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How do I set up my domain name with my xoops website?
  Requested and Answered by Carnuke on 2004/11/15 19:58:08     7552  reads 
PLEASE NOTE: The following information is intended as a guide only. Always refer to your Domain name registra documentation.

Domain Names Explained…

What is a domain name?
A domain name is an address on the Internet. It is similar to your telephone number. When people type your domain name they are searching for you. You can have an email address at your domain name. For example my domain name is and our email address is

What is a URL?
URL stands for "uniform resource locator" and is an address on the Internet. Every URL is unique and could be compared to a street address. An apartment building will have an address and each apartment within it will have a more specific address. Likewise, each website has its own URL (address) and each web page has an even more specific URL (apartment number).

Domain names are what differentiate your website from mine. Without domain names, your browser wouldn't know what files to get when you type There are many types of domain names that you can use to promote yourself or your family, a business, or even your favorite hobby.

There are several things that make selecting a domain name VERY important. Let's attempt to clarify proper uses and explain the differences between and

Although the Internet doesn't celebrate a 'birthday', its believed to have started in the late 1960s.The original use of the Internet was primarily for the U.S. Department of Defense and then educational institutions. The U.S. government realized that they could easily send email and other forms of data across the country, and then throughout the world. Universities and colleges quickly adapted the same technology to share research information. It didn't take long for anyone to see other benefits.

In the mid 1980s, we started to hear about the commercialization of the Internet. Larger businesses started to add email capabilities to computer terminals. By the late 1980s, companies like America Online (AOL) started offering access to their private online networks. These websites were full of content and other neat things to do. Families could communicate using email and chat rooms, newsgroups became popular for sharing stuff, and Corporate America found a new, cheap way to reach mainstream Americans with advertising. It hasn't stopped growing.

Recent statistics show that there are between 100 and 200 million Internet users worldwide. Unfortunately, it isn't an easy thing to measure. We do know that America Online currently has about 15,000,000 subscribers. There are currently about 10,000 companies offering access to the Internet by dial-up modem connection. The growth rate that the Internet is experiencing is compared to that of the radio and television.

It's that growth rate that has sparked the need for a domain name system. Domain names are an exciting part of the World Wide Web. Domain names are the equivalent of your mailing address. You might live at 2, The Cottage, Brooklyn Rd, Nottinham. UK.

By having this much information, you are able to receive mail sent to you from anywhere in the world. A domain name works the same way.
Worldwide, there are several super computers that store the numeric equivalent of a domain name along with the plain text version. Our numeric version looks like this: You can put http:// in your browser and you'll end up back at our site. The super computers mentioned are connected together using high-speed data lines, very similar to your phone line, but much faster. Once a day, the companies that register the domain name system update these computers with the most current map of the Internet. That map then gets copied to smaller servers and services like your Dial-up Service Provider. When you attempt to visit a site online, your computer system contacts your ISP's servers which direct you to the right place using that map. Without domain names, we'd all be lost.

Intended Usage: .COM, .NET, .ORG, .GOV, .EDU and National Domains:
· .COM - This was originally intended for commercial applications. There have been over 10,000,000 domains registered under .COM
· .NET - Intended for network systems - although the lack of worthwhile .COM domains has meant that commercial organizations have migrated towards this domain type
· .ORG - Designed for use by nonprofit organizations, this domain type also sees large amounts of for profit business registrations
· .GOV - United States Government applications including individual states, localities, and other municipalities
· .EDU - 2 and 4 year accredited colleges and universities only
· National Domains - Each country worldwide has been issued a national domain type for use within their country. Due to the lack of quality Domain names, many of these countries have opened up their domain type for use by anybody, anywhere in the world. Examples of National Domains include .US for the United States, .CA for Canada and the now popular .TM for Turkmenistan. Countries like the U.S. often subdivide their national domains like this example:
Some countries such as Tuvalu (.TV), Tonga (.TO) and Western Samoa (.WS) have sold the rights for the domain names to American companies to sell and govern.

Registering a name is a fairly simple process. The companies that operate those super computers require certain information before a name can be registered. That information includes all the basics like name, address, e-mail, and a phone number. They also require something called Domain Name Servers (DNS). This is the system that allows computers to know where a website is setup.

When you purchase a hosting plan, the host company will send you some vital pieces of information. Usually at least the following

1- URL for your account interface
2- 2 DNS numbers (see below)
3- A temporary web address (this will probably be a combination of an IP address and a user-name.)
4- A user-name and password to access your web space.
5- FTP address
6- SMTP/POP3 mail server details

To register a domain name, you are required to have two DNS in place. When customers register a name with a registra they maybe given 2 temporary DNS as the two name servers. These need to be replaced with your 2 DNS numbers supplied by your hosting company in order for the domain name to be linked to your website.

DNS – Domain Name Service
Without Domain Names contacting an Internet site would require knowing the Internet Protocol (IP) Address (e.g. of that site. Behind the scenes a world wide system called Domain Name Service (DNS) translates the easy to remember Domain Names into the less friendly IP addresses required to connect to a site.

The Characters you can choose for your domain name…
· a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
· 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
· Hyphen (-)

You can use letters, numbers and dashes/hyphens (-). Spaces are not allowed and the name cannot start or end with a dash. You can however have multiple dashes next to each other. (eg. Domain Names are NOT case sensitive. Global Domain Names (.com .net .org ) MUST be between 3 and 67 characters in length, this excludes the 4 characters ".com".

Second Level Domain Names ( MUST be either a minimum of 2 characters (one character being a number) i.e. or a minimum of 3 letters. The maximum length, excluding the "" part is 64 characters.

The acronym MAIL is a good way to help you choose a Domain Name:
Memorable - How memorable will your Domain Name be to your customers and clients, how relative is it to your organisation's name and services you offer.
Aesthetics - How does the name look, how will it look on business cards and company literature.
Impressions - We all know that first impressions can be crucial so choose your Domain Name carefully.
Length - In general when picking a name, less is more, in other words a short name is preferable to a long one.

Ok, so let's put this together and see how we connect to your domain name to your new xoops website.
Go to your Domain name registras control panal and enter your DNS numbers. You may also need to enter the IPs that the DNS numbers resolve to. Each registra has their own requirements, but are usually well documented.

You will have to wait about 24-48 hours now for the DNS to resolve, that is, to contact all the supercomputers we spoke about and update the information about your website.

Once your Domain has resolved, you can type in the name in your browser address bar and hey presto, your site will load!.

If you have uploaded and installed your site with a temporay address, (using an IP and suffix) your site will be usable, but as soon as your DNS resolves to your Domain name you must change your details in mainfile.php replacing your temporary address with your domain name. If you don't do this, your site will not work correctly.

Please also see This FAQ on addon domains

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 IP Address issues

Thank goodness for this FAQ, and the last paragraph of this one in particular! I have just had a XOOPS site go completely pear-shaped, thanks to the address being changed by forces beyond my control. I was flailing around in the dark until I read this FAQ and lo and behold some quick typing in mainfile.php and it was all fixed!

Thank you thank you thank you!




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