Website Hosted at DreamHost DNS Elsewhere


I have a domain registered through DreamHost. I would like the website that is associated with that domain to be on DreamHost servers, but would like to use another DNS service, in this case ZoneEdit because they offer good Dynamic DNS support so that I can ssh back to my home servers. Is this possible? How?


Make the domain exist at dreamhost, it must exist on “manage domains” in the panel, and it must be set to fully hosted. Once that’s done, since you are not using dreamhost DNS we need to find the IP address. Click the DNS link under the domain name on the “manange domains” page of the panel, on the next page scroll down. The very first record listed should be a simple A record with an IP address as the value. Now go enter an A record on ZoneEdit using that IP address and wait for propagation.


Thank you very much.
One more question. On the DNS Page I also need to change the DNS servers listed to ZoneEdit’s servers do I not?


that is correct.

DNS changes take time (4/8/12 hours typically), they are not instant.


Worked like a charm. To recap if you want to have your website hosted at DreamHost with registration at DreamHost and DNS elosewhere:

  1. Configure domain for full hosting in the control panel.
  2. Change the nameservers in the DNS tab’s section titled Whois nameservers to the nameservers of the dns service you wish to use.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the DNS tab to the section titled Non-editable DreamHost DNS records and note the ip address of the A record.
  4. Create an A record pointing to that ip in your DNS service of choice.

Thanks again LakeRat.


Opening up an old thread…
I’m having trouble making this procedure work.

I am a new DreamHost user so some of the control panel oddities are new to me. I’d like to set up my domain so it is only web hosted on DreamHost. DNS is being handled by my registrar. Email is from Google. Two questions…

  1. I need keep DreamHost from creating a DNS zone for my domain. Since my registrar is authoritative for my domain, I would expect that no other nameservers would be advertising data for my domain. If I cannot turn off DreamHost DNS then it is likely the DH servers would be seeing incorrect domain data. Step #2 above claims to do this but I cannot find this spot in the control panel.

  2. When I get my IP address for my (shared) server from DreamHost, can I be comfortable that it isn’t going to change on me? My past webhosting provider separated the DNS from the hosting so I knew the IP wasn’t changing, but DH isn’t clear about this since they seem to make the DNS and Webhosting tied together.



Dreamhost generates DNS entries for your hosting on dreamhosts nameservers. Since you have set other name servers these will never be referenced outside of dreamhost.

On the ‘manage domains’ page of the panel, the listing for your domain needs to say “Fully hosted”. Once that’s true click the DNS button underneath the domain name. You will see the entries that dreamhost is generating on it’s nameservers. The first should be an A record with an IP address, that’s the IP address you need. Add an A-record pointing to that IP at your registrar.

NOTE: Shared servers have multiple IP’s. If you have multiple domains/sub-domains on the same server they may have different IP addresses.

it could, but they don’t very often. Unless it’s done on an emergency basis, you should get an email about your server being changed before it happens. Even when that happens it’s pretty seem-less because there is overlap, that is both the new and old IP will work for awhile.

Just noticed what I bolded. Don’t follow that list, he’s doing something else… his registrar isdreamhost and he’s changing nameserver elsewhere, then pointing back to hosting. Your nameservers are already pointed where you want them at your registrar.


Thanks, LakeRat! Your answers were somewhat what I expected. That said. This seems like a pretty significant problem with the way DreamHost does things. If their nameservers are not the designated ones for my domain, they are likely to be incorrect (have missing or bad entries). In this case, DH should not be advertising any data for my domain as authoritative.

Any name queries running on DH machines (which presumably point to the DH nameservers) or anyone that might be pointing their machine at the DH nameservers will get incorrect data.

The correct behavior, if DH is not the designated nameserver for my domain is for them to not serve any data for my domain and instead to query my nameservers.

Other providers I have used provide a means to say “I don’t want you to be my authoritative nameserver.”


I’m no expert in this area, but gosh it’s worked this way at dreamhost as long as I can remember. If the behavior is truly “not correct” then I’m surprised you’re the first one in all the years that it has worked this way to complain. I guess there is a first for everything.


I’d like to set up my domain so it is only web hosted on DreamHost. DNS is being handled by my registrar. Email is from Google.


Did you have a question? For how to do what you stated see post 2 above.