Setting up your own private nameservers on a cPanel server has many benefits, most importantly enabling all of cPanel’s built in DNS tools which can make DNS changes much easier.
This guide will show you how to set up and register new private nameservers on a cPanel server using the WHM (Web Host Manager) interface.
Most users will want to use a domain name they already own, often the same domain name that is being used for the hostname of the server that will be running the private nameservers.
For this example, we will use a fake domain called testdomain.com. Our server is called host.testdomain.com and we will be setting up ns1.testdomain.com and ns2.testdomain.com.
There are three parts to setting your private nameservers: Configuring the server to accept and process the DNS requests, registering your your new nameservers at the registrar who controls the domain name, and finally pointing domains at those new nameservers.
Step 1: Configuring the Server
Log in to your server’s WHM interface and find the navigation section on the left called Networking Setup, and then click the Nameserver IPs link as indicated below:
You will be taken to a screen showing any nameservers that are currently set up along with a text box for creating new nameservers:
When you load this screen for the first time you may see that two nameservers, using the same domain name as the server’s hostname, are already in place. If this is the case skip to Step 2: Registering Your Private Nameservers.
If there are no nameservers listed here then we will need to create them. Type the name of the nameserver you wish to set up in the text box (1) and click the Assign button (2).
You will be returned to the same screen now showing your new nameserver and the IP it has been assigned. You need to have at least two nameserver names configured, so repeat this step to create your second nameserver.
Step 2: Registering Your Private Nameservers
The vast majority of registrars do not charge their customers any extra fee for registering nameservers as long as the main domain name itself has already been purchased.
If you registered the domain yourself:
If you are setting up nameservers for a domain name that you own, which you also purchased yourself at a domain registrar, you will need to login to your account at that same registrar and use their tool to register the new names.
For example, if you are setting up ns1.testdomain.com and ns2.testdomain.com, and you purchased testdomain.com from GoDaddy, you would need to login to your GoDaddy account in order to register the new nameservers.
Once you have found the tool/page you need at your registrar’s web site the registration itself is very straightforward. Most registrars use a simple form where you enter in the name of the nameserver you wish to create and the corresponding IP address (that we obtained from the steps described above).
If the domain was registered by Exabytes:
If you are setting up nameservers for a domain and the domain was purchased as a part of your Liquid Web account you will need to open a new help desk ticket with your request using either your Exabytes Client Support Portal or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You are welcome to follow the steps described above to complete the server configuration and have us handle the nameserver registration, or if you would like our Support team will be happy to help you with the entire process.
Step 3: Pointing Your Domain(s) at Your New Nameservers
The final step in creating your own nameservers is to start using them by correctly pointing your domain(s). Log in to your registrar and edit the assigned nameservers so that it now points at your new nameserver names.
Please note that if you change a domain’s nameservers the domain will temporarily stop working while the new settings propagate throughout the entire internet. If downtime is a critical issue for your domain we recommend you make this during a weekend or late at night when traffic is likely to be low.
Now that your domain is pointing at your server’s nameservers you can use the DNS tools in the WHM and cPanel interfaces to modify your zone files!