I've just signed up with a webhost (which I prefer not to name) and I'm reasonably happy with it. The only nit was when I was ready to put a site online and I asked the support line to what name I should point my 'www' CNAME to. They responded that they don't do that and I need to set my domain's NS records for the hosting to work.
"Why would you ever want to do it that way? Our service to you includes DNS and our servers are probably much better than the one your registrar provides."
This was a bit of surprise as all of the other webhosts I've worked with happily support this. I've set up (eg) gallery.myfriend.example for friends by having them configure their DNS to CNAME 'gallery' to the name of a shared server at a webhost and the webhost does name-based hosting for 'gallery.myfriend.example'.
(Of course, if the webhost ever tells me I'm being moved from A.webhost.example to B.webhost.example, it would be my responsibility to change where the CNAME points. Really good webhosts would instead create myname.webhost.example for the IP of whichever server my stuff happens to be on, so I'd never have to worry about keeping my CNAME up to date.)
Is my impression correct, that most webhosts will happily support a service that begins with a CNAME hosted elsewhere, or is it really more common that webhosts will only provide a service if they control the DNS service too?
Alice is a customer, owning Alice.example.
BobHost, CarolHost and DaveHost are webhosts.
Alice has a domain registration, DNS hosting and website hosting with BobHost.
BobHost have the following DNS setup...
* Alice.example A 192.0.2.1
* Gallery.Alice.example CNAME SomeServer.CarolHost.example
and her main website content and email is served from 192.0.2.1.
Alice also has website hosting with CarolHost, but only to serve the 'Gallery' sub-domain. Her gallery content is served from SomeServer.CarolHost.example, but only when the 'Host:' header of a request is 'Gallery.Alice.example'.
Yes, this is sub-optimal, but its the only practical way to have a sub-domain hosted elsewhere from the main site. Frankly, it works. CarolHost can change the IP of 'SomeServer' whenever they like without having to inform anyone as long as they update their own DNS records. No-one complains to CarolHost that the gallery is off-line when the fault is with BobHost's DNS service failing to serve that CNAME record.
Continuing the story, Alice now wishes to put an additional sub-domain, 'Blog.Alice.example' to be hosted by DaveHost. She calls DaveHost support and asks how to host 'Blog' in the same way that 'Gallery' is hosted by CarolHost. DaveHost respond that they don't support this. If Alice wishes to use DaveHost's service, Alice will need to move DNS hosting to DaveHost.
My question; In the world of webhosting services, are hosts like DaveHost commonplace? (All but one the webhosts I've dealt with are happy to be CarolHost, even though they all really want to be like BobHost.)