Registering private nameservers can be done very quickly and with ease. As you transition from a shared hosting environment where all you had to do was add the hosts nameservers in your domain registrars panel, to your own VPS or dedicated server where you will need your own nameservers, it is important that you understand how nameservers work and why it is important to set them up. Nameservers are at no cost to you, all you need is a domain name and a vps/dedicated server. This guide is meant to breakdown the process of registering private nameservers with two big domain registrars. While the guide only covers Namecheap and Godaddy it can still be applied to your registrar since most domain registrars have a similar system/process for setting up private nameservers.
What is a nameserver and how does DNS work?
DNS nameservers are a bit like an address book. If I’m trying to get to a persons house I can’t just input their name into my GPS and have directions. I need to input their city, street address, house number, and zip code. This is the equivalent of an IP address. Since computers don’t understand domain names, they need to search for the IP address of a site in an “address book.” An IP address is computer readable data that tells your computer where a site is located. Thanks to DNS you can just enter the sites domain name, to which your computer looks up the IP address of the domain name on nameservers. Your computer then redirects you to the IP address of the domain, the server where the site is hosted.
The way computers are setup is when you connect your computer to the network of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) you are by default using their DNS nameservers unless you change it in network settings. DNS is a vital part in being able to browse the internet. When you enter the domain name of the site you want to visit in the browser, your computer sends a query to get the server IP address of the domain you are looking for. When you use a shared/reseller hosting provider they had nameservers in place that contained records for your domain. This is how other computers were able to find your site. With a VPS or dedicated server it is up to you to integrate and manage DNS nameservers. You need to create your own DNS server or use a DNS provider such as Cloudflare.
Use-case: VPS (Virtual Private Server) or Dedicated Server
Congratulations on deciding to move to your own hosted server, it can be difficult to manage but is very rewarding! You will need at least one domain to register private nameservers. The domain you choose will be used by all other domains for their nameservers. One of the great things about CyberPanel is that it comes shipped with a DNS server already installed, all you need to do is tell your domain registrar that your DNS server can be found at this IP (IP address of your CyberPanel installation).
The rest will be managed by CyberPanel, you’ll be able to seamlessly create new accounts/websites.
First we’ll go over setting up private nameservers with Namecheap.
Step 1: Login to your Namecheap account dashboard
First you’ll want to login to your NameCheap account (if you have services with them) and navigate to the client dashboard. Once you have logged in to your Namecheap account dashboard, your control panel will display all your domains with them like this:
To proceed with setting up private nameservers choose the domain that you want to use as the nameserver domain and click “Manage” on the right side in the Namecheap client dashboard (remember this domain will be part of the nameserver your clients will use when setting up hosting with you under their domain).
Step 2: Advance DNS
After clicking “Manage” you will be presented with a plethora of options related to the domain. Make sure that the correct domain name you want to use for private nameservers is listed at the top left. If the correct domain is not listed go back to the previous page and click manage for the domain you do wish to use. If you followed the previous steps, your screen will look something like this:
Click the “Advanced DNS” tab at the top to proceed with registering private nameservers.
Step 3: Register Private Nameserver!
On the advanced tab you will be able to easily create private nameservers by following the below steps.
Namecheap calls it “Personal DNS Server,” that’s the same as private nameserver.
1. Click “Add Nameserver” under the “Personal DNS Server” part of the advanced DNS tab
2. From the drop-down you can select many options like ns1, ns2, and more. For the first nameserver we will be using “ns1” so type “ns1” in the first form area.
3. On the second form option enter the IP address of your DNS server (make sure to enter the correct IP address where your CyberPanel installation is, otherwise this will not work).
Once all three steps have been completed and you have verified the information, click “Done.”
You have now registered “ns1.example.com,” you will need to repeat these three steps to register the second private nameserver “ns2.example.com.”
You have successfully registered private nameservers for your CyberPanel installation.
Now lets setup private nameservers with Godaddy. The procedure for setting up nameservers is the same with most registars, but they have some minor differences which makes it a bit difficult to understand.
Step 1: Login to Godaddy Control Panel
The first step is to login to your Godaddy control pane to which you will be presented with all of your domains with them. Locate DNS settings for your domain by clicking the 3 ellipses under the “Manage” tab of the panel and selecting “Manage DNS.” Should look something like this:
Click “Manage DNS” to open domain DNS settings
There’s also a possibility your panel will look something like this:
If your panel looks like the image above the instructions for accessing the DNS section of the dashboard are slightly different. Instead of clicking “Manage” like we did for the other layout you will need to just click on the domain. After clicking on the domain you plan on using for nameservers you will be sent to the domain manage page.
Once on the domain manage page you can scroll down and find these options:
Under Additional Settings you will need to click on “Manage DNS” to be transported to the next page where you can access advanced features. You can follow the steps below no matter which GoDaddy panel type you started out with.
Step 2: Godaddy Advance DNS Settings
Note: Before you can create private nameservers inside of the GoDaddy panel you must make sure no other nameservers are listed under your domain. The only nameservers that you should have if using GoDaddy are GoDaddy’s own nameservers (ns.domaincontrol.com). The namserver tab of the manage page should look like this:
Moving on, once in the DNS settings page, you will need to scroll further down until you find Advanced DNS settings:
Under “Advanced Features” part of the site click “Host names.”
GoDaddy recently added added some more options under advanced features and a user message. You can ignore those for just setting up private nameservers.
Step 3: Register Private Name Servers
Once you’ve reached the Host Names page it will look something like this:
You will need to click “ADD” in order to create your nameservers.
- In Godaddy you will need to input “ns1” for the Host; this is the prefix of your nameserver.
- Enter the IP address of your DNS server in the “IP Address” box (make sure to enter the correct IP address where your DNS is, otherwise this will not work).
- Finally, click save.
You have now registered “ns1.example.com,” you will need to repeat these three steps to register your second private nameserver “ns2.example.com.”
Once these nameservers are registered you can configure your DNS settings on CyberPanel so that your DNS server can start working.
Hopefully by now you are a DNS nameserver expert and will be able to setup private nameservers all on your own in the future!
The last step is to add your private nameservers to CyberPanel.
- Navigate to DNS -> Create Nameserver (this is where you will add your private nameservers).
- For domain name input the domain of your CyberPanel installation (you need this for nameservers).
- The first nameserver will be the first nameserver we registered (ns1.example.com).
- Here you will enter the IP address you set your first nameserver to (this should be the IP address of your server).
- For this part you should enter the second nameserver you registered (ns2.example.com).
- Again, here you will need to enter the IP address of your second nameserver (this should be the IP address of your server).
- Finally, you can click “Create Nameserver” and your CyberPanel installation will use the private nameservers your registered.
Now that you have completed registering and setting up your private nameservers you will be able to add domains to your CyberPanel. If you want to use your CyberPanel DNS with your domain you can set the nameservers we registered earlier as the nameservers for your domain (“ns1.example.com,” and “ns2.example.com”) in your domain registrars control panel. This will allow you to set and manage DNS records for your domain directly from CyberPanel.
Managing DNS Inside CyberPanel
To start creating DNS records inside of your CyberPanel installation you will first need to add a domain to configure DNS on. Navigate to DNS -> Create DNS Zone as such:
On the DNS page add the domain you plan to setup DNS and click “Create DNS Zone”
Next we move on to adding DNS records to the domain. You will want to navigate to DNS -> Add/Delete Records, which will look like this:
- To access the DNS Zone page first click “DNS” on the sidebar
- After clicking on “DNS” the DNS option will expand and as such click on “Add/Delete Records”.
- Make sure to choose the domain you will be adding DNS records for, the dropdown will show all of the domains under your CyberPanel installation
- You will be able to choose different DNS record types (A, AAAA, MX, CNAME, SPF, TXT), if you just want users who access your domain to see your site which is hosted on top of CyberPanel it’s suggested to use an A record
- You can input a name for the DNS record depending on the type of record you will be adding. If we just want to forward the domain to our CyberPanel IP we will simply enter “@” under the name form option
- We can also set the IP which we want to set for the DNS record. For an A record that just sends users accessing your domain to the correct site enter the IP address of your CyberPanel
- Finally, click “Add” and your DNS server should start respoding to DNS queries if everything is setup correctly.
At last, we have configured our private nameservers for CyberPanel and now know how to add DNS zones. You can add as many DNS records for your domain as you’d like, just don’t get too carried away 😉
Below are some examples of adding different kind of records in CyberPanel:
- Here “@” represents your current selected zone, which in our case is cyberpanel.net
- The second arrow points to the IP address of your VPS/Dedicated server
After clicking “Add” you will see something like this:
After adding an A record using the preceding example, you will be able to browse your site from the domain you chose (in our case cyberpanel.net), but if you want to access with “www” attached you need to add a CNAME Record.
- From dropdown select type “CNAME”.
- In the name box enter “www” which means www.cyberpanel.net will be an alias for cyberpanel.net (www and non-www will both access the same site), but you don’t need to add the full domain (www.cyberpanel.net) just the “www” part.
After clicking “Add” you will see something like this:
Now that we’ve added an A and CNAME record we can move to mail or MX record.
Adding MX record is a 2 step process first we need to add an MX record and then add a corresponding A record. Lets first add an MX record:
The image above is very self explanatory, you can see that we’ve selected MX record from dropdown. The mail server for our domain cyberpanel.net is found at mail.cyberpanel.net, but this is not the end. After adding an MX record you need to add an A record for mail.cyberpanel.net. After adding an MX and A record your final DNS zones should look something like this:
Similarly you can add SPF and TXT records as well, to read more you can consult the