, some don't. Particularly if you registered your domain when you bought webhosting is where this can be a problem. Hosting providers often force you to use their DNS servers but they don't allow you to change any settings. If your domain is locked into a hosting provider and they won't let you access the settings, then, bluntly, you can't get this done. Additionally, if they're the ones holding the domain that means you will also have a problem if you wish to change webhosts sometime in the future.

The other situation is that your provider may give you access to the domain, but the controls are limited to only changing the Name Servers. With some services, changing these to use a different service is complicated. It can often times be done, but unless you know what you're doing with DNS, and your provider is willing to help you, we don't recommend getting into this. It'd be easier to just buy a new domain for the forums only or grab a free subdomain if you don't like the *.jcink.net name

VII. GoDaddy @ Issue

GoDaddy is a popular choice for DNS options. We do not recommend using godaddy because you cannot place a CNAME record for the root domain, or the @ alias. If you are already registered at GoDaddy, here are the steps needed to get to its Domain control center and what to change:

  1. Log into your GoDaddy account.
  2. On the My Account drop down menu, choose “My Products”.
  3. Under the My Domains section, click on your “YOURDOMAINNAME.COM”
  4. Then you need to Launch the DNS Manager. As seen in this image.
  5. You need to add @ as the address for the root domain, and point an A record at our server IP address. GoDaddy will not allow CNAMEs.

Special Thanks to Beermoney for these GoDaddy instructions and the image.

 
jfb-acp-system-settings-domain-manager.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/28 23:08 by jcink