Private Name Servers & Changing DNS

Previously, my company’s website was hosted by one of our clients. We’ve taken the site in house and purchased hosting on a VPS. Now that we’re ready to go live with the new site, I’ve run into a couple of issues.

I was told by the hosting company that we need to register the Private Name Servers with our domain registrar. Once registered, I was told that I can then switch the DNS over to the new name servers. Is this the normal process for a private name server? When I contacted the registrar, they seemed to know nothing about registering the servers.

Also, I’ve been assigned a different IP address for each name server. When I type in the address of one, it goes to our new site. But when I type in the other IP address, it goes to a default “new website” page. When I assign the DNS to these new name servers, is there a chance that this default page will come up when someone types in our domain name? How do I make sure that doesn’t happen?

Forgive the extreme stupidity of these questions … I’ve only dealt with shared server sites in the past, so VPS is a new arena for me.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Couple of questions. You indicate that you have migrated your web site to a VPS. Have you also set up (or do you intend to set up) your own internal DNS servers? And is so, where?

Note that the web site and name servers are two distinct functions and may reside on different servers. For a small enterprise it is not uncommon to run them on a single server (or VPS).

Your web site is up and running on the VPS; I’ll assume the domain and the IP address of for the web server in the examples below.

The name servers will resolve the domain name to the address Clients on the Internet attempting to resolve the address will need to know 2 things:

[li]What name servers are authoritative (responsible) for the domain[/li][li]What is the IP address associated with[/li][/ol]
The former function is the one your hosting company is telling you to address with the registrar. Note that you will need two authoritative name servers for your domain, and you nominally have the following options:

[li] Allow your registrar to do this for you. Registrars typically offer this function (sometimes free, sometimes for a fee) and provide a “control panel” or similar to manage your domain. In that case, you would use the control panel to add an address record (A record):[/li] ->

This is the easiest route.
[li] Configure and maintain DNS software on your VPS or other server(s). Without knowing the particulars I can’t comment in detail, but by way of example you might configure BIND (the named daemon) on a Linux installation to act as the authoritative server for, and include the aforementioned A record in that configuration.[/li]
Note that you will need two name servers. For small installations without a great need for redundancy, you could use two IP addresses on the same interface of your server (or VPS), assuming your OS and/or provider supports it. For example, your VPS might have the the following IP addresses assigned to its interface:

If you ran your own DNS software, you would configure the software to listen on both of these addresses and use them as your primary and secondary DNS servers for by registering them with your registrar. For example:

The registrar would then provide NS (name server) records for your domain, and you would add A records to your own configuration thus: -> ->

Note that some registrars provide “glue records” and include the A records in their configuration.

Some registrars and hosting companies offer secondary DNS service wherein they operate the second name server. In that case, you would only need to run one name server (the primary), and configure the software to use the company’s system as the secondary. Again, this may be fee-based, and the particulars depend on your configuration.
[li] Use third-party or other name servers. Some companies provide standalone DNS management without requiring you to purchase registry services (a quick Google search reveals easyDNS, for example*). This would be similar to (a), above.[/li][/LIST]
Obviously, (a) and © are the easiest options if you are not technically inclined and do not wish to manage a DNS server.

A final note: if your company sends and receives email at, or has other aliases, subdomains, or A records in the DNS, these will need to be cared for in whatever scheme you decide to go with.

  • I am not affiliated with this company.