We’ve just introduced a new DNS management service as an optional additional extra to our on-going maintenance packages.

What is DNS?

When you type a domain into your web browser, DNS (Domain Name System) translates the human-readable domain name (e.g. yourwebsite.com) into a computer-readable address (e.g. 100.100.100.100) – the IP address of the server at which the website lives.

DNS records are managed through nameservers. Your domain’s nameservers provide the rest of the internet with the information about where to find computers that deal with the services associated with your domain. Example nameserver records would include where to find:

  • The website at www.yourwebsite.com
  • The email server for [email protected]
  • A webmail portal at webmail.yourwebsite.com

Why are we introducing a DNS management service?

By hosting your website, it’s our responsibility to make sure that the DNS records for your website (e.g. www.yourwebsite.com) still match the actual IP address of the web server on which your website is running.

The challenge we face is that sometimes we (or our 3rd party hosting provider) need to change the web server your site runs on – which means the IP address changes.

When this happens, someone therefore needs to update your domain’s DNS to reflect that change. Updating DNS is not a simple job, and doing it wrong can adversely affect other web services that rely on your DNS (e.g. your email).

So, we then have two choices:

  1. Ask you to make DNS updates
  2. Make the DNS updates ourselves

If we’re going to make the DNS updates, that (a) takes support time from our team and (b) means we need to maintain access to your DNS provider.

Until now we’ve relied on option 1: asking our clients to make their own DNS updates. But, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this isn’t a sustainable approach. We often spend a long time helping clients to make these changes, or end up doing it ourselves – often spending time coordinating access to the DNS provider because of changed passwords.

So we’re introducing the DNS management service for several reasons:

  1. To ensure we can make DNS updates in a timely manner – so that we can keep your website running reliably
  2. To ensure your DNS is being managed by a reputable and reliable nameserver hosting service (not all are equal)
  3. To ensure we’re both covered by a commercial agreement for us to make DNS changes on your behalf – both in terms of our support time, and as a legal basis for this critical service

How much does it cost?

Pragmatic’s DNS management service costs £50/year + VAT. We’re basing this on the expectation that we’ll have to spend 30 mins per year managing your DNS. If for some reason you have intensive DNS update requirements, we’ll talk to you about some additional support time.

What are the implications?

Please note:

  1. If you need any DNS changes to be made (for email, other web services, etc), we’ll need to make those for you.
  2. You’ll still need to maintain your domain registration and ensure that your domain’s nameserver records remain pointing at our nameservers.
  3. We’ll always do our best to update DNS records as a matter of priority. If you have an existing support agreement with us, DNS management requests will be undertaken under the same service level terms.

Is this a compulsory service?

No, it’s not.

What are the alternatives?

We understand that there are a number of reasons you might wish to retain control of your own DNS. That’s fine too. Here are your alternatives:

  1. You make your own DNS updates. We’ll tell you as clearly as possible what needs to be done, and when, and with as much notice as possible, but ultimately the responsibility will be with you to make the changes. If you don’t make the changes correctly, or you don’t make them in time, that might affect your website hosting or other DNS-related services.
  2. You maintain your own nameserver hosting but we make the updates. If you want us to make DNS updates through your DNS management system, we’ll need to be covered by our general service level terms and we reserve the right to charge support time for making the changes, including any time spent re-gaining access after a password change.

Please get in touch if you would like to enquire about this new service.