From time to time, you’ll have to make changes to your DNS records. For example, if you change IP addresses, your DNS A records will change. You’ll also change DNS if you want to add SPF records to help email authentication. For these changes to work properly, it’s vital to know where DNS is hosted.
DNS is always hosted at your domain’s authoritative nameservers. Your authoritative nameservers, and therefore your DNS, can be in three places:
- Liquid Web’s nameservers
- Your private nameservers on your server or another server you control
- Ex.: ns.mysite.com
- Where you registered your domain name
- Ex.: Enom, GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc.
If you are using Liquid Web’s nameservers, you can update your DNS records in your Liquid Web account interface. If you use private nameservers on your server or another server, you can update DNS records in the control panel for your server (most likely WHM or Plesk, sometimes cPanel for SPF records). If your nameservers are where you registered your domain name, you’ll need to log into your account at that registrar and edit DNS there.
Discovering Where DNS Is Hosted – Web
If you aren’t comfortable using your terminal program to look up WHOIS information, use an online WHOIS checking tool.
Discovering Where DNS Is Hosted – CLI
You can easily find out where your DNS records are hosted using your server’s WHOIS entries.
- Launch your terminal program. Every operating system (Windows, Mac, and Linux) has a terminal program: use your computer’s search function to look for “terminal,” then open the terminal program you find.
- In the terminal window, type:
and press Enter. Be sure to replace “mysite.com” with your site’s domain.
- You’ll start seeing a lot of information about your domain, including where it is registered and the nameservers you’re using.
Domain Name: LIQUIDWEB.COM
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 2
Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com
Referral URL: http://networksolutions.com
Name Server: NS.LIQUIDWEB.COM
Name Server: NS1.LIQUIDWEB.COM
Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Updated Date: 04-aug-2016
Creation Date: 05-aug-1997
Expiration Date: 04-aug-2026
- Look specifically at the Name Server listing. In this example, you’ll see liquidweb.com uses Liquid Web’s nameservers. You might also see your own server listed as the nameserver (ns.mysite.com) or a domain registrar listed as the nameserver. This information tells you where you will be editing your DNS records:
- If you use Liquid Web nameservers: edit your DNS records in your Liquid Web account.
- If you use private nameservers: edit your DNS by logging into cPanel and searching for “Edit DNS Zone.”
- If you use a different registrar’s nameservers: edit your DNS records by logging into your account at your registrar.