There are situations when the IP address of a server must be changed. This may happen due to a security issue (e.g. Distributed Denial of Service attack) or other network requirement. When this change occurs it will affect your website if you specify the IP address in your web server settings or in email client settings. Anyone trying to get to the address used before the change will not be able to see your website and the browser will report that it cannot connect. The following article explains the actions you would need to take if the address changes. We will also discuss how to determine if you are using a third-party DNS. This will help you to recognize when and where you would need to make changes to your DNS. There is also a brief discussion on how DNS propagation affects these changes.
Identifying the DNS server for your domain
First you need to determine if your DNS settings are saved with InMotion’s DNS servers or with a third party server. If your domain’s name servers are pointed to InMotion Hosting, then you are using InMotion Hosting’s DNS. You do not need to make any changes to your DNS if you are using InMotion Hosting’s DNS because the IP addresses will automatically be changed for you. If your domain name is pointed elsewhere then it is not using InMotion’s name servers and you would need to update the IP address used to point to the InMotion Hosting server. The setting containing the IP address is generally called an A record. An A record very simply a record that is composed of an IP address. Quite literally, the DNS setting will be identified as an “A record”.
Using WHOIS to identify your name servers
You can determine your domain’s name servers by using a WHOIS query or service. Here is an example of the results that you may see using WHOIS:
Example of a domain with the name servers pointed to InMotion Hosting:
Domain name: EXAMPLE.COM
Name Server: NS1.INMOTIONHOSTING.COM
Name Server: NS2.INMOTIONHOSTING.COM
Example of a domain using a third-party DNS:
Domain name: EXAMPLE2.COM
Name Server: ns.domainserver1.com
Name Server: ns.domainserver2.com
Name Server: ns.domainserver3.com
Name Server: ns.domainserver4.com
After running the WHOIS query (or using an online WHOIS service), you can immediately identify if the domain name is using the InMotion Hosting name servers by looking at the “name server” field. If you see ns1.inmotionhosting.com and ns2.inmotionhosting.com then you are using the InMotion Hosting DNS. If you see something else, then the domain is using a third-party DNS.
Shared servers and VPS/Dedicated Servers
If you are using a third party DNS and you reference the IP address that has been changed, then you must update the IP address in the third party DNS interface. If you are using InMotion Hosting’s DNS, you do not need to make any changes to the DNS because it is automatically changed for you.
IP Address changes with a third-party Host
Like InMotion Hosting, third party hosts may change their IP address for specific reasons. If this happens and you are pointing to a third party server, then the IP address you are using will need to be updated. This is generally done through the cPanel Simple DNS editor or cPanel Advanced DNS editor. If you are on a VPS or dedicated server, you can use the Web Host Manager(WHM) to make DNS changes.
Email clients are programs that are installed to manage email. You will only need to change the settings in your email client if you have used the IP address to reference the server. You do not need to make changes for the webmail clients, or if your settings were using the domain name to reference the server. For further information on changing these settings, please consult your email client’s documentation. The location of these settings will vary from program to program.
How to find your shared IP
If you are not familiar with finding the IP for your shared server account, please go to How to find your shared IP address in cPanel.
Effect of Domain Propagation
The final thing to consider when you are making changes to the DNS or IP address is the amount of time required for the update to be recognized over the internet. This period of time is known as DNS propagation. This is typically a short delay of no more than 24 hours during which the change in DNS would not be recognized.