Newbie Question Regarding Nameservers

I have just created a DreamHost account using the Crazy Insane Domain or whatever it’s called. I am attempting to move my domain registration from Yahoo to Dreamhost. I have received my email from Tucows (tonight) and have confirmed the transfer. However, everything I read from Dreamhost says that I am responsible for “changing my nameservers to Dreamhost’s nameservers.” This is fine with me, only I have NO idea of how to do this. I received an email awhile back from Dreamhost support when I was contemplating this move. That email seemed to indicate that I could make this change from However, when I go to Manage Domains (the only place I see a reference to DNS), there doesn’t seem to be an option for changing nameservers. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be an option for editing anything with respect to DNS. Is this because my transfer is not yet complete? I might be able to do the nameserver change via Yahoo if I close that account, but I’d rather not do that until the transfer is completed.

Any guidance here would be GREATLY appreciated. I am very excited about my Dreamhost account, but at the same time am very confused and apprehensive about this process.


I think you question might indicate a misunderstanding. I suspect that your domain name is registered with Tucows and that you’re not trying to actually TRANSFER a registration. You probably need get the server names (sometimes referred to as server addresses) from Dreamhost; then go to, log in to “manage your domain” and find where to put in the server names/addresses. It may take 24+ hours before Tucows updates their computer to redirect to the Dreamhost server where your site files actually reside.

This process totally baffled me. I’ve put up several sites now and registered various domains with 3 different companies. I learned it all the hard way. I hope this helps and would love to know if you succeed.

Not sure that’s right. I bought my domain through Yahoo and now want DreamHost to host it. Everything I’ve been told indicates that there is a “transfer” of the domain “registration”. Is that not typical? Right now, when I go to Yahoo’s domain console and go to the option to check my WHOIS info, it doesn’t take me to Tucows…it takes me to a MelbourneIT site or something…so I really think there is a registration transfer to be completed here…not sure why it hasn’t happened yet (although I understand it can take up to a week).

Now I have since learned that I can go to that MelbourneIT site and set my nameservers myself, so in the end I probably can point them at Dream Host now, but I was talking to an online DH tech last night, and he said my registration was still through Yahoo…so I’m still waiting for that transfer to go through.


Perhaps I can shed some light on this.

Domain registrars simply maintain the list of domains. They charge anywhere from $8.95 per year ( to $35 per year (, the original monopoly registrar) PER DOMAIN and everything in between. They are simply the recordkeeper for domain information. If you’re happy with your registrar’s price, you don’t have to change registrars when you move who hosts your website. It just happens that Dreamhost is also a registrar (Domainatron).

In the Dreamhost webpanel, you’ll need to add your domain there. But, that still does nothing until you ask that nameservers be updated. Make sure you upload to your Dreamhost space before proceeding on…

Now, where you’re currently hosting (yahoo) you’d need to login ( and change the nameservers to move away from yahoo. Now, because I’ve never hosted with yahoo I can’t tell you the specifics. And, because you’ve initiated a registrar transfer (tucows) to somewhere (Dreamhost Domainatron?) you may need to login there instead to update your name servers.

An example of one of my many domains follows:

Years ago, I registered a domain ( with Network Solutions; then the only game in town. $35 per year for the single domain. I hosted with my employer at the time, an ISP in Ohio (Zoomnet) for free because I was staff.

Earthlink bought Zoomnet and we all got the boot. (No humans required.) I signed up with Dreamhost. I logged into the control panel and added as a domain. I uploaded my webfiles to my Dreamhost space. I asked Network Solutions (my registrar) to change the nameservers from,, etc. to

I acknowledged all emails from Network Solutions that prevented someone from moving my domain without my permission. It may take 3-4 days for a nameserver change to be visible throughout the world to everyone. (Some in that transition time were seeing my site still at Zoomnet; others were seeing my site on Dreamhost.) (Which is why you’re wise not to cancel your yahoo webspace until say “a week” goes by.)

Later, I tired of paying $35 per year when I could get it for $8.95. So, much later, I went to (a registrar) and ask them to become my registrar. They asked Network Solutions who eventually realized they were going to lose my business and became my registrar.

Sorry for all the gory details. If you tell me your domain name, I’ll look and see who the “whois” record says is your registrar and who it says your nameservers are.

Feel free to email me privately at or write back here with specific questions. (Or, of course, write Dreamhost support.)


Thanks so much for the help. I think I was, in fact, confused by what was meant by a “Registrar”. Had I known that before, this would have been simpler. Now that I have begun this process of switching the registration to Dream Host, I think I probably need to wait a few days to see what happens. I do know now that I can go into my current registrar and re-direct the nameservers if need be, so even if my registration didn’t get transferred, in theory I could still set up the hosting with Dream Host. Thanks very much for your help.


Happy to help. (Everyone hosting on Dreamhost and everywhere else had to do the process “once”…we were all new once as well.) The downside to there being lots of choices of registrars is how each registrar makes changes. But the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages.

You can go to, type in your domain name and see who the registrar is showing as and your current nameservers. (Though it wont necessarily reflect that a registrar change is in the works.)

Also, Dreamhost will include the price of domain registration for your first domain registered through Domainitron (Dreamhost registrar) because you host with Dreamhost. You might want to contact Dreamhost billing for details since you’re transferring in.

I must say that Dreamhost has been a great host; happy things worked out the way they did. And I’ve just added my “day job employer” to their list of customers because of I’m a satisfied customer.

Welcome to Dreamhost. :slight_smile: