Until today, I thought that we should point the name servers to hosting company to set add-on domain, sub domains, etc.

But, I read this article from inmotion hosting.

You can find following sentence from that article.

If you are not pointed to InMotion Hosting's Nameservers, you must ALSO create the subdomain where your Nameservers are hosted, then point the subdomain's "A record" to your Shared IP address.

I could not understand what is it... I mean I thought we must point name servers to hosting company to create sub domains etc... So what is the meaning of this message? What did I have understand incorrectly?

  • If you are using InMotion Hosting's Nameservers then you can ignore that message, explanation below. Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 14:03
  • DNS has multiple levels. Your registrar is in charge of creating the entries in the top level domain DNS servers. Those records are the NameServer (NS) records that say what DNS servers are used for the domain records. That nameserver serves records that map the subdomains to IP addresses. Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 14:04
  • Setting an A record instead of different subnet nameservers gives you greater chances of single point failure. If in doubt use a premium DNS solution such as cloudflare or DNS made easy.
    – Randomer11
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 15:48

3 Answers 3


Name servers host your DNS zone file

Domains point to name servers that simply hosts the zone file which holds all your DNS entries, due to simplicity, web hosts recommend that users point their domain to their own hosting because then the user does not need to add manually DNS entries, since cPanel, WHM or Plesk will automatically edit the zone file with the necessary records.


A real world example of this would be that you add a sub domain to cPanel called 'CDN' e.g cdn.example.com, cPanel automatically edits the zone file and adds A record of the IP address that the sub domain points to.

Perks and Benefits of each

The benefits of using the name servers provided by your web host is that you never need to manually edit the zone file for most tasks but the benefits of using an external name servers is often they come with better reliability and more features, such as those provided by DynDNS, Rackspace DNS, Cloudflare etc.

How to use A records

If you want to use a different name server and dns provided by your registrar or another company, then simply login to cPanel and check the IP listed in the server information panel or page, like so:

A records within Cpanel

Take note of the IP address and then simply login to your DNS management of the domain and add the A record and cname, like so:

cloudflare dns records

Using the above example would make the website work without having to use the name servers provided by your host, giving you more options, faster TTL's and generally easier administration once you understand the basics.


It's a little unclear to me, but what I think it is saying is either

  1. Set the Name Servers or
  2. Set an A record

You don't need to do both of these things, since they accomplish the same thing, just in different ways.


To use a domain on cpanel

Add an A record to your hosting account's domain DNS settings

Don't use Cpanel's DNS settings, use your hosting account DNS manager instead it's easier and less configurations

  • Host/Name/Alias is basically used for subdomains it's ok to leave it blank
  • Points to/Value/Destination is your Cpanel IP address
  • TTL is time to live put 600 secs or the least allowed

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