Dreamhost DNS and subdomains

I’ve done a bit of searching on this topic looking for my exact situation but have not found this exact flavor.

I have example.com and use DreamHost as my registrar. example.com, for the time being, needs to point somewhere else (another web host). I want to set up beta.example.com with hosting on DreamHost.

So I have the domain set up with its nameservers pointing elsewhere, and attempts to set up beta.example.com. What do I need to do to get beta.example.com working?

My working theory is that I need to switch example.com’s nameservers back to DreamHost’s DNS and then adjust the A records for the top-level stuff so that it points elsewhere. But I’m not sure if this will work, as DreamHost creates uneditable A records for sites “hosted” on it.

*Sorry that this so wordy.

You could use a .dreamhosters sub-domain for your dev stuff.

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Just copy the DNS info for the subdomain on dreamhost, to the DNS server you are using now.

I’m not totally sure what you mean by this.

The situation: I’m using DH as my registrar for example.com. www.example.com needs to point to another Web host. beta.example.com needs to point to hosting on DH.

I’ve just switched the nameservers for the domain so that they point at ns1.dreamhost.com, ns2.dreamhost.com, etc. When that’s done, I’m going to try to add an A-record so that it points back at the other Web host IP.

Is there anything wrong with what I’m doing?

That’s also a way to do it. I assumed you wanted to keep DNS where it was.

Well, it worked, sort of. The A-records I created pointed at the right IP address but the outside host for example.com is also using a database, and it could not find localhost. I was completely stuck on what to do so I’ve switched back to using their nameservers.

Can I still create A-records for beta.example.com within the DH control panel and point them at DH hosting, even though the nameservers being used are somewhere else? (not using ns1.dreamhost.com, etc.).

You could host the database here and use a URL for the outside site to connect to. Just have to add it’s IP into your SQL white-list.

As for the last part, you’d create any record changes at the outer host pointing back to DreamHost.

Much less fuss using a url.dreamhosters.com subbie mate - have your beta.domain.com redirect to it from outside if you’re worried about what you type into the browser. Cloak it if you really have to. You shouldn’t need to mess about with records for a beta/dev site - unless there’s some unmentioned specific reason that precludes this course of action.

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Thanks for the suggestion on .dreamhosters. Cloaking might work but I want to easily swap the beta into the live site on launch day. From another posting I’ve found a good technique for that.

The thing that seems odd to me are these non-editable A records. Are we able to override them with custom A records?

Non-editable A records are there because something was created at that URL. With some hoop-jumping, I’ve been able to create A records for most subdomains.


The non-editable sections are there for our own protection (internal machine IPs can change from time to time). You can add a custom A key by leaving the first field blank. Changes take a few minutes. Messing with domain keys should be a last call tho when there are less drastic options that can get the job done :wink:

Swapping dev to production is as simple as a directory rename if hosting here (and sometimes a change in the config file to alter any hardcoded full path). If you’re retaining the outer host as your production machine then rsync will be a handy tool to read up on. It’s a real time saver.

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