External host, just want to point to DH-hosting, not switch nameservers

Scenario: Client has site/email hosted on a different host. I want to just point the domain to my DH site, without switching nameservers.

Can I do this simply by changing/creating an A record for mydomain.com at the external DNS host and point it to my DH IP (I have a private server)?

Or is this a bad idea, and I should switch NS, then change the MX records to point back to where they were before?


Your first idea will not work because the DH IP is not static. Your best best is to change name servers and change the MX records as you mentioned.

Eh, true – for some reason, though the DH PS had a static IP.

Will there be e-mail downtime during the nameserver change?

Dreamhost does not provide guaranteed static IPs. It may not change for a while, but it can and will change without notice at some point. It may have a private IP, which is reserved for your use only. However, even private DH IPs are not static. This makes it easier for them if they need to do some network restructuring.

There shouldn’t be, so long as you set up the new MX records on dreamhost to match the same as your old host BEFORE you change the name servers. Do that here:


Add the domain with full hosting. Opt-out of Google mail. Go back to manage domains and change the MX records.

That way, as the nameserver change propagates, the MX records are the same regardless of the progression of the propagation.

For more info, see: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Configure_hosting_on_a_non-DreamHost_domain