Where is my website hosted?

Overview

Your website is hosted at the company where your domain registration's DNS is pointed. This is a combination of the following:

  • The Registrar: The company where your domain is registered
  • The hosting company: The company where the DNS is pointed

View the following article for an explanation of these terms:

Checking where your domain is registered

You can confirm the company where your domain is registered by running a WHOIS query. This can be done using online sites or via SSH. The following article explain how to run a WHOIS query.

Checking where your domain's DNS is pointing

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

Different ways to point your DNS

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Did this article answer your questions?

Article last updated PST.

Still not finding what you're looking for?