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Guide to Setting up Private Name Servers

Step 1 of 3 of setting up private name servers.

Private name servers should look like ns1.example.com and ns2.example.com instead of name servers with a HostGator domain. Below is the guide to setting up private name servers for your domain.

Step 1: Locate your private name server and their IPs

It is vital for private name servers to have both the name servers and their corresponding IP addresses. The Customer Portal and Welcome email you received after purchasing hosting from HostGator will contain both the IP and the private name servers that need to be registered.

If you have Shared web hosting (Hatchling, Baby, Business), you cannot use private name servers.

If you have a Reseller, VPS, or Dedicated hosting, you should have those IPs listed in your Customer Portal and Welcome email. Please check out the following article to know where to find them.

If you need assistance with your private name servers, please contact HostGator's Support via phone or chat anytime.

Step 2: Register your private name servers at your registrar

Name servers and/or private name servers are registered at the domain's registrar. Depending on where you purchased your domain, you must configure your private name servers within your registrar's account. Please note that every registrar has a different process for registering private name servers.

Domains registered with HostGator

HostGator uses two registrars – Launchpad and HostGator/Enom. If you registered your domain with HostGator, it would be with one of these two registrars.

New domains purchased via our front-of-site https://www.hostgator.com/domains are registered with Launchpad.

Most domains purchased at HostGator can be managed within the Customer Portal. To set up your private name servers, visit the following articles.

If you are not sure which registrar you are with, the following article may help:

Domains registered with other registrars

If you purchased your domain from another registrar, you must register the name servers with that registrar. From your registrar's account, you will want to look for options along the lines of register DNScreate DNS or add DNS. The only way to create name servers is by using the IP addresses we assigned to your ns1.example.com and ns2.example.com. If there isn't a field asking for the IP, you are not in the right place.

Registering private name servers vs. changing DNS

Changing your domain's DNS is not the same as registering private name servers. You will not be able to change your site's DNS to private name servers until your private name servers are registered with your domain registrar. Some registrars don't even have an option for you to create private name servers on your own. In many cases, emailing them to do it is the only option.

Need help?

If you can't figure out how to register your private name servers with your registrar, read the registrar's FAQs and look for a question along the lines of "How do I register name servers?"

If you can't figure it out from reading the FAQ documentation or navigating through your account with them, you will need to contact your registrar's support team to request further assistance. Your request should look similar to this: "I want to create name servers for my domain. They are ns1.insertyourdomainhere.com with the IP of (insert the IP we assign here) and ns2.insertyourdomainhere.com with the IP of (insert the IP we assign here)." Provide the HostGator private name server details from your Customer Portal or HostGator Welcome email.

Step 3: Setting A records

After creating your name servers, you must add the necessary A records to your domain. Once the A record has been updated, you and your clients can use your private name servers for all the domains to be hosted on your account.

For help adding A records to your domain, please see the following article:

Step 4: DNS Glue/setting SOA and NS records

Once a domain name is using your private name servers, it is important to check the DNS Glue. The DNS Glue will check the SOA and NS records in your domain's DNS zone and ensure they match exactly the name servers used at your registrar.

The SOA (Start of Authority) and NS (Name Server) records tell the internet that your private name servers are authoritative and contain the most up-to-date information about your DNS settings. If these are not set correctly, some DNS servers will not trust your private name servers. Other DNS servers may get confused because there is a mismatch between what the registrar says and what your name servers say. This typically results in some people being able to reach your domain while others cannot. So it is always a good idea to double-check these settings.

For more information on DNS Glue, please refer to the following article:

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