Pointing Domain Name

Hi. I run several sites dangerously, as my knowledge is just there enough to get me in trouble.

Just now trying something new. I’ve registered a domain name here at dreamhost, with the intention of pointing that domain to another location where a site will be hosted. This is according to a program I have signed onto at the other site, a partnering program. Their instructions to me read as follows:

As soon as your domain name is set up, you must complete the final step and point your domain name to our servers. Your domain must point to (I’m ommitting the IP address for security, but it is a standard IP here)

  • Please configure your DNS servers to point the entire domain to this address.
  • WARNING: A regular http://(the IP address here) will not work properly.

If you do not know how to make your DNS server point your domain name to the IP address above, then, we suggest that you modify your DNS records of your domain to the following:

Pointing or changing your DNS is done from the registrar where you purchased the domain name.

Back to me here. Is there a way at dreamhost to “point the domain name” to an IP? Apparently I can’t just redirect the domain. And I tried changing the DNS but the name serves provided generated errors from the DNS page on the webpanel, saying the IP address was invalid.

Anyone know what I’m trying to do and how to do it? Thanks!


If you do not have a hosting plan under your account here at DreamHost then the second solution, modifying the name servers, is the one that you want.

To ‘point’ the name servers at your host, in the panel go to the Domains -> Registrations, tick the checkbox for the relevant domain under the ‘Modify Whois?’ column then click the ‘Modify whois for selected’ link. At the bottom of the resulting page you will see ‘Set DNS info to host your domain elsewhere’, this is where you enter the name servers (ns1.ommitted etc).


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I’m not understanding this. I am almost in the same situation.

I don’t currently have a website but I need to get my e-mail back working again. I have my MX records forwarded to my Google Apps account, but I can’t modify the DNS for my actual domain name itself. When I try to modify DNS I get this error…

http://kornface13.servebeer.com/dreamhost.gif <–print screen of my error.

Now correct me if I’m wrong…
1.) Dreamhost owns my domain name, not me
2.) I don’t want a website, I just want the name. Thereforce I don’t have a hosting package. I only have the domain hosting package including the domain name I purchased.
3.) The registrar where I purchased my domain will maintain DNS zone information about my domain name. If they don’t then who in the world does? Support is taking forever to get back, and I really need to get this problem solved.

If anyone can help please please please let me know. this is driving me crazy. Why does dreamhost not have some livechat or phone number? E-mail only???

I can understand why you are confused. When you register a domain name through DreamHost, under an account with no active hosting plan, the situation can become complicated due to the fact that DreamHost does not provide DNS for the domain, only registration. Unfortunately, if you want DreamHost to host the DNS for the domain, you will need to purchase a hosting plan.

No, you own the domain name, DreamHost is simply the registrar.

See above; DreamHost does not supply DNS hosting for the domains registered here, unless you also have a hosting plan under your account.

Usually the company providing the hosting for your domain will also provide the DNS, you just set the name servers for your domain (at your registrar) to point to the name servers of the hosting company that you are using.

If you are stuck for DNS, I believe ZoneEdit provides free DNS services. Note, I have not personally used these services.


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ZoneEdit? Awesome! That’s really what I was wanting. So is there a point to setting custom MX records on the dreamhost servers? Why do they even give me these options if I can’t use them?

Also, did you look at the screenshot? Any idea what that’s all about. That’s the reason I thought they were supposed to at least have some records of the domain I registered.

I’ll check into cooledit. Thanks!

Sorry, I missed the screenshot, but I’ve had a look at it now. :slight_smile:

The top part regarding ‘no zone file’ is fairly self explanatory, it’s just telling you basically what I said above, that DreamHost is not handling the DNS for that domain. I have no idea what the ‘we’ll try and create one now’ bit is about.

Overall, I don’t think the DreamHost system is particularly well setup for those that wish to register domains here without also having a hosting plan. It would be nice in such cases if DreamHost also supplied a DNS service for the domain, as this would make life simpler for those who do not want to purchase a hosting plan, either at DreamHost or elsewhere. For example, they may wish to point their domain to their home system.


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OK, well I can deal with that. I’ll just use zoneedit.

Do the ONLY thing I need to do on the dreamhost site is to point my whois records to zonedit’s servers? I thought the whois was just informational rather than functional.

Thanks for your help with this.

Yes, as far as I know that is all you will need to do on the DreamHost end. Of-course, you will need to configure things at the ZoneEdit end as well.

I guess when you only have a domain registration (no hosting), you do need a way to set the name servers and DreamHost placed this on the same page where you set the WHOIS contact info. You can also set the name servers from the ‘Manage Domains -> DNS’ page of the panel, but I don’t believe you can actually access this page unless you also have a hosting plan.

You are welcome. I don’t know a lot about the low level mechanics of DNS, just enough to get myself into trouble, so hopefully I haven’t given you any incorrect info.

Good luck.


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