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Currently my domain provider is different than my hosting provider.

I see I can change the nameservers on my domain provider dashboard and also I can change the "DNS Records".
My hosting on the other hand has cpanel which has the "DNS Zone Editor".

Am I correct in assuming that when I change my nameservers from the domain provider-supplied name servers to the hosting provider-supplied name servers, that the new name server will now use the DNS Records on the hosting cpanel instead?

Also is what is called "DNS Records" on the domain provider the same concept as the "DNS Zone Records"? Sorry if that's a silly question but there's so many different terms in all of this that it makes me wonder.

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It's hard to say with certainty how some unnamed service provider chooses to label different things in their system.

That said, it's quite common for domain name registrars to also provide dns hosting services, in which case they will both have some interface for managing the delegation of your domain name (often using the nameservers associated with their dns hosting services by default), as well as some interface for managing the records in the zone hosted on their nameservers.

In such a scenario, if you do not actually use the dns hosting services provided by the registrar (ie, you have delegated the domain name to other nameservers), managing the records in the zone hosted by the company that is also your registrar no longer has any practical purpose; no one will query their nameservers anyway.

The nameservers that your domain name is delegated to is the determining factor for answering your question; based on which nameservers are in use, you can sort of backtrack to where you would manage the records.
Essentially answer the question "how does this nameserver get its zone data?" for each nameserver and it should guide you in the right direction.

  • Thanks for the answer. Also, interesting question! and you are right I guess that is the essential question: How does a nameserver get its zone data? I tried searching but I didn't come up with anything useful: Lots of hosting site blog posts repeating the same few descriptions of what are dns records. Could you perhaps shed some light on that? I know the nameservers on my hosting provider are different from the actual server. I assume there must be some kind of pointers on the nameserver to direct where the dns server with the zone records for the particular domain is. – frezq Jan 12 at 23:05

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