How to Set Up Nameservers in a cPanel Environment
When you log in to WHM for the first time after the initial installation process, the Initial Setup Assistant interface displays. The Nameservers section of this interface (Step 4) allows you to set up nameservers. This document explains each step in that process and how your choices affect your server.
- This document assumes that you successfully completed the cPanel & WHM installation process, logged in to WHM, and completed the first three steps of the Initial Setup Assistant interface.
- DNS changes may require up to 48 hours to spread across the internet.
- After you set up your server’s nameservers, you may wish to perform some common nameserver configuration tasks.
- In cPanel & WHM version 64 and earlier, WHM’s Initial Setup Assistant interface was the Initial Setup Wizard interface.
What is a nameserver?
Computers send inquiries to translate a domain or subdomain on your server into an IP address. The software (or daemon) that handles these inquiries is a nameserver.
- Without a nameserver, your server cannot translate domains into IP addresses, and the websites on your server become inaccessible from the internet.
- You may also see the term Domain Name Server in reference to nameservers.
Set up a nameserver in cPanel & WHM
Select a nameserver software.
Select the desired nameserver software. cPanel & WHM offers the following options:
For most servers, we recommend that you select BIND.
- MyDNS does not support Certificate Authority Authorization (CAA) records, which certificate authorities use to determine if they can issue certificates for a domain.
- MyDNS requires that you add external nameserver IP addresses to the
Name your nameservers.
Enter the desired name for each of your nameservers. Each nameserver that you set up requires a name, and you must set up at least two nameservers if you did not select Disabled in the previous step.
We recommend that you use the following guidelines when you name nameservers:
- The name must consist of a prefix, a dot (
.), and your domain name.
- The common convention for nameservers is to prefix your domain name with
- Your nameservers cannot share a name.
- Your customers may need to enter the nameservers manually at some point. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you use a domain that reflects your company’s main homepage URL.
Create A entries and add IP addresses.
Select the desired options for your server’s A entries and IP addresses.
- We strongly recommend that you select both the Add “A Entries” for all Nameservers and Add “A Entries” for Hostname checkboxes.
- If you do not enter IP addresses in the Please enter an IP address for each of your nameservers text boxes, the system automatically assigns available IP addresses from your server to each nameserver.
While technical standards strongly advise against this, cPanel & WHM can run everything (which includes both nameservers) from a single IP address. However, some domain registrars do not allow this.
Set up nameservers with your registrar.
After you configure your server’s nameservers, you must register your nameservers with your registrar. When you register nameservers, you announce their existence to the rest of the internet. You do not perform this action in cPanel & WHM, but you must do it or your nameservers will not function.
Click the links to the right for registrar instructions for some of the most popular domain registrars. Each set of instructions assumes that the following statements are true:
- You have an account with the registrar.
- You have already registered your domain with that company.
- You have logged in to your account and are on the first screen that you see after you log in.
Instructions for the most popular domain registrars
Common tasks after you set up your nameservers.
After you complete the Initial Setup Assistant interface, you may wish to perform some common nameserver configuration tasks:
Change your server’s nameserver software.
To change the nameserver software that your server uses, use WHM’s Nameserver Selection interface (WHM >> Home >> Service Configuration >> Nameserver Selection).
Add or change existing nameservers.
To add or change your server’s existing nameservers, use WHM’s Basic WebHost Manager Setup interface (WHM >> Home >> Server Configuration >> Basic WebHost Manager Setup).
Manage reseller nameservers.
We design cPanel & WHM to accommodate a white-label reseller experience. You can configure hosting resellers to each use their own nameservers.
To edit nameserver names and assign nameserver IP addresses for individual reseller nameservers, use WHM’s Edit Reseller Nameservers and Privileges interface (WHM >> Home >> Resellers >> Edit Reseller Nameservers and Privileges).
Resellers are the only accounts that can use their own nameservers. Individual cPanel accounts cannot use their own nameservers.