I am a DNS newbie (although an experienced developer), so I hope someone can help me understand what I need to do.

A number of years ago, I set up a website for a non-profit organization. I'd like to get them using Google Apps for docs, calendaring, and email, while keeping the current website hosted where it is.

Currently, we have a simple DNS set up: at Dotster, we have the webhost's nameservers (let's say, "ns1.webhost.com", "ns2.webhost.com") configured.

From Google's instructions, it looks like I need to add CNAME record(s) to direct subdomains to Google (e.g., "docs.organization.org") and MX record(s) to direct email to Google also.

Dotster offers "advanced" DNS management, which allows adding these additional records. However, they require using their nameservers (let's say, "ns1.dotster.com", "ns2.dotster.com") for the domain if this is enabled.

My question is this: if I enable DNS management, and I set ns1.dotster.com and ns2.dotster.com as the nameservers for the domain, can I set up my CNAME for docs.organization.org and my MX for Google, and pass the rest of the DNS mapping on to ns1.webhost.com (so that I don't have to maintain the IP address of the actual machine)? If so, how do I do that?

Secondary question: I'm irritated that Dotster wants to charge us $10/year for DNS management. Any recommendations for better domain name providers who include DNS management?



No, you can't delegate a domain to more than one different nameserver provider and expect any kind of consistency unless the records are truly "static" and under your control (which would be the case if you were hosting your own DNS servers and were doing zone updates between them).

Are you sure your webhosting provider doesn't allow you to create DNS records? I'd check there first. If they don't, then it would be impossible for you to create any DNS records outside of what's generated by the webhost for the websites and that's not really practical (think of the percentage of users who host their own mail but want to host a website elsewhere).

One thing that you have to look out for is that sometimes they restrict the records to only yourdomain.tld: I bought an "Advanced" DNS option at one registrar and found out that I couldn't create CNAME records to any domain other than my own (which, like you, wouldn't allow me to create the required Google CNAME records).

Also, your webhost may allow you to use 3rd-party nameservers (and as such will give you a static IP to use for your A record(s) for your websites). If that's the case then you can use Dotster's nameservers.

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