What is a domain and how are they owned?
The domain is the address of a web site that you see and type into the address bar of your browser. The domain has multiple parts, lets break them down:
The "http://" is not part of the address, it just tells the browser that it is looking for a web site.
This domain will be read RIGHT to LEFT, starting with:
This is called a "domain", and represents the type of website it is. Top level domains are the ones you see most often, such as:
|.com||Commercial businesses, for any company that is trying to make a profit.|
|.org||Designed for non-profit organizations, compared to commercial businesses.|
|.net||Network and internet providers.|
|.co.uk||Commercial businesses in the United Kingdom.|
|.gov||Government. Not generally for sale!|
|.tv||Once the assigned domain for some little Country, but now sold at a premium to companies wanting an association with Television.|
All of the above (excluding .gov) are now sold to anybody that is willing to pay for them, so these naming conventions are now worthless.
Moving leftwards along the domain name we have:
The "myfreeforum" is the name part of the domain name. This is the part that identifies your specific web site out of the millions that exist. "Myfreeforum" is owned by MarsJupiter LTD.
Anything to the left of the domain name (excluding the http://) is called a sub-domain, and is still part of the same domain.
Owning your own Domain
Companies like yahoo.com, dotster.com, godaddy.com, even one of our sites m4webdesign.co.uk are lining up to sell you a domain, they can be bought for as little as a few dollars a year.
With prices that low, many people and companies buy thousands of domains at once and “park” them. These sites are web pages full of advertising in hopes of gaining profit from someone going to a wrong domain, or to sell at extra-high prices to anyone that actually needs that domain name. This means that it may be difficult to get a decent domain name, though.
So let us say you have been to a domain selling site (registrar), gone through the process of finding a domain to buy, and are now ready to buy it.
Hosting your Domain
There is no point in having a domain, unless it exists somewhere as more than a name and can put something on it people will see. This is known as hosting. When you buy a domain, you will certainly be offered hosting to go with it.
This is where many registration companies make a lot of money, they offer you a very cheap domain name, but not so cheap hosting, and make it difficult to use hosting somewhere else or transfer your domain.
Using MYFF you will not need any hosting, as we host the forums for you.
Because of this we do not recommend many companies as registrars. We know yahoo, dotster, godaddy and ourselves and can recommend them as decent.
When you buy the domain from us, some of the settings will have been done for you, so not only are things easier, you are helping to support myfreeforum (which includes your forum!).
Controlling your Domain
Now you have your domain, we assume that you have rejected hosting options and want to point your domain to a forum that you already have with MYFF. (If you chose to get hosting and wish to export your forum to your own host, please see the support forums.)
We must set things so when someone types your domain address into their web browser they are directed to your forum.
There are two ways of doing this,
Option1 - Set MYFF name servers
In your registrars control panel change the name servers to (see your registrar’s help for more information):
These are MYFF’s own name servers, and once these are set contact us on the support forum or e-mail at admin(at)myfreeforum.org and ask us to map your domain name to your forum (please provide the domain you have purchased and your forum address).
Option 2 - Set the DNS records
If you can set the DNS records on your registrar’s site, then use the information below, otherwise set your name servers to:
Go to everydns.net and register. Add the domain you purchased and set the following records:
To find the address for your forum open your command prompt (start -> run - type "cmd" and hit enter). Type "ping myforum.myfreeforum.org" where myforum.myfreeforum.org is your forum’s address, write down the IP address it shows (will look like: xx.xx.xx.xxx). This is the address you will place in the "address" part of the records.
Option 3 - Set MYFF name servers and customizeThis is for if you want to control your own records as is possible with Option 2, but want to use the myff nameservers as they may be a little more reliable than everydns.net. In this case you must register at dns.myff.org and email admin[at]myfreeforum.org with your domain and registration details. You will then be able to manage your domains records on our nameservers.
Option 4 - There is no option 4
If you are unable to set name servers or DNS records with your registrar then you have been duped. As we said before, don't buy domains that are too cheap! Reputable companies allow you to control your domain properly!
The waiting game
These changes can still take up to 48 hours to propagate (be seen across the internet). So be patient. Sooner or later you will start to see your domain resolving to our servers, but instead of your forum you will see our missing/suspended forum page.
The final step
At this point you need to ask us to change this setting to your domain either on the support forum or by e-mail at admin(at)myfreeforum.org. Once this change propagates your forum will be available at your new domain.
Once you have your new domain members will have to log-in again, even ones that have checked the box to stay logged in. The forums remember you by placing a cookie with that domain name on your computer, a new domain name means it needs to place a new cookie when you log in again.