Websites of schools, colleges, universities, and research institutes in India are recognized with four different domain name extensions. Those are – .edu.in, .ac.in., .res.in and .vidya.bharat. You can’t register a domain name with any of these extensions with a commercial domain registrar. Education and Research Network of India (ERNET India) is the only authorized agency with whom you can register a domain in this category for your institution. ERNET India is a Government of India initiative.
Although ERNET India also offers web hosting services, there are several reasons that you prefer to host your website with the commercial web hosting service providers. Having two different vendors for your requirement can bring some difficulties for you in the process of integration. Therefore, this post will help you throughout the process so that you can overcome the technical issues in connecting your ERNET India domain to your website.
1. Purchase a Hosting Plan
Assuming that you have already registered your domain, I suggest you purchase a hosting plan as per your requirement from your choicest hosting service provider like NameCheap, Godaddy, or any other. If you already have a hosting plan, please go ahead.
2. Ask for Nameservers to Your Hosting Service Provider
The only thing that you require to point your domain to the IP address of your server is the nameserver. Nameservers are the records in a domain name system (DNS) that can transfer human-readable domain names to machine-readable IP addresses. It is why you require to request your hosting service provider for the same.
Check the available options of being connected with the support team of your hosting service provider. There might be multiple options, but I suggest to use the chat option, if available. Chat option can help you in checking and rechecking the information exchanged by both the parties in real-time so that the error of any type can be better avoided. For example, in a telephonic conversation, the nameserver or a domain name can be misspelled. Response to an email might take a far longer time.
3. Login to Your ERNET India Account
After successfully registering your domain, you will be served with an email that contains your user name and link to create a password so that you can log in to the ERNET portal. After receiving the email, create your login password by following the link. Note that your user id will be your domain name. You can not change it. Using your user id and password, log in to your ERNET India account.
4. Modify Your Nameservers at ERNET India
While most of the domain registrars provide you with DNS panel or DNS zone files for your domain, ERNET India does not offer such services. The only option you can avail of with ERNET India is to modify your nameservers.
To modify your nameservers, click on the modification tap on the site https://www.registry.ernet.in/. You’ll be redirected to the account login page. Log in with your credential. At the next step, you’ll be redirected to the page where you can update your contact information along with nameservers. The name server modification field will look like this:
You need to update two nameservers, namely primary nameserver and secondary nameserver1. You may have more secondary nameservers that can be up to a maximum of five for an ERNET domain.
After modifying the nameservers, click on the save button.
5. Confirmation of the Updates by Email
Never be assured that after modifying the nameservers, you have finished. Check for a confirmation email from ERNET India. The mail will look like this:
Just reply to the email that you have requested for the nameserver modifications. Within a few hours, you will receive an email that will look like this:
6. Request Your Hosting Service Provider to Create DNS Panel for Your Domain
Once you have successfully updated the nameservers for your domain, you need to update the Domain Name System (DNS) zone files for your domain. However, you can not perform these task with your ERNET India account as ERNET never support any DNS service. It means you have to manage the DNS for your domain with your hosting service provider.
To be able to manage the DNS for your ERNET India domain, you need to contact your hosting service provider and request them to create the DNS panel for your domain. You need to provide the domain name and specific nameservers along with the hosting plan you have subscribed to or the IP address that connects the domain and the server where your website has been hosted.
Within a few minutes of chatting with the support team member who represents the hosting service provider, you can get your DNS panel ready for you.
7. Update IP Address in the DNS Zone File of Your Domain
If you are logged out of your hosting account, log in or proceed further if already logged in. Note that you may not find your ERNET domain in the product list available with your hosting account. It is because you have not registered with or transferred the domain to your hosting service provider. You need to click on all domains or external domains depending upon the features of your dashboard provided by your specific hosting company. Now you can find an option to manage your domain.
You will find A Record at the top of your DNS zone records. A record stands for the address mapping record that is the IP address for your domain. At the value place of this record, you will find Parked. It means that no domain has been assigned to your website.
Visit your hosting plans at a separate tab where you can find all the domain names for your websites and their pointing IP address. Copy the IP address and return to the DNS panel for the specific domain.
At the next step, replace the Parked text by pasting the IP address in the Value field. Be ensured that the name field is either blank or marked with @ symbol. The DNS property panel will look like this:
Now you have all set up. You can upload your website to your server or start creating a new website with your domain name.
Although I have mentioned all the steps that you can easily follow, you may have a few confusion in the entire server and domain configuration process. Please feel free to raise a query by commenting on the post if you require any further help. I will respond to your doubts within 24 hours after you ask.