DreamHost DNS overview

Overview

DNS, or Domain Name System, is a directory of names and numbers that are looked up and used to identify where a website and its services are hosted. For example, your website has a specific name, but DNS translates this into a number. When you visit your site in a browser, DNS uses this number value to point to the correct server where you website is hosted.

Your site has a variety of DNS records for the multiple services it uses. For example:

  • website IP addresses
  • mail records
  • mysql records
  • ftp records

Where are my DNS records controlled?

All of your site's DNS records are controlled at the company where your site's Nameservers are pointed. This is a combination of two things.

  • The company you registered your domain at (the Registrar)
  • The company your Nameservers are pointing to (the hosting company)

The Registrar

The domain registration is the name of your site. The company you purchased this from is the Registrar. If you want to change your Nameservers, or any other of your site's DNS records, you must log into your account at this company to make changes.

The hosting company

The Registrar of your website controls your site's Nameservers. The company where the Nameservers are pointed to controls ALL of your site's DNS records.

In this way, you can have the domain registered at one company, but host its DNS at another company.

Where is my site hosted?

View the following article for information on how to determine where your site is currently hosted.

Where do I point my site if my DNS is not hosted at DreamHost?

View the following article for information on how to determine where your site is currently hosted.

Viewing your DreamHost DNS records

View the following article for information on how to view your DreamHost DNS settings.

These are the records for your site if your Nameservers are pointed to DreamHost.

If your Nameservers are not pointed to DreamHost, these are the individual records you can point to from the company where your Nameservers are pointed.

Using a domain managed by a third-party registrar

You can still host your domain at DreamHost if it's registered at a different company. However, you will need to point your DNS to DreamHost in order for it to function. View the following article for information on how to adjust your DNS to point to DreamHost.

Customizing DNS records

You can have your domain’s Nameservers pointing to DreamHost, but point your domain’s A records to another web host so that the site is being hosted elsewhere. You can also create custom DNS entries on the ‘DNS’ page for your domain. View the following article for more information on creating Custom DNS records.

Non-editable DNS records

When viewing your DreamHost DNS records, you may notice many of them are set as Non-editable DNS records. You can remove these by setting your domain to 'DNS Only'. View the following article for further details.

MX records (mail records)

For information on MX mail records at DreamHost, view the following article:

See also

Below are some helpful links to outside sources that provide you with further details on various topics discussed on this page. The ‘Tool for looking up DNS records’ page is especially helpful in looking up your domain’s DNS records.

Internal:

External:

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Article last updated PST.