Domain at GD, Mail at DH


I have a domain which was purchased some time ago at GoDaddy. The domain’s DNS records have been modified to point the site to my home server for the website. Before putting this site on a home server, I had GoDaddy pointing to DreamHost where it was fully hosted. After moving it back, obviously I lost email function with Dreamhost. If I could I would REALLY like to get just the email functionality back on DreamHost and I have been struggling with this for days. I have been asking for help both at GoDaddy and here, both of which have been very helpful thus far but I am unable to get any specific direction because i know this is a complicated process. I am hoping that by showing where I am at visually perhaps someone could chime in…

Currently this is what my DNS records look like with GoDaddy:

And here is my DNS record for DH:

Can anyone suggest what I might be missing that would be required?

There is more than one way to do this. Yes you should be able to generate and MX records, SPF (txt records) and a few A records (for, webmail., mailboxes. etc. The MX record and the A records you should be able to pick up as you have by copying dreamhost entries on the GD side. The SPF you have doesn’t look correct to me however, not being an expert and generating those I won’t say what would be correct in your case.

Another method, (this is the one I would pick for simplicity) is to change the domains nameservers to dreamhosts, then point the single A or CNAME record for webservers to your home server from dreamhost DNS. I would do this because DNS for email can be a fairly complicated issue, and this way the same people that manage the mail servers have the ability to manage the way the default entries are built. On the other hand there is only a single (maybe 2) records to point web services (much easier to manage manually).

In either case, don’t forget the cardinal rule of DNS: Allow time for propagation. DNS changes are not instant. You can follow the progress of propagation using Especially with mail, and the mix of DNS records, allow about 12 hours or so maybe longer regardless of shorter TTL’s.

I was wondering about going the route of changing back to dreamhost and then to the home server…however my only concern was that if I remembered correctly, when I had GoDaddy using my DH Nameservers, I was unable to edit any of the dns records for the domain because it wasn’t registered at DH.

So would I have to transfer registration to DH as well for this to work? I also believe when I was using DH nameservers on GoDaddy, GoDaddy prevented me from editing the records because it was using DH nameservers…so it was like once I did that it seemed like both sides were set in stone…

Thank you for your insight, and good looking out on the…I had forgotten all about that lol.

Let me know if you have an opinion editing the records after switching nameservers, if you get a chance :slight_smile:

If you attempted this before, then I think you didn’t understand exactly what was happening.

If you change the nameservers to dreamhost’s, then you will make all DNS edits via the dreamhost panel, you won’t be able to edit DNS via godaddy.

Who the domain’s registrar is, and whose nameservers the domain is set to really don’t have anything to do with each other. If the domain registrar is godaddy, that’s who you pay your annual fee to, and that is where you log in to change domain whois and privacy info as well as where you set the nameservers.

Whose nameservers are in play determines which is managing the individual DNS records (A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, TXT, etc). If you have GD’s nameservers then you would use GD’s tools to make changes to specific DNS records, if you have dreamhost’s nameservers then you will use dreamhost’s tools to make changes to specific DNS records.

Regardless of which, both hosts have the ability to manage some records for you when you are using their DNS. Because GD’s nameservers are your current choice, then the records that dreamhost automatically generates for you have no effect. You have to copy them over, as you have done using the screenshot you provided earlier. If on the other hand, dreamhost nameservers were in play then those records would automatically be included for you, and you would only need one more A record, to point the domain to your home server. Since DNS records for mail can get complicated, using dreamhosts DNS would mean that you don’t have to manage those records yourself, just that single A record to point back to your home server.

AFAIK… the only drawback to using dreamhost for DNS, instead of GD’s as you have it set now, is that dreamhost doesn’t let you change the TTL value on your own, you have to live with the dreamhost default which is 14400 or 4 hours. This is really only a problem during the 4 hours following a change (and you don’t change things very often). People get excited because they can make the value less, but it really isn’t something most people need.

Yeah I’m not sure what I was thinking when I tried to edit it before, I am thinking that I looked at it too quickly and didn’t bother to keep looking. I think I will do just that…switch back to DH DNS and add A record for the home server. Seems to make the most sense to me because copying them over to GD is proving to be a bit of a pain lol. Thank you very much for your input and help and taking the time to answer, I really really appreciate it.