As I’m sure you’re all aware hosting a website with a static public IP address is pretty straight forward. Point your domain names’ DNS A record, depending on your setup, directly to the dedicated public IP address of your webserver OR to the public IP address of your router/firewall and enable port forwarding internally to your websever. Then simply open up port 80 on your firewall /server, unless you want to be different that is and use another web port, and hey presto job done.
But what happens if for some reason you’re unable to obtain a public static IP address or like me you just don’t want to pay extra money every month to your ISP for a static IP address?
The answer is easy. Simply sign up for a free dynamic DNS account from your preferred provider; I use dyndns.com. Now configure your router/firewall/webserver to update your public IP address with your dynamic DNS account every time it changes. All that’s left is to point your domain names’ CNAME record to your dynamic DNS account.
Now in case you’re wondering how well this actually works in practice, using the method described above, for me personally, I have never had an issue. I have noted that the dynamic IP address update is resolved instantly by the domain name lookup when your IP address changes which is great, although it does help to understand where else you may encounter problems. I can only think of two places that might occur which are as follows:
- If the dynamic DNS update fails for whatever reason your domain name will be left pointing to your old previous public IP address.
- And secondly if the machine you are browsing from uses a cached DNS record after your IP address has been renewed. This can be a browser setting or a network setting.
Below is a copy of the DNS management guide I downloaded from my domain name provider which you might find useful if you have any other questions regarding your domain name DNS management.