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dns:creating-nameservers

Registering Nameservers

Whenever new nameservers are created, they will also need to be registered before they can be used. Here are some of the circumstances where new nameservers might be created:

  • If you have recently migrated some sites to a new server.
  • If you have recently changed the hostname of the server to a different domain.
  • If you have created a reseller, who you want to have their own nameservers.
  • If you want one of the domains to have it's own nameservers 1) instead of using the default nameservers of the server or of the reseller.

There may also be other situations where you may want to create new nameservers, but these are the most common reasons.

When creating new nameservers, the general process is as follows. More detail on each step will follow the overview:

  1. Create the A records of the nameservers in the server.
  2. Create the A records of the nameservers at the registrar.
  3. Set that domain, within the server, to use those nameservers. (NS records)
  4. Set that domain, at the registrar, to use those nameservers. (NS records)
  5. If any other domains will be using these new nameservers, set their NS records accordingly (both in the server and at their respective registrars).

The parts of this process which are done within the server, we can help you with if you open a ticket with the Support Department. However, the parts which need to be done at the registrar would need to be done by you or the domain owner, and if you need any help with those steps, you would need to ask the registrar for assistance.

For our example, let's say these are the nameservers we are creating:

ns1.example.com -> x.x.x.x
ns2.example.com -> y.y.y.y

A records in server

Difficulty
Medium
Medium

Since this step is done within the server, we can do it for you if you open a Support Ticket and let us know the names and IP addresses you would like to use for the new nameservers. If you prefer to do this part yourself, the instructions are below:

cPanel

If the domain the new nameservers are named for already exists in the server, log into the cPanel account that has domain "example.com"2) and then go to Home » Domains » Simple Zone Editor.

Then, you would use the "Add an A Record" section twice. First, put "ns1" (not ending in a period) or "ns1.example.com." (with a period at the end) in the box labeled "Name", and "x.x.x.x" in the box labeled "Address". Then click the button "Add an A Record" below the boxes. Then do the same thing again with the other name and address; put "ns2" (without ending in a period) or "ns2.example.com." (with a period at the end) in "Name", and "y.y.y.y" in "Address" and click the button "Add an A Record".

If you have not yet created or migrated in a cPanel account for the domain the nameservers are named for,3) it is strongly recommended to wait until such a cPanel account exists, so that the dns zone you would be making changes to does not get overwritten in the migration, possibly removing the new A records. If you do not plan to have an account for the domain, you can create a new DNS zone via WHM.

If you are adding a new DNS zone via WHM, log into WHM and go to Home »DNS Functions » Add a DNS Zone. In the "Domain Information" section, the IP chosen in this step is not important, but make sure the domain is "example.com".4) In the "Domain Owner Information" it is recommended to use "(system)"/"root". Then click "Add Zone". Then, once the zone exists, go in WHM to Home » DNS Functions » Edit DNS Zone. Select the zone you just created for "example.com". Scroll down to the section marked "Add New Entries". In the first box, put "ns1" (without ending in a period). In the dropdown box in the same row, choose "A". Then in the same row in the box that appears to the right of the dropdown box, change "IP or Hostname" to "x.x.x.x". On the next row, put "ns2" (without ending in a period) in the first box, choose "A" in the dropdown box, and change "IP or Hostname" in the new box at the right to "y.y.y.y". Then at the bottom click "Save".

DirectAdmin

Coming soon! 5)

A records at Registrar

Difficulty
Very easy
Very easy

Once the nameserver A records have been added in the server, they will also need to be added at the registrar. This step is often referred to as "Registering the nameservers", and is the step where you tell the registrar what IP to use for each nameserver name, so that the parent nameservers will be able to find it.6)

This step will need to be done either by you or the domain owner. If you are not sure how to do it, you will need to ask the registrar for assistance. To help you, here are links to guides on how to do this at some of the more common registrars we see, but if your registrar is not listed here, or if the link is broken, or if these instructions do not work, you may still need to contact the relevant registrar for assistance. If the registrar informs you of a suspected server problem, you can open a Support Ticket so that we can check if the A records have been added correctly in the server (the previous step).

NS records in the Server

Difficulty
Medium
Medium

Next, it is a good idea to double-check that the dns zone for the domain in the server has the right NS records and SOA records to use the newly-created nameservers. This step can also be done at the same time or right after "A records in server". Since this step is done within the server, we can do it for you if you open a Support Ticket. If you prefer to do this part yourself, the instructions are below:

cPanel

At this point it is assumed that a dns zone exists for domain "example.com". Since NS and SOA records cannot be changed in either the cPanel Simple or Advanced Zone Editors, these changes will need to be made via WHM at Home » DNS Functions » Edit DNS Zone. Select the zone for "example.com" and click "Edit".

There should already be one or more NS records, where the left box has "example.com."7) or the equivalent. In the right-side box in one of these rows, put "ns1.example.com.", and in the other put "ns2.example.com."8). If there are fewer than two NS records, one of them will have to be added in the section "Add New Entries Below this Line". If there are too many NS records and you need to remove some of them, you can simply remove all the text from those rows.

The nameserver listed in the SOA record needs to match the nameserver in one of the NS records. The SOA record is typically several lines long. The nameserver section you would be changing is in the top of these rows, in the box right after where it says "SOA". In that box, you would put "ns1.example.com."9).

After making these changes, scroll down to the bottom and click "Save".

DirectAdmin

Coming soon! 10)

NS records at Registrar

Difficulty
Very easy
Very easy

Once you have checked that the domain's dns zone is ready to accept queries for the domain, the NS records can then be changed at the registrar as well, so that the new settings will begin propagation. As with creating the A records, this step will need to be done by you or the domain owner, and if you need help you will need to contact the registrar for assistance. But here are some guides for some of the more common registrars we see.

Other Domains to use these Nameservers

If you also want any other domains to use these new nameservers as well, you would repeat steps "NS records in the Server" and "NS records at Registrar" for each domain you would like using these new nameservers. You do not need to repeat steps "A records in server" and "A records at Registrar" since those steps need to be done once to create the nameservers, but steps "NS records in the Server" and "NS records at Registrar" need to be done for each domain.

A Note About Propagation

When DNS changes are made, they are never going to be completely instant across the whole internet. The reason for this is that most resolvers11) will cache the results of the queries. Theoretically, the TTL12) of each record should determine how long it is kept in cache in a given resolver, so the propagation can sometimes be sped up considerably by first reducing the TTL values (and allowing the new TTL values to propagate) before making any of the other changes (and then changing the TTLs back to normal values after the new information finishes propagating). But some resolvers ignore TTL values completely, so some corners of the internet might still not see the new information for a couple days. Also some resolvers might query other secondary resolvers, rather than directly querying the authoritative nameservers, which further delays propagation. This is why we often warn that although dns propagation usually completes in 24-48 hours, it can sometimes take up to 72 hours.

In case you are interested, you can learn more about DNS propagation here.

You can get an approximation of how a given dns record is propagation using tools such as whatsmydns.net DNS Propagation Checker. This will not give you a complete picture due to its small sample size, but can give you a vague idea of where in the propagation process the recent changes are.

1)
sometimes these are called "Vanity Nameservers"
2)
remember this is our example domain; replace this with the appropriate domain
3)
in this example, "example.com"
4)
substituting the appropriate domain
5) , 10)
waiting for example environment, to get the exact names of the options correct
6)
This is also known as "adding glue records" and prevents circular dependencies. If you like, you can read more about this here.
7) , 8) , 9)
with period at end
11)
the servers that answer dns queries
12)
Time To Live
dns/creating-nameservers.txt · Last modified: 2016/03/22 18:46 by Marjorie S.