Transferring hosting to dreamhost but not email

I am about to transfer webhosting for a domain to Dreamhost, but the client already has their own mail server which won’t be changing, so I want to make sure I understand this correectly so I don’t screw up email for the 20 or so people who could be affected.

The way I understand it, I would set up a custom A record for “” that points to the existing mail server’s ip address, and then a custom MX record of “10” through the dreamhost control panel.

Is this correct? And if I do this before I swich the DNS servers to Dreamhost (DH is not the registrar) will the transition be seamless?

Also, if I later transfer my domain registration to DH, would I have to change anything?

I’m sorry if this is a basic question, but I’ve never done it before and I don’t want to risk losing email for 20+ people.


You seem to have the steps correctly identified. I have recently done this and it really was pretty easy. Frankly I have been concerned about the e-mail service through Dreamhost lately and you are probably much better off not hosting the e-mail at DH. I have also recently transfered many of my registrations to DH and most of them were already pointing the domain to the DH servers. They transfered after about one week from the old registrars. Make sure you have the authorization code when you set up the transfer which you initiate in the DH control panel.

One last point is the wiki explains the Custom MX record pretty well and that is all there is to it. The ending . is mentioned so make sure you dont forget it as you input your 10

Since you mention you will input the information ahead of time you will just wait for propagation to take place and you will be all set.


tach55 is right. DH mail server may have some problem with hotmail and google email users.

Hi tach55, do you have the problem with hotmail and google email users?

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Hi Nathan823

I was having difficulty with some of my clients not receiving e-mail or getting it after a day or two delay. It was from some addresses and not others. It may have been related to Spam Assassin. I turned in a ticket and they said it was the junk filter and that it was fixed on Friday. But I am still concerned that it is not very reliable. I also noticed that some of the ip addresses for the DH mail servers are still showing up on a blacklist. I go to and lookup the mx and they have a blacklist lookup too. I have not seen anything specific to hotmail or gmail per your question. But I have not really tested for that specifically.

I switched one of my domains to google mail and it seems to be working fine so far. (That is, I changed the MX record to the google mail server after setting up the account at Google Apps for your Domain) I may consider this as standard procedure unless I get more confidence in the DH mail.


I did not encounter any problems with email server in DH so far.

But I’ve seen some posts in the forum which are complaining about the email server.

It sounds great that DH is working on this :wink:

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