Let's say you've come up with the domain name you want to use for your new WordPress site and have registered it - maybe somewhere like Uniregistry (what I use) or GoDaddy. What's next? How do you "connect" or point your domain to your web hosting account / server and get your new site up and running?
This is where DNS comes in.
DNS stands for "domain name system" or "domain name server". The later phrase, "domain name server", suits us best in this instance. Basically, what happens is that when someone types your domain into their internet browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, etc) to view your site - let's say www.codecoffee.com for example - DNS translates that domain into a IP address. That IP address then leads to the server on which your site is hosted and your website is "served" (basically, displayed) to your readers.
So, thanks to DNS, instead of having to remember different IP addresses like 18.104.22.168 for Gmail, 22.214.171.124 for your favorite news site and 126.96.36.199 for Facebook, for example, you just need to remember the URLs (domains) for those sites, obviously being www.gmail.com, www.bbc.com (depending on your preference!) and www.facebook.com.
Anyway, back to how to set the DNS for your new domain... The screenshots below might differ slightly depending on where you registered your name, but the settings are the same.
In Uniregistry, you want to head to the "NS / DNS Records" screen as seen below and scroll down to the "DNS Records" section.
Click on "New Record" and then add two new records as below. We don't need to get into too much detail here, but basically what the various settings do is add the link between your domain name (e.g. codecoffee.com) and your web hosting server IP (e.g. 188.8.131.52). Make sure the "Type" is "A".
Make sure you save your changes and you're done!
You might need to wait some time for the settings to be propagated (spread) around the internet, maybe up to a few hours. Sometimes the changes happen very quickly though (like 5 minutes). You can use this tool to check. Just enter your domain into the box and click "Search". If your change has been propagated, the IP address of your server will show up next to each flag. You don't need to wait for all the flags to show the correct IP address, just a handful, and the rest should follow quickly.
The instructions for GoDaddy are more or less the same as above. Just navigate to the "DNS" screen of your Domain Manager and click "ADD". Then fill in the details exactly like we did above.
184.108.40.206 is the IP address of the server that CodeCoffee is hosted on, so you can see I entered that. Once you save everything, your screen should look similar to that below. Just remember that you can always check the status of your DNS at DNSChecker and the "A" type (technically, it's a "record") is the one we are interested in for the purposes of building our WordPress site.
That's it! You've now successfully setup the DNS for your domain. You can proceed to installing WordOps and setting up WordPress.