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So if I go to billybob's name registration service and by a domain for $8.25 a year, and then go to Hanks-chap-colbalt-rack-hosting.com for $35 a year hosting, does Hank's usually take care of the DNS?
If it's super-el-cheapo (like $1.75 a month) name-based hosting, they'll still take care of it but I won't be able to see what I upload until the domain resolves. With package deal super el-cheapo reseller hosting, I can set up new domains myself, just point to the host's NS1 and NS2 at the registrar. Last new domain I took was resolved and ready to roll in about 12 hours.
With some of them I haven't used yet you can also automatically set up third-level domains without restriction. Some say you have DNS capability, I haven't used that yet either.
Just make sure that whatever host you go with will give you the tools needed to keep the riff-raff out - like .htaccess and mod_rewrite on Apache, access to raw logs if you need them, etc.
but I won't be able to see what I upload until the domain resolves
On Win9x, the file is usually c:\windows\hosts
See the sample file "hosts.sam" in the same directory for example entries.
(This is the same file that's used to implement the toolbar trick [webmasterworld.com] to stabilize toolbar PR during Google updates.)
That said, if you get a dedicated IP address for your website, you -may- be better off using your registrar's DNS servers, and not the hosting company's. I use a large, popular, and low-cost registrar that has five nameservers across the U.S. A lot of low-cost hosting places have only two nameservers, which are usually not only in the same building, but are all too frequently the same machine. Not good, and best avoided, IMO.
There are a number of free or very low-cost companies that will provide you with DNS service, if you need it, but I'd only rely on most of them as tertiary or quaternary nameservers... Too bad (AFAIK) they don't support name-based virtual hosting, only IP.
which are usually not only in the same building, but are all too frequently the same machine.
Are people really that dumb? Even doing my own hosting in my study over a DSL line I can (and do) do better than that! Two in my study (IN, US), a third provided by my registrar (someplace in France), and soon adding a fourth in Maine to serve as a backup DNS and mail relay.
>Are people really that dumb?
Yep. A hosting company I spotted last autumn selling "unlimited" hosting on a major online auction site has two nameservers, ns1.widget-host.cc and ns2.widget-host.cc... and they both resolve to the same numeric IP, which is, in fact, the same numeric IP of the hosting company itself, which identifies itself via rDNS as "host12.blue-widget-offshore-hosting.com. If that was confusing, it's like this: The same machine you get virtual hosting on (and prepay for a year) is your primary nameserver and your secondary nameserver, too. Lotta eggs in one basket, if you ask me. Like I needed one more reason to avoid supposedly "unlimited" hosting...
*What kind of trouble I'm going to get in*... if any...with search engines, etc.?
DomainOne.com has an IP of 188.8.131.52 (I'm making up the IP, I don't know where that one goes.)
but my other domains on the same account, but in different directories - Secondsite.com and OtherSite.com - share the same IP address according to a Tracert I just did on it.
The provider calls it an "add-on" domain:
If my primary account looks like this:
the other, add-on domain looks like this:
www.Secondsite.com which physically resides at:
which resides at:
Again, all 3 appear as different, unrelated sites...but all share the same IP...
HECK - when I type in the IP address itself I get a "Welcome to Apache" page...
Thanks for clearing the air,
'Multiple domain hosting' is what Undead Hunter mentions above. I have a fixed IP as my 'main' domain and a series of other domains I use for clients that reside at IP/~username. Once the DNS resolves to this address the search engines don't mind at all.
It's pretty common to be set-up this way these days. I started looking at cheap hosting deals and realised the higher up the ladder you went (i.e. to a bigger reseller buyer/wholesaler/whatever) the better the deals were. Now I get an allocation of server space and bandwidth and can sell this to clients how I like. The profit margin is good too :).
My host also allocates personalised nameservers if required which adds a professional touch if you are offering hosting to clients IMHO ;).