Using DreamHost Nameservers, but point domain to different host


What would be the best way to do this:
-domain using Dreamhosts nameservers
-point website to a different host temporarily (a few weeks) while I develop the new site.
-then switch site back to hosting on Dreamhost after site is complete.
-all the while, MX records are pointing to Google apps

Normally, when doing something like this, I would just use the other host’s Nameservers; however, in this case the MX records are all going to Google, and the other host is a real pain to change DNS settings (have to contact them to do it, and then hope they do it correctly and in good time)

I would rather just keep using DreamHost’s nameservers, and point the website to the other host temporarily.
My thoughts are to do nslookup and get the address used, and then make an A record for the domain to that address.
Will that work?


No it won’t, but it could.

The problem is if you have hosting on the domain at dreamhost you will not be able to overide the A record that dreamhost creates automatically. You can in fact add a second A record, but when you do only some users might reach the correct. site.

This can easily be done by removing hosting for the domain, and letting dreamhost just manage the DNS. Problem with that is, then you can’t develop on that domain.

The simplistic thing to do in your case would be to add a subdomain to your account such as or and do your development work there. If you add it under the same user as the root domain, then it’s a pretty easy process to move your new site over to the main site. (exact steps will vary greatly based on what type of site it is, but it’s something done routinely)


Okay. I am going to use Dreamhosts DNS Only option for the domain, and point the A records to the address of the other host.

Then, develop on a sub-domain
then switch over to full hosting, pointing to the same folder I developed in.

This is similar to the work-flow I have used in the past.