Tip of the week: Demystifying Domain Names and how they work with your BandPage Website

In an effort to make sharing your music easier than ever, we created the BandPage Website Extension.  We made this so that your fans could have a sleek one-stop-shop to experience your sound and find out more about you.

When you set up a BandPage Website, we automatically generate a subdomain for you:  yourname.bandpage.com.  If you like the subdomain that we already gave you, then you don’t need to read any further!

What are Domain Records?
The technical term for a site’s main domain is “A record” and for a subdomain it is “CNAME record”.  CNAME stands for Canonical Name record and it is a type of ‘internet resource’ in the Domain Name System (also referred to as DNS).  DNS generally provides the map that servers use to send traffic to and from each other on the internet.

The domain names that we use to access websites (“bandpage.com”, “reddit.com”, “twitter.com”, “tumblr.com”) are associated with an identification number by these records.  Computers talk to each other in numbers and DNS is their translator.  DNS takes the names that we type into our browsers and translates them into numbers so that the computers know what server a human wants to access.

Setting Up Your Domain
There are two parts to a domain setup:  an “automatic domain redirect”,  and a “DNS CNAME record.”  These two things are the minimum capabilities that you need from a web hosting provider in order to successfully setup your domain.

How to Achieve The Redirect
First create an automatic redirect on your web host that redirects the main domain to the www. version e.g. “misterinterrupt.com” to “www.misterinterrupt.com”  If your web host supports this, then you will see an option for it.  It may just be a setting that states it will “always use www.thefloodplain.com” or always use ”thefloodplain.com”.  Talk to your host before signing up and make sure that this is something you can do with their service. Once this is set up, typing either of these urls into the browser will take you to the version with the “www.” prefix.

How to Create Your WWW CNAME
Next we will create or modify the CNAME record for your ‘www’ subdomain so that it will redirect to your BandPage Website Custom Link, found in the editor here.

A CNAME can be any word that prefixes a domain name as the word “myband” in: “myband.radrecordlabel.com”.  The CNAME record for www can be created on your web host in the DNS or custom DNS section in your domain manager.

This is an example from Dreamhost:

You will need to check with your host to ensure that you can create your own DNS records.   A CNAME is pretty simple and is made of two text fields.   There is a label, or alias field, as well as a value field which is the “canonical” part.  You can understand this record as setting an alias, or subdomain, to point to the canonical name of another site or another of your alias/subdomains.  You will want to put “www” in the label/alias field and “myband.bandpage.com” in the value field.

If your host supports it, you can try to make a “wildcard” CNAME by putting a single asterisk * in the label/alias field. This makes all subdomains point to your BandPage Website.

Wait For DNS to Update And Then You’re Done
Those are the two things that you need to do in order to make your BandPage Website show up when your fans type in your own domain name.  One thing to note is that DNS can take a while to update (technically, sometimes up to 48 hours), so it is best to not change it very often to avoid being confusion over which of your recent changes have propagated through the internet when you are testing it.

We cannot provide steps for editing DNS records on all the different hosts out there, but we hope that this gives you the general knowledge to be successful with any host.  Here is a helpful article that does have steps for some of the more common hosts.

If you have any other questions, visit our Help Center or feel free to contact us at Support@bandpage.com!