In this article, we are going to answer some frequently asked questions about domains and DNS.
What is a domain name and a subdomain?
A domain is always a string of text next to a Top Level Domain (TLD), like ".com", ".io", ".edu", etc. An example of a domain is "searchie.io". A subdomain is a string of text followed by a domain. An example of a subdomain is "ingress.searchie.io".
Domain names and subdomains identify Internet resources, such as computers, networks, and services.
What is an IP Address?
An IP Address is a group of numbers used to identify a host or a network on the Internet. All servers on the internet have their own IP Address.
What is DNS?
The Domain Name System (DNS) is mainly used to “translate” some domain and know where to find the services provided in each domain (i.e. which IP address the server has). Browser use a DNS service to know the IP address for a website's server (where the website is "hosted").
For example, when a browser wants to know "Where is searchie.io?", it asks the domain's (searchie.io's) DNS manager (CloudFlare) what the site's IP is, and that's how it reaches the server and loads the website.
What is a hosting platform?
Hosting platforms allow you to host your Internet services and can also sometimes act as your DNS manager. Your email provider and your website host would both be hosting platforms. Your hosting and your DNS management are independent of each other so that you are able to manage your DNS from another platform (like CloudFlare).
What is a DNS Manager?
A DNS Manager is a service on the Internet where you create your DNS records for your domain and subdomains. It's where all of the domain-specific settings are configured.
What is a Name Server (NS) record?
Name Server records delegate a DNS zone to use the given authoritative name servers, they are configured in your registrar website.
Why does Searchie use CloudFlare?
CloudFlare is the only DNS manager (at the moment) that provides all the features we need to make your Hub function properly. As it is the only CDN (content distribution network) with a proxied connection and an SSL certificate for this connection. So this allows you to connect your Hub using HTTPs without problem. With any other DNS manager, you'll get a SSL warning when you access your Hub (for now).
See this feature request for updates on the ability of Searchie to provide SSL certificates automatically for any DNS manager.
Can I use something like "mydomain.com/hub" for the Hub's custom domain?
No. That is not technically a domain, it's known as a "subfolder". You should use a subdomain instead, like "hub.mydomain.com".
Can I use a second level subdomain? (subdomain1.subdomain.domain.com)
No, CloudFlare's certificates are only issued for domain and subdomains, and because this is Searchie's DNS manager, we need to abide by their restrictions.