You have spent a lot of effort on your website and the promotion of your online presence. The most important factor to keep all of this working is your domain name. For some of our clients, their domain name is the second most valuable asset they own! The following explains more about just how this works and provides information to keep your domain name in good standing.
To check the status of your domain name, you use a tool called "Whois". This tool is available on many websites, in particular those sites which belong to registrars. I good place to check is the Network Solutions website and look for the 'Whois' tool.
Some years back, all domain names were registered through Network Solutions, or the first 'registrar'. This was eventually opened up so that other companies could act as registrars. So, a registrar is a company who is approved to do the registration of domain names. In turn, they provide a connection to the service that announces to the world that your domain name exist.
DNS or Domain Name Service in a nutshell, is the basic addressing used by the internet to convert a domain name to an IP address. The internet actually works using IP addresses, those number sets which look like 126.96.36.199. DNS acts sort of like the internet phone book, converting a person's name (domain name) to a phone number (IP address).
DNS is used for many things and is a very complex system. Not only is your website address affected by DNS but more importantly your Email service. We have found that the quality of DNS for various domains is rarely what is considered 'proper' or compliant to the RFC standards. Most email issues between servers are due to DNS problems.
If you would like to run a test on your DNS, visit http://dnsreport.com. This is a great tool for a 'first basic test' on the quality of your hosting service.