Understanding DNS Records (Faithwebsites CMS customers)

A Small Change Makes a Big Difference

No, the change we are undertaking to move hosting providers is not a small change - but your DNS records do require a small change, and it’s a change you must make for a big reason - so that your website still shows up! We wish we could do this transition without requiring anything from you, but changing DNS records is an essential step.

If you already know about DNS records, and how to modify them - then please skip right on to these steps.

If you do not know what DNS means, then please stay with me here. I promise, I’ll make this as easy as I can. And don’t worry - this change can be done easily and we’re here to help you. 

To get to your website, a user must enter an address in a browser. That address tells all the amazing interconnected world wide web where the user wants to visit - or browse. That address is your domain, which we also call your website URL. For example, ours is 

In order to have a website visible by anyone anywhere, it simply must have a domain. Imagine our world without street addresses! It would be impossible for most people to navigate to their intended destination without an address. The web works in a similar fashion. 

Once the domain is entered in a browser window - in lightening fast speed that request races over the web and checks in with the “home” of where your domain records reside. It finds out where it should go to correctly deliver your website on the users screen, and then sends the request along the correct path. The final result is your website showing up on the users screen. Check out this infographic showing this process. All this happens immeasurably faster than the time it took you to read this paragraph! 

Now let’s break this apart.

Domains are property. They are YOUR property. You pay for them and they belong to you as long as you keep paying for your domain(s).

All domains have a series of DNS records, which control everything about that domain. These records tell the world wide web exactly where to direct traffic (users, emails, etc.) to or for your domain. For our purpose now, we are only interested in 2 types of records, called: A Record and CName Record.

An A Record is an "address record." It tells visitors to your domain what server has your website content on it. Your root domain (your domain with no prefixes, like www or mail, etc) has to have a properly formatted A Record that gives the IP Address of the server with your website content on it. A cname record is an "alias," meaning, the content for this subdomain ( is exactly the same as "some other domain." This "some other domain" is the value of the cname record. In our case, all sites will use "" as the cname record for the www subdomain ( These 2 records must be changed to route from our soon-to-be-old web hosting provider to our new hosting provider. If they are not updated in time, the end result will mean that visitors to your domain will not get routed properly to your website. Even though your website will be safe and sound on our server, no-one will be able to get to it by using your domain.

Your domain’s DNS Records are, most likely, maintained by your domain’s registrar. Domain Registrars are like holding companies for domains world wide. You must purchase and then continue to pay for your domain with a domain registrar. They also provide you with online access to your domain's DNS records, which is where you’ll, most likely, login to make the changes to your A Record and Cname. I say "most likely" because it's also possible to stipulate at your domain registrar that your DNS records reside elsewhere. That "elsewhere" could be your Internet Service Provider or your email host, etc. You will know where the DNS records reside by looking at the nameserver record in your account at your domain registrar. So, the first step in all situations is to go into your account at your domain registrar, and either make the DNS record changes there, or find out what nameservers contain your records.

As domains are the property and ownership of an organization, we do not have access to go into your domain records and make changes. And this is a good thing! You want to be sure you have control of your domain property as it is the way the world and your community accesses your online presence.


Now that you’ve had your geek lesson for the day, what are your action items and how can you get help? 

  • I know how to make this change myself - I just need the new IP address and Cname domain. You need to change the A record for your root domain from to, and change or add a Cname record for your “www” subdomain to point to Do not add a Cname for the root domain. See this article for more details.
  • I know who my domain registrar is, have my access credentials (username and password), and will try to make this change myself. Where do I start? - Read how to change your DNS Records at the different registrars.
  • I do not know who my domain registrar is, and/or I do not have my account credentials for my domain. See this form.
  • I would like you to make this change for me, on my organization’s behalf. See this form.
  • I need more help. See this form.
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