Your domain's nameserver setting determines where all of the DNS records used by your domain are kept and managed. You can set your domain to use DreamHost's nameservers so that your domain will automatically use the DNS records from your DreamHost panel.
A benefit to keeping the nameservers pointing to us if the site is also hosted with us is that if the DreamHost DNS changes for any reason on our end, your website will automatically be updated to use the new DNS information. For example, if your site is ever moved to another server, the domain will automatically resolve to the new server IP. Whereas, if you had your nameservers pointing elsewhere and your site hosted with us, you’d have to update the domain’s A records to point to the new server’s IP.
Keep in mind that nameservers control DNS information, including those for your website and email. Changing what nameservers your domain uses may change all of the domain's services (website, email, and so on) to point to a new location or host. Before you change the nameservers, make sure that all of the DNS records you want your domain to continue using are already set up with the new DNS provider. This way, once the DNS resolves for the new external nameservers, the services will function right away. But remember that the propagation time of nameservers can take 3 to 72 hours before they resolve to the new host company.
The nameservers for all of the domains managed by us, including ‘dreamhost.com’, is setup using the following nameservers:
- ns1.dreamhost.com 188.8.131.52
- ns2.dreamhost.com 184.108.40.206
- ns3.dreamhost.com 220.127.116.11
If your domain is registered with us, our panel will have the option of setting our nameservers without entering those details so you won’t need the information above.
If your domain is registered elsewhere, the change to your nameservers will have to be done with the current registrar of that domain name. The details above can be set with the current registrar to point the DNS management for your domain to DreamHost. This way, we are able to manage the DNS settings for you through the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page in your panel.
|Note:||We recommend that you point your nameservers to DreamHost wherever possible. This makes the management of your DNS simpler as all records can be found within your DreamHost account.|
Changing the domain’s nameservers
There are many reasons for changing nameservers – you may need to host a domain elsewhere, or perhaps you want to run your DNS through a CDN (content delivery network) like CloudFlare. You can change a domain’s nameservers in your panel on the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Registrations’) page.
The information below explains how to update the nameservers for domains that are registered with us. If you own the registration elsewhere, you must make the nameserver change with the current registrar.
You can update the nameservers through two different pages on the DreamHost panel.
Using the Manage Domains page to make a change
One of the main pages you will be accessing for the management of your domains hosting is (‘Panel’ > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’):
- Under the domain name you wish to edit, click the DNS link.
- The following page appears when you click the DNS link:
|Note:||If the nameserver section is not listed on the above page, it means the domain isn't registered with us and its nameservers aren't controlled from the DreamHost panel.|
- Erase the nameservers listed in each box and replace them with the nameservers provided by the new host. (Note: Not all hosts require three or four nameservers.)
- Click the blue Set these nameservers for yourdomain.com! button to save your changes.
Using the Registrations page to make a change
You can also edit the nameservers on the (‘Panel’ > ‘Domains’ > ‘Registrations’) page. If your domain is listed on this page, it is registered with us and the nameservers can be edited.
- Click the Whois Info button located next to your domain registration (or, if you have multiple registrations, check the box under the ‘Modify Whois?’ column next to the domain you want to modify and click the Modify whois! button).
- On the next page, click the Nameservers tab and select the ‘Use another host's nameservers’ option to change your nameservers to another host (or, you can set DreamHost’s nameservers automatically by clicking the radio button for ‘Use DreamHost’s nameservers’).
- Enter the nameservers in the fields provided for the other hosting company.
Nameserver DNS propagation
- Nameserver changes can take anywhere from 3-72 hours for the modification to completely propagate, so your domain isn't going to route to the new nameservers right away.
- When setting the new nameservers with the registrar, it can take up to an hour for the WhoIs modification to be processed.
- You should see the WhoIs reflect the new nameservers for the domain within the hour, but the domain will still require time for the DNS to resolve to the new IP’s under the new nameservers set.