Domain Registration without Hosting


#1

So I manage DreamHost hosting accounts for 3 different organizations so I’m well familiar with the hosting options.

I have my own personal domain that I only use for Google Apps, so basically I only need registration and custom DNS. I can’t tell from dreamhost.com whether if I create a personal account to just maintain the domain registration if I get access to the control panel to manage the DNS. Or is DNS management part of the hosting product?


#2

~bump~ hoping someone who knows the answer can comment.

Recap of question: if you have a domain name registration with dramhost, but no hosting account, can you edit the DNS zone file of the domain name?

I think the answer is ‘yes’, but I can’t tell for sure as I do have a hosting account

(Getting a friend to open up a registration-only account, just to find out the answer to this question, would be taking the experimental method too far I think)

But (based on the panels that do appear in my account) I think that the procedure is rather confusingly presented: it seems that what the person would have to do is click on ‘Manage Domains’, and then they have to click on ‘Add Hosting’, even though they have no intention of getting a hosting account; that takes them to a screen where they can choose either to add some actual hosting, or just to edit the DNS records.

~Tom


#3

Actually, I found that I asked this a few years ago and got an official answer from DreamHost. The answer is no, you can register a domain name, and I thing you can point the DNS somewhere, but editing the DNS hosts table requires hosting. So I just keep using namecheap.com instead…


#4

Well, it turns out (by experiment) that you can do this, with a registration-only account at Dreamhost, by using a free account at Cloudflare as your DNS zone file editor.

The steps are,

(1) add the domain to your Cloudflare account (Cloudflare will ask you to create “at least one” DNS record before accepting the domain, so I wrote in an arbitrary TXT record at this point)

(2) go back to Dreamhost and point your domain at the nameservers that Cloudflare tells you

(3) create a free Google Apps account for the domain, and verify your ownership of it by choosing “edit DNS” as the verification method, adding the TXT record which Google then specify to the zone file in your Cloudflare account

(4) go back to Cloudflare and add the MX records needed for Gmail.

Gmail is then up and running on your domain.

(Maybe if I had done these steps in another order, they could have been made even more minimal: the “at least one” DNS record which Cloudflare wanted me to add could have been the TXT record which Google asks me to add, or the MX records.)

~Tom


#5

To put it simply, yes you can! Login into your Panel here: https://panel.dreamhost.com/index.cgi?tree=domain.registration& and go into Domain > Registrations.
There will be a “Add Hosting” button on the far right.
It will redirect you to a new page and from that page you can select from “Fully Hosted, Redirect, etc”. The very last one is “DNS Only”.
Go ahead and select that and there you go!
You can also go to the Manage Domains page and click on (Add New Domain / Sub-Domain button), and scroll to the bottom of the next page to set it up for DNS Only
Hope this answered your question!
If I’m misunderstanding and it’s not what you need, let us know!

If our panel gives you any trouble setting up that domain for DNS management, please reach us here with the details: https://panel.dreamhost.com/index.cgi?tree=support.msg&


#6

That’s great. It works perfectly and does exactly what one would wish. My only question is: has something changed recently? I thought I tried that last week and it didn’t seem to work, which is why I then tried the Cloudflare experiment.

~Tom