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What is DNS?

As you work with Mere on a new website, you may hear us refer to 'DNS' quite a bit. We might also talk about 'pointing your site' in order to launch it, 'migrating domain name registration' to Mere so that we can take care of it, or 'pointing nameservers' so that Mere can help you manage your website domain. What does all this mean? Here's a brief primer:

What is DNS?

DNS, or 'domain name system,' is a way to easily access websites through URLs (for example,, instead of through hard-to-remember IP addresses (for example, Here is a pretty good summary:

DNS is in its basic form is kind of like the phone book on your mobile phone. Whenever you want to call somebody, you have to either dial their telephone number from your memory or search the contact name in your phone book for their number. And let’s be honest, we almost always use the phone book because it’s far easier to remember a name than a number.

Similar to the phone numbers, the internet uses a bunch of number to uniquely identify a device connected to it. Such a collection of numbers is known as an IP address. DNS is a mechanism that maps these IP addresses into domain names for the convenience of the users [...].

Nipun Sampath (DNS for Dummies)

In other words, DNS is the way that your WordPress website files becomes accessible to all of your website visitors at your particular address (for example, Your website files are stored at your web host (Mere uses three web hosts: either FlyWheel, Kinsta, or WPEngine). When we point your domain, we're providing instructions so that your particular domain address points to the files stored at the web host. That way, when visitors type in, they'll see your website!

Let us manage your DNS headache

Mere's preferred way to manage your website domain is to take over the domain name registration ourselves, and bill you for the renewal of the domain each year. To accomplish this, we'll ask you to log in to your domain name registrar (such as GoDaddy, eNom, or 1and1 Ionos) to help us transfer the domain to our domain name registrar, which is DNSimple.

Note: some web hosts also offer domain name registration services simultaneously (GoDaddy, for example). In this case, your web host and your domain name registrar may be the same company.

We'll provide help for your particular registrar so that you can unlock your domain and issue a transfer code, and then we will transfer the domain into our registrar DNSimple. At this point, your domain name will be registered in Mere's name, and we'll make sure that it renews every year and other information stays up to date.

What if I don't want Mere to manage my DNS?

If you would rather keep your domain name registration to yourself, that is all right. As a fallback, you can simply point nameservers to our service. Nameservers are a way to split up the registration of a domain, and the DNS management of a domain. Under this arrangement, you will keep the domain name in your name, and be responsible for keeping it renewed, and keeping contact and payment information up to date with your registrar. So that we can still manage pointing your domain name to the web host, we'll ask that you point the nameservers to DNSimple.

Again, we'll provide specific instructions when the time comes, but you'll be assigning a URL to your domain name that looks something like This tells web servers, "Hey, the domain name is registered here, but we're keeping track of where it's pointing with" This way, we can still update your website's A and CNAME DNS records when the time comes to launch your website.

  • As of 2022, we no longer offer the option for clients to manage their own DNS zone files. Trust us, DNS can get complicated and we're happy to stand in between you and that complexity!

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch via our support portal.