Domain woes - need a CNAME but only NS change is offered?

My website URL is:

Additional information:
I want to add my main domain to point to it - usually a CNAME does the job however the control panel insists that i must change the nameservers instead. I have my DNS hosted elsewhere at a very good DNS host and don’t want to change the nameservers!

1 Like

You must change your nameservers to add your domain to your hosting account. After you’ve added the domain, you can switch it back to your own nameservers if you want (although it’s not officially supported).


Problem is that CNAMEs also need setting up on apache in order for it to serve them. That is the problem - infinityfree say i must use their nameservers, i don’t want to, i just want to skip the nameserver part and have apache configured for a cname - which it will do if i use their nameservers.

Seems odd… I’m offering to save cpu cycles and because of that i miss out!

Which CPU cycles are you referring to? If you point your domain with a CNAME record to our servers, our DNS servers still need to resolve your target record into an IP address for the visitor. So unless I’m missing something, switching from nameservers to CNAME records still results in the same number of DNS requests being sent to our servers.

But CPU cycles is not at all a consideration regarding what options we choose to offer to add domains. More important reasons are:

  • Ownership verification. By checking that the nameservers are configured, we can verify that you didn’t just enter some non-existent bogus domain or a domain which you don’t actually control.
  • Ease of setup. Setting nameservers is much easier than managing your own DNS records. Even if you don’t think it’s hard, you have to admit that changing nameservers is more straight forward than setting different record types in many different DNS interfaces.
  • Ease of management for us. We occasionally move websites to different IP addresses. We can update our own nameservers automatically, but we can’t update third party nameservers. Hence third party DNS is not officially supported.
  • CNAME records can be used to circumvent the above, but CNAME records don’t work on root domains. You can setup a CNAME record for, but not for itself. Unless of course your DNS provider does CNAME flattening or ALIAS records, but that’s not a standard DNS feature.

The cpu cycles i’m referring to are for the DNS servers!

Typically setting a cname at my dns means that my dns host would resolve the cname to another record (eg an A record) - which points to your servers where your apache would answer the request directly - not your dns servers - typically anyway.

At present is CNAME’d to It is redirected to because your apache is not configured to serve it. See what i mean? - Allowing CNAMEs to be added would save your own DNS servers some cycles.

Ownership verification: Fair enough, i can understand that.
Ease of setup: Kinda understand this but that only helps newb’s who’ve no idea. Us guys who have a clue kinda like to do the techy thing!!
Ease of management: I see it from your POV but again if you accepted CNAME then any updates would be reflected via the CNAME mechanism anyway.

You are of course correct that root domains can’t be CNAME’d however they can be url forwarded - to a www. CNAME of the same domain!

Anyway I know you won’t change your policy based on my single assertion so i’ve got around it using’s url redirection using frames. Not ideal but does the job.

Just to add i’ve moved back to it’s original IP now - used it for demo purposes but need it elsewhere for other purposes.

Most of hosting provider need to ask you to change your domain nameserver. Even with hosting provider as big as HostGator.
If you don’t change your domain nameserver to your hosting nameserver, you can’t add your domain to your hosting.
Tell me if you found a hosting provider that doesn’t need this procedure.
Unless you use a service that you don’t fully control such as Blogger, GitHub, etc. They provide a way to point your domain to their service via CNAME.

Over the years i’ve used many hosts that do not require you to commit to a nameserver change. They offer domain hosting via their nameservers but to not make it compulsory.

By this, I mean that many will give you their nameserver details only but they will not actually check the domain is pointing to their nameservers like infinityfree do - this means that you can still add extra domains but simply change your settings at your registrar / dns host and the webserver (having been preconfigured) will then work because the extra domain is already setup.

With infinityfree it’s a bit backward - you have to change the nameserver which they then check by an automated process before they will reconfigure the webserver to accept any additional domains. That’s kinda awkward to those who want full control of their domains - not some cut down version of dns management that many hosting companies offer.

My domain is registered with 123-reg. Their dns management in their control panel is better than some but still quite minimal (on par with many hosting companies basic dns management offerings). For this reason I have my domain hosted at - Their dns management is superior to almost every hosting company I’ve used hence I wish to leave it there.

Anyway as pointed out earlier, I have managed to work around this issue transparently using their cloaked url redirection which isn’t perfect but does transparently work without the user being aware of it. Now i’m just struggling with the database and some large tables…

So what would the target of the CNAME record be? If you would point to, then the browser still has to lookup in our nameservers. So that would still cost us CPU cycles to handle.

That said, DNS requests are dirt cheap. If you also need to load a website, execute PHP scripts and perform database queries, a few more DNS requests are negligible.

I agree. I wish there was another way to verify domain ownership (e.g. using CNAME or TXT records). There are some registrars and registries who will even refuse to update the nameservers of your domain if the target nameservers are not configured yet. Which will also allow you to migrate your website without downtime.


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.