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Domain testing

When a domain goes live on the internet, a complex set of things go on to ensure that when someone asks for that domain, the program they are using is directed to the right IP address.

In rough terms, the domain is mapped by the domain registrar to a number of "nameserver" domains, these domains know about the IP address of the domain, and can resolve the domain to the IP when it is asked for.

When your program asks for a particular domains IP address it does not ask the domains nameserver directly, as it does not know what nameserver to ask.

Your program will go first to a namerserver designated by your ISP, or perhaps a nameserver service you have chosen like 

This nameserver may have cached your domains IP address, or it may have to make queries starting at so called root nameservers until it is directed to the actual nameservers for your domain.

This is a complex process and changes can take time to propagate across the internet, and there is plenty of room for errors to occur. For example one of the nameservers for your domain may not be in possession of up to date records.

In these circumstances people may not be able to access your domain.

The domain testing service applies close to ten tests to check whether people will successfully resolve your domain, and gives a wealth of information as to the correctness of both the nameserver configuration and associated services like email setup.



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