Understanding Domains & DNS Settings is crucial to the launch process of a new client’s website. Here are some basics to help navigate these situations as you’re working on launching a client’s website.
- There are 2 key factors we look for as we launch a website. 1: the length of time the domain has been active with a website on it, and 2: if that domain is something that works within what Google searches for
- We want a domain that has been active for a long period of time. Typically if a client is re-branding and wants to use a new domain, it’s going to be in their best interest to remain on their old domain that already has a lot of history on it, because Google is going to take a longer time to index a new domain with no history. This means that it will take MUCH longer for this domain to get to the front page of Google searches.
- We want a domain that relates to the key terms that we are using for a client. An ideal domain is going to have the service and their location in it. For example, if we were a CrossFit gym in Winston Salem, we would want our domain to be winstonsalemcrossfit.com or something of the like.
- Ideally, we can have the best of both worlds as we launch our clients’ websites. Unfortunately this is rarely the case. So what we will typically do is launch our clients on whatever domain has the most history on it. If we have a client with a brand new business, we will always encourage them to purchase a domain with their #1 service and location, and to purchase as many variations of that domain that is available (that way, their competitors can’t grab something similar)
When launching a website, there’s a 2-step process to get everything up and running. Essentially, we need to make sure that everything is set in our CRM and then we can update the DNS settings within our client’s domain registrar.
First thing you need to do when launching a website is check the client’s MX records to see where their @domain emails are hosted. If we miss this step, we risk taking their entire email system down as we launch their website. To check this, go to mxtoolbox.com and enter the url you want to check (without http:// or www.). When you enter this domain, you’ll get something that looks like this:
- There are 2 main components you need from this listing. You’ll need the Pref & Hostname to put into our CRM
- When you get into the CRM you need to do several things:
- Go to Account Settings -> Settings and update the domain from the Test Site URL to the actual domain you want this website to show up on. Then you need to change the Organization Status to “Web Site Live”
- Go to Admin -> Host Details, then click on “Create Domain” - this sends information to Rackspace saying that you want to link this domain to our hosting.
- Add the MX record(s) to this section (you’ll need to change it from an A record to an MX record on the dropdown)
- So as you’re adding in the above screenshot, you’ll make the Record Type: MX. Name: crosskickboxing.com Data: mx.crosskickboxing.com Priority: 30
- If there are any additional MX records, add them here with the correct Priorities. The Hostname from MXtoolbox will always be the Data in our CRM.
- If you pull up MX records on mxtoolbox and it says that the source is Office 356, you’ll need to look up a TXT record within mxtoolbox and then reference this sheet to complete those DNS settings in our system: https://docs.google.com/a/97display.com/document/d/1KsW3S5VZMLZdXfkdfcVBe24PNLLNIUKvr5VPPPAd5js/edit?usp=sharing
Client’s Domain Registrar
- Once you have the client’s domain registrar login, access their domain that you want to launch the website onto. You’ll need to find the area where you can change their Nameservers. This can be in various different places, depending on which registrar you’re looking at, but typically you’re safe looking at DNS settings or Advanced DNS settings. Once you’re able to change the nameservers, update them to reflect: dns1.stabletransit.com and dns2.stabletransit.com
- MAKE SURE THAT EVERY OTHER STEP HAS TAKEN PLACE BEFORE YOU UPDATE THE NAMESERVERS
UPDATING THE NAMESERVERS IS THE STEP THAT LAUNCHES THE WEBSITE ONTO OUR HOSTING AND IF THE OTHER STEPS HAVE NOT BEEN TAKEN, IT WILL PULL UP BLANK FOR OUR CLIENTS AND THIS IS VERY BAD FOR THEIR RANKINGS