I don’t know about you, but my knees used to tremble at the fact that someday I would have to host a website. Add databases and backend code to the equation and I would almost lose my sleep.
If you’re starting out with web development, chances are that your heart runs a few beats faster every time you hear the words DNS, name servers, SSH, and that “kind” of stuff. You’re not alone.
Sadly, today is not the day where I write a post explaining all these terms to make your life easier. However, today is the day that I say: I am with you. I have finally faced the DNS new-web-developers eating monster!😱
If you’re facing a wall, hear out my issue and perhaps it can shed a light on yours.
DNS and Name Servers
I’ve deployed two static web pages: one through GitHub Pages and the other one through Heroku. Now the problem is the following: I have to configure my app or webpage’s name servers or DNS settings to point to GitHub Pages or to the Heroku-supplied DNS target, respectively. That doesn’t sound like a problem yet. In the end, just keep tweaking until you get it done, right? This is when it starts getting hairy.
Web developers like you and I are used to the trial and error. I feel confident to guess that
command + tab and
command + R are your best friends when styling your HTML and refreshing your browswer. DNS changes don’t allow us to do that. “What do you mean?” What I mean is that you have to wait up to 48 hours to know if you did it right. How can we survive that? There are ways around like checking with third-party applications what is your website’s actual DNS since your ISP’s caching can blablabla…“WHY IS THIS SO COMPLICATED?! I JUST WANT MY WEBSITE!”
On days like this, I remind myself that these are the moments that make you competent and knowledgable in whatever it is that you’re working on. Even if you’re not stuck with DNS, name servers or any of that gibberish, but are stuck in something else, chances are that if you keep at it, next week you’ll know more than the average person. Keep at it and come back soon so I can explain it all to you.