Domain Names

The ABC's of Domain Names

Custom Domain Names for netAdventist



What's a Domain Name?

A domain name is the foundation of all internet addresses.

For example, and could be domain names bought by the entity and be the base of all the website pages on their website.

Websites can have multiple domain names at the same time, which point to the same website.

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and is the exact address of a resource on a domain name. The resource can be any type of file, such as a web page, a text or graphic file, or an application program.

For example, or are URL's to a specific file on the domain .



South Pacific Web Network domain name structure

A standard structure has been used to give every site in the network a unique but correlating web address.

Public targeted sites:

The public face of the Adventist church in the South Pacific on the internet is now split into nationalised sites. These sites (to be launched in 2009) will service people in the community that want to find out information about Adventists. Information on these sites will include what Adventists believe, what they are doing in the area, services provided and where the closest church or school is.

The domain names of national sites follows this general formula:[CountryCode]

The national sites include:                         

Members targeted sites:

Some entities provided services for members throughout the entire South Pacific Division. Other sites are more focused at targeting members within a specific conference or local area.

The domain names of these sites to some extent reflects this focus, and are as follows:

SPD focus sites:

When an entity has a reach beyond just the country, and to the entire South Pacific Division, it receives an address such as:   http://[EntityName]

Because there is no ‘.spd'  domain extension, the domain was set up to service all SPD-wide focused sites. (Note: the secure section of all websites are actually held at the domain for technical reasons - but does not need to be remembered or used in advertising etc)

Example of entities that would use the name are:

  • The SPD central resource site -
  • SPD-wide influencing ministries - ,

Localised focus sites

Entities that do not ‘service' the entire South Pacific Division are placed inside their countries domain name structure.
For example: http:// [EntityName][CountryCode]   

Below are some examples of equivalent sites that service Australian, NZ and PNG:





Union Conferences

School system



Local Conferences/mission

Conference youth

Conference institutions

Local Church

(Please note: all these addresses will not work with a WWW in them)



No WWW's ?

Hopfully this year we will finally be able to offer www's on the front our your domain names. Until notified, please note that you can't put a ‘www' in front of any of these addresses! The entity name actually replaces the ‘www'. The only address that work with a www are the public national sites and the SPD central resource site (see above). You can type without the http:// but you can not use - it wont work. We advise putting http:// in front of your web address in all advertising to make this a little bit clearer. NOTE: If you buy your own domain you can have www's, see the section below.

If you hear of people saying they can not access your website check 2 things.

  1. are they adding a www - because they shouldn't be.
  2. are they typing the address into a Google search bar and not the address bar like is should be.

Double entries

There are some churches that have the same name suburb as each other but are in different states. If this is the case, the church's suburb name will still be uses but have the abbreviation of its state joined to it.

For example. and - however, in NZ it will be for the .nz in itself differentiates it from any others.



Custom Domain Names for netAdventist

You may already have, or wish to purchase, your own Domain Name for the use of promoting your netAdventist site rather than promoting the default address given to your site. For example registering instead of using .

How Custom domain names work

All sites have an domain name for the secure session.  So no matter what other domains you register the domain will be there and will work to get into the site.

In the future (see above note) the primary domain name for a site can be or any other single domain name.  And that domain name can be changed without affecting the content or anything in the site.

There can be any number of secondary domain names that will redirect the user to the primary domain name.

For example below:

1. The domain name is there and does not change.

2. When you have the domain name "" registered and pointing to the SPD server, we can make this domain name the primary domain name.

3. The domain name will be a secondary domain and will redirect anyone going to this domain name to the domain name.

TIP: In netAdventist V3 you can have friendly page url's. For example the "pathfinders" page can be given the url . You set this name when you are in edit mode of a content page.



Choosing a custom church domain name

When registering a custom domain name, we recommend you do not use the acronym SDA. In the past this abbreviation was acceptable however today those initials are not the preferred abbreviation of the Church's name. The single word "Adventist" is now the preferred abbreviation for our Church. This applies to domain names and also any other form of communication.

Why? SDA can be confused with many other meanings, visit for examples of everyone else who uses this acronym. Even more so, using the word ‘Adventist' shares one of our central beliefs that Jesus is coming again soon, while SDA does not convey any message.

We recommend you choose a name such as: or

You can check availability and prices of domain names at places such as

Handy Tip: Common browsers these days ignore capitalisation of domain names. This means you can CAP the first letter of each word in your domain name in your advertising it to make it easier to read quickly - even though the actual domain is all lowercase.



Buying and Connecting a Custom Domain name to netAdventist

Some of these steps may sound complicated, but even though you may not understand what it's doing, if you use the following details you will be able to get a custom domain name working. However, contact us if ultimately you can't work it out.

Step 1. Buy the name:

Visit a website like to register a domain name.

Your domain name will need renewing every year and prices vary depending on the extension of your domain (eg While you are filling in the details of your domain name purchase, you should be prompted to put in Name Server details.

Step 2. DNS/IP Address

You'll need to point your domain name to your netAdventist website. In order to achieve this you can sign up to a domain name server (DNS) management website such as (free) or (paid).

Once signed up for DNS management, create an A record pointing to the netAdventist server IP address:

NOTE: If you are using this domain for your email, only change the "A" record to point to the netAdventist server but keep the MX record pointing to your current email server so your email service won't be disrupted. 

With this now setup, you can go back to the website you purchased the domain through and set the name servers to those provided by your DNS management website.

Step 3. Site Setup

The final step is to go to your website and open: "Dashboard > Settings > Setup Details" and enter the new domain name. Once this process has been carried out it may take a day for the name to begin working. Wait until the name is working before you make it your primary domain name (which you can do in the same area you added the domain name in the dashboard).

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