There are two types of DNS records you should be aware of that control where your site is hosted.
Your DNS is controlled wherever your point your nameservers. So if you point your nameservers to DreamHost, all of your DNS is hosted at DreamHost.
However, if you point your nameservers to another company, only that company has control of your DNS. You must then create 'A' records at that company to point to DreamHost.
This article explains both options.
What nameservers can I point my site to?
If you do not need to keep your nameservers pointed to your current host, it's recommended to point them to DreamHost. This points all of your DNS records to DreamHost.
In order to do this, access your registrar, or the service provider with whom you registered your domain. If you're not sure who you registered with, you can often find that information by going to Whois.net and entering your domain name in the search field. Access your registrar's control panel (it might be the same as your web host, but doesn't have to be), and change your domain's nameserver settings to:
- ns1.dreamhost.com 18.104.22.168
- ns2.dreamhost.com 22.214.171.124
- ns3.dreamhost.com 126.96.36.199
The change can take up to 4–72 hours to take effect, but often happens sooner than that.
You should only have to add the nameserver URL, not the IP. The IPs are listed above just in case your registrar asks for them.
What A records do I point my site to?
You can manage your domain registration and nameservers at any registrar you like and still point your domain’s hosting to DreamHost. However, this is only necessary if you want to keep some services at another company (such as email) while hosting the site at DreamHost.
If this is the case for your site, you'll need to configure A records at the company where your nameservers are currently pointing.
- Navigate to the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page.
- Click the 'DNS' link under the domain name.
- The "A" type record found there (displayed as an IPv4 address) should be copied into the DNS settings of the non-DreamHost provider.
- In the example above, the site A records would be 188.8.131.52. This is the same IP address for the www and non-www version of the site URL. Use the IP for any other service listed the same way.
You will need to contact the non-DreamHost DNS provider for specific instructions on setting those records up with them.
Once you've created those A records at your current host, allow up to 6 hours before the DNS updates online. Then your site will point to DreamHost.