Today’s post will enable you to point a domain name to your VPS instance. As an example and because I’m using them, I’ll refer to GoDaddy as a domain registrar and DigitalOcean as VPS hosting provider. The concept and procedure will remain mostly suitable even if your domain registrar and VPS provider are different than mine.
My domain names are registered in GoDaddy but always scared to host my blogs there. Scaring horror stories about GoDaddy hosting services over the Internet swipe me away to look for hosting somewhere else. As you already know, for many years, I used HostGator happily before migrating to DigitalOcean VPS. Now I have DO droplet to host my blogs.
Term: Droplet – DigitalOcean calls it’s VPS instances as droplets.
So, the first task in the process of migration was to add an existing domain name to DigitalOcean, i.e. to point the domain name to DigitalOcean droplet. Before I dive into the procedure, let’s review the progress till now and set goals for today’s session.
What we’ve already covered:
- (1) Why I moved to VPS from HostGator hosting?
Explains what made me decide to move away from HostGator and to DigitalOcean.
- (2) How to determine the best VPS size for your WordPress blog?
Discussion helps you to determine the suitable droplet size (VPS) for your blog.
- (3) What is VPS and the PC tools you need to manage VPS?
Points out to the tools to install in your PC to comfort you accessing and managing your Virtual Private Server.
With today’s post you’ll be able to answer:
- What is my DigitalOcean droplet IP address?
- What are the name servers of DigitalOcean?
- How to set DigitalOcean name servers in GoDaddy?
- How to add GoDaddy domain name to DigitalOcean droplet?
- How to log in to my VPS?
In my next post you’ll learn:
- Prepare your VPS – the most recommended server configurations
Okay! Now, let’s move on to today’s topic.
Point GoDaddy domain name to DigitalOcean droplet
There are two main setups to accomplish to make your domain name open your site in any browser:
(i) Set DigitalOcean name servers in GoDaddy account and
(ii) add GoDaddy domain name in DigitalOcean account.
What are the name servers of DigitalOcean?
To set up your GoDaddy account, we need name servers of DigitalOcean. This information is required while you set up GoDaddy account.
DigitalOcean provides 3 name servers for its droplets:
Name Server 1: NS1.DIGITALOCEAN.COM
Name Server 2: NS2.DIGITALOCEAN.COM
Name Server 3: NS3.DIGITALOCEAN.COM
What changes do I need to make in GoDaddy account?
Once you have DigitalOcean name servers, you’ll specify them in your GoDaddy account.
- Log in to your GoDaddy Account
- Launch the Domain Manager program
- Mark the check box of your required domain name (1)
- Hover over Name Servers button and choose ‘Set name server’ menu (2)
- Click Custom radio button (3)
- Click Edit Nameservers and set up two name servers (4)
- Click on Add Nameserver button and enter third name server
- Finally, click on Save button to apply the changes (5)
That’s all! Now your GoDaddy domain name knows the servers of DigitalOcean!
Add Domain Name in Digitalocean
After you make DigitalOcean servers known to your GoDaddy account, it’s time to add the domain name in DigitalOcean.
- Log in to DigitalOcean account
- Click on DNS menu on the left sidebar
- Click Add Domain button (top right)
- Choose the required droplet from dropdown list (if you have multiple droplets in your DigitalOcean account)
- It will fill up the IP Address field automatically.
- Now, enter your domain name in Name field.
- Finally, click ‘Create Domain’ button.
- Additionally, you’ll need to add CNAME records to support for sub domains if you need them. Simply click on ‘Add record button and enter the record you need. Following is my DNS configuration. They are very minimal.
That’s great! You’ve set up a domain name to your DigitalOcean account as well. However, it will take some hours for this to complete propagate. Have patience.
Till your domain name is propagated, you can continue working with your IP address. Did you notice the IP address of your droplet?
How to Log in to your VPS?
Well, once you set up the domain name with your droplet, you’d like to configure further such as installing a web server, databases, utility applications and so on. For that, you should log in to your server. I’ll be discussing the initial server configurations in next post and to build a foundation for that, today, let me show you how to log in to VPS.
I’m using PuTTY first and then WinSCP for the demonstration purpose.
Login to your VPS using PuTTY
2. Fill up hostname (IP Address in your case till the domain name is propagated)
3. Port Number (22 by default till you change it later for security reasons)
4. Mark SSH radio button (it is marked by default)
5. Click on Open button
6. Confirm Yes for Security Alert (It’s displaying you because it’s your first time accessing the server from this PC)
7. Enter your username and press Enter (It will be root by default for the first login)
8. Enter Password for the user (You got an email with root password from your host)
9. You’ll be greeted with a welcome message and cursor placed at prompt. This is the place from where you’ll issue commands to configure your server and install other applications.
Loggin in with WinSCP
PuTTY is an awesome SSH client to work with CUI. However, if you are GUI guy, you’ll love working with WinSCP.
1. Click WinSCP icon to open it
2. Choose SFTP for ‘File Protocol’
3. Enter hostname (your IP Address for now. You can use your domain name once it propagates)
4. Enter Port Number (22 by default. You’ll change it afterward for security reasons)
5. Enter Username (root for now till you create working user)
6. Enter Password (use the password provided by your host)
7. Click Yes if you are displayed warning message. It’s because you are accessing first time using this PC.
8. Okay, I hope you’ll be able to wander around and learn how to use it. It’s pretty intuitive
That’s all for today’s post. You are welcome to leave comments and point out if I missed something. At the same time, you can request for a topic using the form on Contact page. That’s a good place to send me suggestions and topic ideas.
Stay calm and enjoy blogging!