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I have my hosting on Godaddy and domain on another provider. So I was thinking which would be a better option to point the domain to Godaddy hosting

  1. Change the name server to that of godaddy.
  2. Change the DNS "A" Record on the site where I have bought the domain. thanks...

As far as I know, changing Nameservers is better because the ARecord could be changed if Godaddy changes something with their Ips I am hosted on. BUT: Squarespace is encountering the exact same problem, but they have chosen to do this with CName and ARecords (

And they are the best example for having domains and hosting on different providers.

WHY do they prefer ARecords + CName over Nameservers? And what should I prefer?


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closed as off-topic by Wesley, tombull89, Ramhound, Mokubai, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Apr 25 '14 at 17:34

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is not about computer hardware or software, within the scope defined in the help center." – Wesley, tombull89, Ramhound, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

-1, I know who you are. – BigHomie Apr 25 '14 at 16:07
Please note that as mentioned on your question on ServerFault questions specifically asking for opinions or learning materials is off-topic on all StackExchange sites. You should also not be posting duplicates across sites as if your question is more relevant to another site then it can and will be moved. If your question is simply put on hold then you should look at your question to see why it was put on hold rather than migrated. Otherwise you can flag your question for migration yourself. – Mokubai Apr 25 '14 at 16:50

To point a domain to a server, you use an A record, regardless of where your DNS is hosted.

NS records define where you go to look for that A record. You can of course use any DNS service you wish -- your registrar's, your web host's, or even a completely independent third party. The matter of the IP changing is moot -- no matter where you host the DNS, you have to update the A record to point to the new IP, period. (That said, unless you change hosts it's very unlikely you'll ever have your IP changed -- in the 15 years I've been hosting websites, the only times my IPs have ever changed is when I changed hosts or otherwise initiated the change myself (e.g. changing the IP of a VPS).)

Using a CNAME just means that you're delegating the final result to a different A record. There's no real need for this, and in fact it will slow down access to your site somewhat because every single client will have to do at least 2 DNS lookups (one for your domain, one for the target of your CNAME); in practice no one is likely to notice this, but it also means that any issues with that third-party DNS now impact you as well. Also note that this approach is only possible when hosting with a service that provides such a CNAME! All hosting providers function with A records in your DNS, only a few will function with a CNAME instead. (Note: Using a CNAME to point to another record in your own DNS zone (e.g. using a CNAME to reference an A record) suffers neither of these issues and usually is the preferred means of setting up DNS aliases.)

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The 'Nameserver' option you are referring to usually refers to either an authoritative (has all the answers or knows who does) DNS Server for that domain, or a Forwarding server. It is the IP address of the DNS Server.

The DNS Server itself servers as the single* point of contact for resolving names in that domain. This invovles using CNAME as well as A records, and more advanced records also.

Where you host your websites will (should) tell you what to set the nameserver information to at your DNS provider. Once it's set, it shouldn't be changed unless need be.

A Records map to IP Addresses, where as CNAME Records map to hostnames/subdomains. The convenience of this is that you can have multiple domain names map to a single IP address, and if that IP Address changes, you only have to update one DNS Entry, instead of 20. More information can be found here, as well as any decent book on system administration.

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