Sub domain of different site, 3rd party DN



I’m brand new to dreamhost, so I will appreciate your help greatly.

Our company’s main website is hosted on our own server, and the DNS is conrolled by Network Solutions. For reasons beyond my controll, that server doesn’t support PHP, so we are running our company blog (using wordpress) on Dreamhost. We bought a dummy URL to access this blog–it works just great.

But what I want is to create a subdomain at my own site: which points to the dreamhost server. Once that is working, I will redirect the dummy URL to that URL.

Could you walk me through what is required to do this? Thank you so much for your help!


I had exactly the same problem recently. There is a bug in Dreamhost’s panel that doesn’t allow you to host a subdomain on your Dreamhost account if you don’t host the domain as well. Luckily you can fake that “hosting the domain” part.

This is what you need to do:

  1. Change the DNS nameservers record of the subdomain ( to,, or the corresponding IP numbers (see wiki). Some registrars require the format (with final dot)
    If you’re not allowed to set nameservers, change the A record to the IP number of your Dreamhost web server.

  2. In Dreamhost webpanel/Manage Domains, add the parent domain ( as “fully hosted”. This will have no effect as you didn’t point the DNS record for to Dreamhost. It’s just to trick the panel into accepting the subdomain.

  3. Now add the subdomain ( as “fully hosted”. (Be aware of the options - for example I like to keep some control over my sites, so I always disable all Google stuff. If your subdomain is on Rails, enable Passenger but be aware that it breaks mod_rewrite)

  4. You can delete web hosting for now (red X in the “Web hosting” column). Don’t delete this domain from the panel altogether - the subdomain will still be there but you’ll get a HTTP “410 Gone” error when you try to access it.

You should be able to access the directory for the new subdomain (/home/yourusername/ almost instantly and copy your files over. DNS propagation is slow, so expect up to 24 hours until your subdomain is up.


This is great advice! Thanks so much. I’ve done what you said (we had already setup a type A record, so I’m hoping that will still work), and now I’m waiting for the DNS.

You mentioned that I can access /home/yourusername/, this seems like a silly question, but what do I put in front of that? I tried, and the URL of my current blog. I would like to access it right away so that I can get it setup by the time the DNS has propegated (I know how to get there from the FTP, but I want to see it in a browser).

Thanks again for a great step-by-step reply! My fingers, Toes, and Eyes are all crossed in hopes that this will work!


There is extensive information about this in this Dreamhost wiki article, “Viewing site before DNS change”

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Hey All,
Thanks for your great advice thus far, we’re still not quite up and running, (when I visit I still get the "error id: “bad_httpd_conf” message) so I’m hoping you can help me troubleshoot a few things:

  1. When we setup, we used a Type A record (in stead of a nameservers record), and pointed it to the IP of my dreamhost site–it’s the right IP, I checked. Does that change how I have to setup the domains in the dreamhost panel?

  2. Could there be any hosting configuration options that are setup incorrectly that are hindering from connecting with the dreamhost server? Things like “Extra Web Security” or “google apps”?

  3. You mentioned that I can delete hosing for, which I did, should I also delete hosting for

Again, I can’t thank you enough for your help.