Setting your domain to 'DNS Only'

Overview

This article explains how to remove the default Non-Editable DNS records for your domain.

When your domain is 'Fully Hosted', it has several DreamHost IP addresses (A records) assigned to it that control where the site is hosted. If your site's nameservers are pointing to DreamHost and your site is 'Fully Hosted', your site is hosted on DreamHost's servers.

If your site's nameservers are pointing to DreamHost but you do NOT want to host the site at DreamHost, you must remove hosting which removes these IP addresses. Setting the site to 'DNS only' removes hosting and your site's A records. You are then able to add custom DNS records to point your site to another hosting company.

This only works with the primary domain name such as 'example.com'. This does NOT work with subdomains like 'blog.example.com'. For subdomains, you must add custom DNS records to the primary domain as explained below.

Changing a hosted domain to 'DNS Only'

  1. Open the Manage Websites page.
    panel button websites manage
  2. Hover over the domain you want to edit and click the Manage button that appears.
  3. Click the Hosting tab on the next page.
    panel set dns only
  4. Under the Non-Hosting Options section, click Set to DNS Only.
  5. Click the Set to DNS Only button that appears.
  6. Click the red Yes, Remove button that appears to confirm the selection.

Remove secure hosting

If you have added an SSL certificate to your domain, you must delete it in order for your DNS records to be removed. View the following article for instructions on how to do this:

What DNS records are removed?

When you set a domain to 'DNS only', you remove the following DNS A records:

  • non-www A record
  • www A record
  • ssh A record
  • ftp A record

Below are a few things to note regarding these changes:

  • Setting the domain to 'DNS Only' does not delete hosted files (except on DreamPress plans) nor does it remove any Custom DNS records you've previously set up. You can set the domain to ‘Fully Hosted’ again to recreate 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). If you have removed your hosting plan but want to continue hosting email with DreamHost, you can purchase a Paid email plan.

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

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.

What to do after the DNS records are removed?

After the domain is set to 'DNS Only', you can add custom DNS records to point your site to wherever you like.

See also

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Article last updated PST.

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