[Support Guide] Can I host my site on Netlify but keep my DNS at my domain registrar?

You sure can! This will be a three-step process but don’t worry, it’s not that hard.

  1. Go ahead and log in to your Netlify account, and add the name of the awesome domain you own to your site on its Domain Settings page, in the top configuration card.

  2. Pull up the website for your DNS host. This is likely your domain registrar, aka the place where you bought your domain. You’ll want to navigate to your DNS records section and create these two records there:

    Type Name Value
    A @ 104.198.14.52
    CNAME www myawesomesite.netlify.app

(in some cases, instead of “@” you’ll use a blank value or myawesomesite.com. - conventions vary!)

Soooo what’s the point of these records, exactly? Well, we want to ensure that people end up at your website whether they type myawesomedomain.com or www.myawesomedomain.com into their browser, so this set up has you covered either way.

  1. Finally, go back to Netlify because you’ll want check to make sure there is no DNS zone on your site. The Netlify DNS zone is not necessary when using some other service such as your registrar for DNS, and we want to avoid any confusion as much as possible. If it exists, you’ll see this in your domain settings panel for the site:

You can remove it by clicking on that Netlify DNS label, and scrolling down to the bottom of the page it takes you to, to the “Danger Zone”:

Here is how you can check your (or any other domain) in the terminal or command prompt to make sure the records are set up correctly and ready to go.

To check “myawesomedomain.com”, run host myawesomedomain.com and it should return a message including 104.198.14.52. For www.myawesomedomain.com, host www.myawesomedomain.com should return a message including myawesomedomain.netlify.com

If you don’t see the right changes, try repeating the steps, or comment below and we’ll try and assist!

5 Likes

Hey @laura, thanks the thorough explanation.

If previously I already have A records with name @ and value for my hosting IP address,
should I just overwrite it with 103.198.14.52 or just make a new records and have 2 A records with @, but 2 different values?

I’ve tried overwriting them but now I can’t receive email on my domain,
But when I’ve 2 A records with @ name, my domain is not serving the netlify website.

You have to check your particular project on Netlify to see what the DNS addresses for your project are.

You can find them under Settings

1 Like

I am asking about the “A” records and what if I already have “A” records in my DNS, should I overwrite it or just have two “A” records in my DNS

Hi @bhmantan! Welcome to our Community!

You’ll definitely want to replace any previous A records with our load balancer, 104.198.14.52. As you’ve discovered, we won’t be able to serve your domain with conflicting A records.

You can check out this post for some email options.

2 Likes

Hello @laura , I am receiving an error when entering the new CNAME into GoDaddy’s DNS records.
Here is a screenshot of the error:

Hi @UpSafetySolutions!

Hmmmm…can you try first deleting this record:

Let us know if that helps.

Okay, I deleted the other CNAME but it still is not up, do I have to wait a certain amount of time before it is processed?
upsafety-new-cname

@UpSafetySolutions I just checked out your site on Netlify - don’t forget Step #1 from the instructions above: Go ahead and log in to your Netlify account, and add the name of the awesome domain you own to your site.

Sorry @laura I was confusing the DNS zone with the custom domain. When I deleted the DNS zone it also deleted my awesome domain name.
It works now! Thanks so much for your reply, it really saved my butt lol :partying_face:

1 Like

So glad its working for you now @UpSafetySolutions!

1 Like

Hi @laura,

I have nearly similar issue, except I only want to use one specific subdomain. I have mycustomdomain.com on Hostgator, which also contains a Hostgator-hosted site at root. I would like to use subdomain.mycustomdomain.com for my Netlify site. Is that at all possible?

These are what I have done:

  1. Go ahead and log in to your Netlify account, and add the name of the awesome domain you own to your site.

:white_check_mark: I have added subdomain.mycustomdomain.com to my Netlify site in Site Settings -> Domain Management. It’s not listed as my “Primary Domain”.

  1. Pull up the website for your domain registrar, aka the place where you bought your domain. You’ll want to navigate to your DNS records section and create these two records there […]

:white_check_mark: I have only added the CNAME record as follows:

Name: subdomain.mycustomdomain.com
TTL: 3600
CNAME: netlifysubdomain.netlify.com

  1. Finally, go back to Netlify because you’ll want check to make sure there is no DNS zone on your site.

I don’t use Netlify DNS so there is nothing else I should do here, correct?

When I open subdomain[.]mycustomdomain[.]com, it goes to Hostgator’s 404 page. Anything else I should add/remove/replace in the DNS records? If I also changed the A record in my Hostgator DNS, wouldn’t it affect the root path site hosted at Hostgator?

Thanks for your help.

Hi @laura

Thanks for this guide!

I’ve tried to setup my domain but I don’t sure if the CNAME should point to Netlify subdomain.

that looks right to me, @hanu!

1 Like

@laura thank you for this little tutorial. I wish i would have found it earlier. I was archiving the same goal by following the official netlify docs and changing the DNS of my root domain which gave me a bit of a headache and is much more work than your solution above. Thanks

2 Likes

Hi, I have follow every step here, I have the label “Netlify DNS”, but I don’t have a “Delete DNS Zone” section, what can I do? Thanks @laura

Click where it says ‘Netlify DNS’ and it’ll take you to the DNS pane. At the bottom of that page will be the option to delete the zone. :slight_smile:

Now is working, but there is no delete zone, no DNS records, only the nameservers. I still can see the netlify DNS label. is that ok? @Pieparker

Thanks.

can you post a screenshot please? that would be helpful.

Hey @Hans,

I see what happened here. Your domain was migrated from us to Name.com but there was a leftover piece of data on our end. I’ve removed this so you should see the Delete DNS Zone button now – feel free to delete it when you’re ready :slight_smile: