Apex domains are important because they serve as the foundation for all other subdomains and are often used to identify a company or organization online. Besides, it is the default domain for an organization’s email addresses and web pages.
Apex domains can help you create a successful online presence as an individual or business enterprise. But first, you need to know what it is about and how to register it properly.
In this article, I’ll delve into the concept of Apex domains and explain everything you need to know about it.
What is an Apex domain?
Apex domains, also known as root domains, naked domains, or base domains, are the highest level of a domain name hierarchy.
The domain name is at the root of the domain name system (DNS) tree. And it is the highest level you can register with a domain name registrar.
In addition, it is a domain that doesn’t have a fully qualified domain name(FQDN).
For example, in the domain name “www.example.com,” “example.com” is the Apex domain. And the “www” is a subdomain of the Apex domain “example.com.”
You can register Apex domains with a name registrar, such as GoDaddy or Namecheap. And you can manage them using a domain name server (DNS) service, such as Cloudflare or Amazon Route 53.
What can you use the Apex domain for?
An Apex domain helps to identify a specific website or organization.
It is the domain name that people will have to use to access a website, such as “google.com” or “apple.com.” It is used to establish a unique identity for a website or organization and as the primary domain for a website or email address.
The domain also serves as the base for a website or other online service, and you can use it to host a variety of subdomains and content. For example, you might use an Apex to host a company website, a blog, and an online store, each with its subdomain.
How to set up Apex domains
Here is a general overview of the steps you need to take to set up Apex domains:
- Purchase the desired Apex domain from a domain registrar.
- Set up DNS records for the domain with your hosting provider or DNS provider. This will involve creating an A record that points to your website’s server IP address or URL.
- Update any links or references to the Apex domain on your website to ensure they are using the correct domain.
- Test that the Apex is properly configured and functioning as expected by accessing it in a web browser.
- If necessary, update any external links or references to the Apex domain to ensure they are pointing to the correct location.
How to set up Apex domains in Namecheap
Namecheap is a popular domain registrar; here is how to set up an Apex domain on the platform:
- Go to the Namecheap website and log in to your account.
- Click on the “Domains” tab in the top menu.
- Click on the domain name you want to set up as an Apex domain.
- Click on the “Advanced DNS” tab.
- Click on the “Add New Record” button.
- Select “A Record” from the dropdown menu.
- In the “Host” field, enter “@” to set up the Apex domain.
- In the “Value” field, enter the IP address of your server.
- Click on the “Add Record” button to save the changes.
- Repeat steps 5-9 for any additional subdomains you want to set up.
- Wait for the DNS changes to propagate, which can take up to 48 hours.
- Test the Apex domain by visiting it in a web browser. If it works properly, you successfully set up the domain with Namecheap.
Ways to set up an Apex domain in GoDaddy
GoDaddy is another popular domain registrar, to set up Apex in GoDaddy, follow these steps:
- Log in to your GoDaddy account and select the domain you want to set up as an apex domain.
- Go to the “DNS” tab and click on the “Add” button next to the “A (Host)” section.
- In the “Host” field, enter “@” and in the “Points to” field, enter the IP address of your server.
- Click the “Save” button to save the changes.
- Wait for the changes to take effect, which may take up to 72 hours.
- Once the changes have taken effect, you can access your website using the apex domain.
How to set up an Apex domain in Google Domains
Google Domains is owned and managed by Google. Here’s how to set up Apex using Google Domains:
- Go to the Google Domains website and log in to your account.
- Click on the domain name you want to set up as an apex domain.
- In the domain settings, click on the “DNS” tab.
- Scroll down to the “Custom resource records” section.
- Click on the “Add” button and select “A” from the dropdown menu.
- In the “Name” field, enter “@” to represent the Apex domain.
- In the “IPv4 address” field, enter the IP address of the server where your website is hosted.
- Click on the “Save” button to save the changes.
- It may take up to 48 hours for the changes to take effect. Once the changes have propagated, your apex domain will be set up and ready to use.
What is an Apex ALIAS DNS record?
It’s a DNS record similar to a CNAME record. But it allows you to use a domain name as the alias instead of just a subdomain.
Using it can help you create shorter or more memorable domain names for your website or redirect traffic from other domains to your primary site.
Can Apex domains have CNAME records?
No, they can’t.
This is because CNAME records can only point to another domain. Meanwhile, Apex domains are the highest level in the domain hierarchy and cannot be pointed to by another domain.
Why is there no CNAME in Apex?
The reason is that Apex must have an A or AAAA record to point to the server hosting the domain.
Also, other DNS records required at the Apex level cannot coexist with a CNAME record.
The Apex domain refers to a domain name that points to the server hosting the domain.
If you register your domains on Namecheap and host your website on GoDaddy, you can connect the two by setting up Apex in Namecheap.
While other options are available, such as subdomains or third-level domains, Apex domains allow for greater control and flexibility regarding website organization and content management.
And it is the most effective way to establish a strong online presence and brand identity.
Ultimately, using Apex and choosing the right domain name can greatly impact the success of your online business or website, making it an important consideration for any online entrepreneur or digital marketer.
Thanks for reading.
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