Custom DNS/Domain


I am trying to set up my DH site ( to answer directly at a non-dreamhoster domain ( WITHOUT frames. I’ve asked DH support how to do this several times and keep getting different answers. The non-dreamhost domain ( has its own DNS servers and they can create a CNAME for the subdomain to point to Dreamhost’s hosting servers. Redirecting and cloaking are not the right solutions. How do I set things up on the dreamhost side.

If mirroring is the correct answer, what kind of entry (“A” record or “CNAME”) does Emory put into its DNS system to point “xxx.EMORY.EDU” to the hosted site on Emory cannot change the name server entries for itself, as your instructions seem to suggest, but it can do “A” records and “CNAME” entries ad nauseum.

Thanks in advance.


You can redirect your xxx.EMORY.EDU to but that will change the address in the url bar to which is not what you want.

What you want to do you can’t do with a free subdomain, and you will need a dedicated IP (which is why you can’t do it with a subdomain, dedicated IP’s are not available.)

To make this work on dreamhost SHARED hosting you can use any domain you own, create a subdomain such as as fully hosted, Add a dedicated IP to that sub-domain (costs extra), then have a CNAME record added at emory for to point to then a user will be able to navigate to, see that in the browser address bar, but get content served from

If you have a VPS or dedicated server the answer will be different because you have the ability to edit your httpd.conf file.


So mirroring won’t work?


No, A mirror is only a server alias, it can’t magically create an address at dreamhost that doesn’t exist at dreamhost. A mirror would only work if’s name servers were pointed to dreamhost.


But there is an address that exists at dreamhost, There’s also an address that exists at emory, Emory cannot change the name server entries for itself, but it can do “A” records and “CNAME” entries. So what kind of entry (“A” record or “CNAME”) does Emory put into its DNS system to point “newsenterprise.EMORY.EDU” to the hosted site on


I told you. CNAME, but on shared hosting IT WILL ONLY WORK IF YOU HAVE A DEDICATED IP, which you can’t get for

The reason is that on shared hosting many hosted domains also share the same IP address, because of that if you CNAME to a domain on a shared server you will see bad_httpd_conf error because dreamhost doesn’t have any idea which one of those domains on the shared IP on the shared server is supposed to get the traffic for newsenterprise.EMORY.EDU. This problem goes away when your domain or subdomain (on the dreamhost side) has it’s own dedicated IP address.


While the above method is the best way, there may be another choice, if no one else from has already gotten the name into dreamhost namesspace.

If you can add newsenterprise.EMORY.EDU as a fully hosted domain via the panel, then you could in fact lookup the IP address for that entry, by clicking the DNS link under newsenterprise.EMORY.EDU in the panel (after the clock icon goes away). The record listed in “Non-editable DreamHost DNS records for newsenterprise.EMORY.EDU” would be an A record with an IP adddress. Take that IP address and have add an A record for newsenterprise.EMORY.EDU using the IP address. Then you would need to move your hosting files here.

The potential issues are: only one dreamhost account can have listed on there account. If the panel gives you an error when you try to add the domain that might be the problem.

The other issue is this solution is more fragile, than the one above that uses a cname record. In this case if your IP ever changes the site will break until you figure out that is the problem, obtain the new IP and give it to to update the A record.


Hi … I am a web guy at trying to help darmstrong. Thanks very much for your help! Static IP is the best suggestion so far …

I have a followup question for you. Even if we add a dedicated IP and set up a CNAME, DH’s Apache server will still needs to know somehow that it should handle incoming requests for the same as it handles them for news How/where on DH do we configure that (I don’t have access to our account to poke around) and can we be sure that we won’t run into the same problem – namely that some other DH account has already “claimed” the top-level domain? Will DH allow you to set up a handler for a subdomain on a dedicated IP without creating a top-level domain handler first?



If you follow the first suggestion you won’t run it to the problem at all. Scratch out of the picture tho. The two things you will need is a registered domain name (or subdomian name) that have dreamhost nameservers. Second you need the dedicated IP. Once you have those two follow these direction from post 2 and you are done:

PS - I’ll email you through the forum also. I set up a test, but don’t want to share my test links publically.


LakeRat, Thanks.
Here’s where we are: I added a domain I control,, as fully hosted under And, as suggested by DH, we changed the web directory for the fully hosted domain to:
Web directory:/home/username/

I’m now going to change the names servers (on godaddy) for to point to:, ns2… etc.

Ater that, I’ll add the dedicated IP option to domain on DH.

Emory can then add a CNAME record for to point to

Right? Piece of cake. (Ha!)

Thanks much for your help.


Yup, that should work.

Just be aware that nameserver changes don’t bring instant joy, it takes awhile for propagation to occur, but when the dust settles you should be in business.


@LakeRat …Got your email and the example worked. Thanks for going the extra mile.