Where is my website hosted?

Overview

There are two DNS options to control where your site is hosted.

  • Changing the Nameservers (this must be done at your site's Registrar)
  • Changing the A records

Checking where your DNS is hosted

This article helps you to determine where your website is hosted. In order to figure this out, you must first check where your site's DNS is hosted.

The following article explains how to view where your current DNS records are pointed.

What happens when you change your DNS?

Changing the Nameservers

All of your site's DNS records are controlled at the company where the Nameservers are pointed.

Changing your Nameservers points ALL of your site's DNS records to a specific company. This means your website, email, mysql, ftp, ssh, and any other records are then controlled at the new company.

You must log into the company where you purchased your domain registration in order to change the Nameservers. The company is called your domain's Registrar.

Changing the A records

A records are only the IP addresses of your website. This would be the IP address for the www and non-www version of your site. For example:

  • example.com
  • www.example.com

If you only point your A records to a different company, only your website is hosted at the new company. All of your other DNS records (email, mysql, ftp, ssh) continue to be hosted where your Nameservers are pointed.

The illustrations below show a few ways this could be implemented.

Different ways to point your DNS

Nameservers examples

Registrar Where are the Nameservers pointed? Where are the A records pointed? Hosting company Explanation
DreamHost DreamHost Nameservers

ns1.dreamhost.com
ns2.dreamhost.com
ns3.dreamhost.com
A records have not been changed DreamHost Since the Nameservers are pointed to DreamHost, and the A records have not been adjusted, the site is hosted at DreamHost
Another company DreamHost Nameservers

ns1.dreamhost.com
ns2.dreamhost.com
ns3.dreamhost.com
A records have not been changed DreamHost Since the Nameservers are pointed to DreamHost, and the A records have not been adjusted, the site is hosted at DreamHost.
Another company Non-DreamHost Nameservers

ns1.nameserver.com
ns2.nameserver.com
A records have not been changed Another company Since the Nameservers are NOT pointed to DreamHost, and the A records have not been adjusted, the site is NOT hosted at DreamHost.
DreamHost Non-DreamHost Nameservers

ns1.nameserver.com
ns2.nameserver.com
A records have not been changed Another company Since the Nameservers are NOT pointed to DreamHost, and the A records have not been adjusted, the site is NOT hosted at DreamHost.

A records examples

Registrar Where are the Nameservers pointed? Where are the A records pointed? Hosting company Explanation
DreamHost DreamHost Nameservers

ns1.dreamhost.com
ns2.dreamhost.com
ns3.dreamhost.com
A records are pointing to another company Another company

The Nameservers are pointed to DreamHost, but the A records are pointing to another company, therefore the site is hosted at that other company.

All other DNS records continue to be hosted at DreamHost since that's where the Nameservers are pointed.

Another company DreamHost Nameservers

ns1.dreamhost.com
ns2.dreamhost.com
ns3.dreamhost.com
A records are pointing to another company Another company

The Nameservers are pointed to DreamHost, but the A records are pointing to another company, therefore the site is hosted at that other company.

All other DNS records continue to be hosted at DreamHost since that's where the Nameservers are pointed.

Another company Non-DreamHost Nameservers

ns1.nameserver.com
ns2.nameserver.com
A records are pointed to DreamHost DreamHost

Since the A records are pointed to DreamHost, the site is hosted at DreamHost.

However, all other DNS records continue to be hosted at the other company since that's where the Nameservers are pointed.

DreamHost Non-DreamHost Nameservers

ns1.nameserver.com
ns2.nameserver.com
A records are pointed to DreamHost DreamHost

Since the A records are pointed to DreamHost, the site is hosted at DreamHost.

However, all other DNS records continue to be hosted at the other company since that's where the Nameservers are pointed.

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Article last updated PST.