Which DNS Am I Using on My WordPress Website?
DNS stands for Domain Name System and it is a set of rules that tells your computer how to find websites and e-mail addresses on the internet. For instance, when you type google.com into your browser’s address bar, your computer will look up the corresponding IP address (Internet Protocol address) which is usually in the range of 188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206. When you type that into your browser’s address bar, you will be automatically redirected to the Google website because the corresponding IP address is associated with Google’s domain.
Now, this is all very good but what happens when you are running a WordPress website with a custom domain? It turns out that your WordPress website’s DNS settings can have a significant impact on your website’s performance especially if you are using a free DNS service.
In this article, we will discuss the various aspects of configuring your WordPress website for maximum performance.
The first step towards high performance is to ensure that your DNS settings work correctly. You have two options here: you can either use a free DNS service or you can install and configure the ownDNS name server on your own machine.
With the ownDNS name server, you have complete control over DNS queries and you can see the detailed logs which help you diagnose technical issues. However, this solution requires a bit of technical know-how which many people may not have.
The free DNS services provide a simple way to test your DNS settings without having to configure anything yourself. Just log into your account and enter the website you would like to test into the corresponding box. The free DNS service will then return the IP address of that site.
Next, you will need to assign your WordPress website an IP address. There are various ways to do this. You can use a free DNS service or you can use a free IP address from an internet service provider (ISP). If you go with the latter, make sure you read and follow the guidelines given by your ISP to ensure you get the best performance out of their service. This will involve you giving them control over the servers that are used to handle your website traffic.
If you are running a website which is updated frequently, you will need to consider setting up some type of caching. This is where browsers like Chrome and Firefox store recently accessed web pages so they don’t have to load them each time a visitor comes back. There are various types of caching including page caching, flash cache and dns cache.
The type you use will depend on your website and how it is updated. For example, if you have a blog with a lot of frequently updated content, setting up page caching will be a good idea as it stores frequently accessed pages in a temporary location which saves time.
If you use a free DNS service, you will need to go through the Cache tab in your DNS Settings to see the status of your page caching settings. You will need to enter your site’s IP address (which you got from your ISP) and optionally set a TTL (Time to Live) which is the amount of time that your page caching settings will remain in effect before they are updated by the free DNS service.
Type Of Website Server
The next step is to identify the type of server that your WordPress website will be running on. There are various options here including Apache web servers which are very popular as well as Nginx web servers which are more secure. It is also a good idea to try and use a dedicated IP address (a/k/a Private IP Address) which is a unique address assigned to you by your ISP which prevents your website from being confused with that of other websites.
If you go with a mod_php (a module for Apache servers) based solution, make sure you configure your server correctly as this is where most of the performance bottlenecks are. You should also enable caching as this will also make a significant difference in your websites’ performance.
Another important factor which can affect the performance of your WordPress website is the memory usage. Your computer’s memory usage is the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) that it has available. This is different from the hard drive space which is the amount of storage that your computer has available. As a general rule of thumb, you should have at least 2GB of RAM for a regular website and 4GB of RAM for a high-performance website.
The more RAM you have, the better especially if you use a mod_php based solution as this will also make a good cache. In cases where your hard drive is running out of space (typically due to huge photos or videos being uploaded to your website on a regular basis), you will need to upgrade your computer’s memory to make it work more efficiently.
Finally, we come to the uptime which is the amount of time that your website’s servers have been online. This is more important when you are selling a product or providing technical support for a website. In most cases, customers will not have access to the source code of the website they are visiting so they have no way of knowing if the support they receive is because the website is down or because the person on the phone is taking a long time to respond.
In conclusion, proper DNS settings, a dedicated IP address, a caching setup and a sufficient amount of memory can make a significant difference in your website’s performance. These are all basic things which you can set up yourself through easy to follow instructions provided by your ISP if you use their services. If you use a free DNS service, these settings will be taken care of for you. Just remember to check your DNS settings frequently to make sure everything is working correctly and let your ISP know if you are having any issues.