How do I point my hosting away from DreamHost?

This article provides details for the process of pointing your domain’s services outside of DreamHost through custom A records, custom CNAME records, as well as creating other records for your domain’s services.

Please note the following:

  • You need to have your domain’s nameservers pointing to DreamHost for these changes to function.
  • Setting your domain to DNS ONLY is only necessary if you want to host the site at another company.
  • If you would like the site to remain hosted on DreamHost’s servers, you would keep it set as FULLY HOSTED.
  • You are still able to add custom DNS as needed.

The instructions outlined below can be done in the panel under (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’).

Remove hosting

If this is your only domain on your account and you're setting it to DNS only, you do NOT need a hosting plan. A hosting plan is only necessary if you wish to host a domain and its content on DreamHost servers.

If you want your site to point away from DreamHost by creating an A or CNAME record, the first step is to remove the hosting service already applied to your domain at DreamHost.

  1. Navigate to the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page.
  2. Click the Edit button under the ‘Web Hosting’ column for the domain.
  3. On the following page, scroll down to the ‘DNS Only’ section: 01 Blogger.fw.png
  4. Click the Host DNS only! button to change your hosting for this domain from ‘Fully Hosted’ to ‘dns’.
  5. Navigate to the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page.
    01 dns.png
  6. To the right of the domain under the 'Web Hosting' column, click the Remove button. This sets the domain to DNS only.

This also changes the non-editable DNS records into Custom DNS records that you can delete. The only remaining non-editable records are MX records which you can change on the (Panel > 'Mail' > 'Custom MX') page.

Below are a few things to note regarding these changes:

  • Do not press the Delete button for the domain through the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page. This removes the domain from the account along with the contents that were previously hosted under it.
  • Setting the domain to ‘DNS Only’ does not delete your hosted files. You can click the Edit button to set the domain as ‘Fully Hosted’. This recreates your DNS records for the domain.
  • Keep in mind that this only affects your web hosting service and leaves other things services like email intact (this assumes you already have an active hosting plan on your account). Email is not available with DreamHost unless your account has an active hosting plan.

Additionally these changes are only possible for the primary domain – subdomains cannot be set to DNS Only.

Add custom records

After applying the ‘DNS Only’ setting to your domain, click the DNS link under the domain you wish to edit through the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page to create the custom records.

On that page, you will see the following section where you can create the custom records for your domain:

02 DNS edit screen.fw.png

Description of fields on the Add a custom DNS record page

Name
In this field, you can include the subdomain name for the record you’re setting up. If you are setting up a record for the main domain (example.com), leave this field blank.
To set up a ‘www’ subdomain record enter ‘www’ in this field.
Type
The ‘Type’ drop-down menu allows you to assign a certain type of record. The ‘DNS’ article listed at the top of this page has details on the various types of records that can be created and what they’re for.
Note: If you wish to configure custom MX records for your domain, you'll need to visit a different section of your panel. Visit the (Panel > ‘Mail’ > ‘Custom MX’) page to set up custom MX records for the domain to point mail elsewhere.
The following article provides more information regarding custom MX records and how to set them up:
Value
This field is where you are to enter the value of the record you’re pointing the service to. For an A record, this field is populated with an IPv4 address. The custom record value must already be set up at the host you’re pointing the services to.
Comment
This is an optional field. You can leave this field blank or include some note for the record you’re adding. This field has no actual effect to the service you’re setting up.
Note: Each record created requires its own time for the DNS to resolve. You can check the progress of the record at a site such as this:
The following article provides details on DNS propagation as well if you’d like to read more about that:

See also

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Article last updated .