What is a Name Server?

Your Name Server is the company that tells all the computers and phones and devices on the Internet where to find your website or where to send an email so it arrives in your inbox, or other things that have to do where to find things that have to do with your domain name.

Your website files are physically located somewhere on some server –  picture a computer. The actual files of your website are located on some hard drive, somewhere (this is called your host, and make sure you watch our video on what is a host).  People and computers and devices searching for your site want to view those files.  In order for a device or computer to view those files, something needs to tell the browser – Chrome or Safari or Edge or Firefox- where to go to find those files. Your Name Server does this job.

The technical phrase for this is job is “publishing records”. The Name Server Publishes Records.

One record is an A record. An A record could be the location of your website files. Meaning, it would be the exact address of where to find your website files.

An MX record is a record that your Name server publishes that tells computers trying to send you an email, where to find the email server – to which computer should this email be sent.  The email gets sent off from Outlook or gmail or another email application and goes out, but to where? A Name Server will tell the email system of the world what server to send the email to so that it actually arrives in the correct email inbox.

There are other records as well so that computers on the Internet know how to get information to you or your visitors.

If you think of a coffee shop, the coffee shop has a phone number.   Each phone number is unique and The phone company lets the world know that if you dial this number, the phone will ring at this place.

If a patron wants to place an order from this coffee shop, they need to know what number to call so they can reach someone who works at this coffee shop.  In this case, the patron could look up the number in the white pages or dial 411.  Relating it to the web world, the patron would ask the Name Server for the phone number, and the Name Server would tell the patron what number to call.

That is a Name Server.

For more information about building your website, or to view the other videos in this series, make sure you check out our Great Info section at techcarellc.com

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