How to Setup and Manage a Web Domain


If you like what you read below and find my knowledge useful, I’d be more than happy to “Manage” your web domain and assosiated functions. Reach out for a quote! Expect ~$25 per domain per year.

Registrar and Authoritive Name Servers

To start you will need to pick a Domain Registrar. This is the company that establishes your ownership of a domain with recognized organizations such as ICANN. They will provide you with Authoritive Name Servers. These are the servers that will direct the world on where to reach your systems. Whatever you do, please do not buy anything from GoDaddy. There are plenty of other companies that are not trying to gouge the customer for money. I prefer PorkBun. Cloudflare is good except they do not let you use 3rd party authoritive servers.

It is a huge red flag if a Domain Registrar charges for WHOIS privacy and/or does not have an easy to use API for record management.

Web Hosting and Setup

Need a website? Web Hosting providers will provide you with 3 record types. A, AAAA, and CNAME. These are the only records required to route web browsers. If you manage a Virtual Private Server in the Cloud, you may also want to look into setting up Reverse DNS.

  • A Record - Publicly Routable IPv4 Address
  • AAAA Record - Publicly Routable IPv6 Address
  • CNAME - Plain Text Alias addresses.

There are really only 2 types of web hosting. Static and I guess Dynamic. This website here is an example of static web hosting. WordPress and Drupal are CMS (Content Management Systems). These are “dynamic”. They require server-side processing.

Email Hosting and Setup

Emails are routed based the existence of MX and TXT records. They are often the slowest to replicate across the globe. Email server hosting is a difficult task even for experienced sysadmins. I find Email is best left to the experts below.

I like ProtonMail for smaller users such as myself. Microsoft Office365 for medium-sized and growing businesses. While Office 365 and Active Directory are the industry standard in LDAP, I do not find most businesses need the administrative overhead. MS Office 365 requires a 1-Year commitment for each billed user.

Google Workspaces is who I recommend for most small businesses. They offer a plenty extensible platform, and do not require 1 year commitments.


DNS Checker - Go here to see DNS replication across the globe. MX Toolbox - Go here to check on MX records and their health.

Records Management

Every record has a TTL of Time to Live value. This is how many seconds a client device should cache a record before checking again. The global default is 1 hour. 3600 seconds. If you are going to be performing changes to critical records it is best practice to step down the TTL to 120 seconds. Then wait out the last TTL to begin your change. This will reduce downtime.

Domains can be transferred between Registrars. To prevent fraud, they are by default “locked”. You will need to unlock a domain to tranfer it. This typically also generates a transfer token.

A domain must be active with a Registrar for 60 days to be available for transfer. Here is a great ICANN article about it.


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