You can purchase a domain registration at any company you like, however it's recommended that you purchase it at DreamHost:
This makes it easy to control your hosting and registration at the same location (the DreamHost panel). You can also purchase the registration at another company, but still host your site at DreamHost. This article explains how to go about this.
This article assumes you've already purchased your domain registration at another company.
Adding a hosting plan
In order for your site to display online, it must be set up on a hosting plan. This puts it on a web server so anyone in the world can view it. View the following articles for information on how to add a hosting plan and add your site to it.
Add your site to your hosting plan
Now that your hosting plan has been added, it's time to add your site to the plan. This adds the website to the DreamHost webserver so it can be seen on the Internet. View the following article for information on how to add a domain to your hosting plan.
This only tells the server to serve this domain name. You must still point your DNS to the server so it displays online.
Pointing your DNS to DreamHost
When you originally purchased your domain registration at another company, the DNS settings were most likely set to that specific company. In order for your site to be hosted on DreamHost's servers, you must change the DNS settings for your registration to point to DreamHost.
Where is your site registered?
You can run a WHOIS query to determine where your site is registered. View the following article for further information.
Where do I update my DNS records?
You must update the DNS records at your third party registrar (the place where you purchased the domain registration). You have two options to point your DNS to DreamHost.
- Pointing Nameservers (recommended)
- Pointing A records
Visit the following article for instructions on how to do this at your specific registrar:
At your third party registrar, update your nameservers to the DreamHost nameservers shown below:
- ns1.dreamhost.com 188.8.131.52
- ns2.dreamhost.com 184.108.40.206
- ns3.dreamhost.com 220.127.116.11
When updating your nameservers at your registrar, 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.
This modification takes about 3–72 hours to propagate across the Internet, after which your new nameservers will direct visitors to your account with DreamHost.
You can track the progress of your DNS update here.
Pointing A records
If you only want to host the website with DreamHost and not email or any other service, you can just point the A records. View the following article for instructions on how to find your site's IP address.
Waiting for the DNS to update
After you change your DNS settings, you must wait until they update online.
If you changed your nameservers, this could take 24-72 hrs to fully update.
If you changed your A record, this should only take 4-6 hrs.