I learned something new about DNS in the past couple of days, as I was trying to set up a DynDNS custom domain for my Dynamic IP connection at home.
Initially, I was trying to set up an existing domain, to split the DNS, so that the main domain nameserver is pointing to my webhost where my site is, and a subdomain of my main domain, would be pointed to DynDNS. Now, in a normal situation without Dynamic DNS, a simple A Record to the subdomain pointing to the new IP would resolve the situation. However, because DynDNS has a specific requirement of having NS records only pointed to their DNS server on the domain, it was not possible to just add those NS records to my domain, in addition to the ones pointing to my Webhost. (not sure if there was a technical reason stopping DynDNS from allowing this, or just a matter of policy). Either way, the solution to this was to either create a new domain, and point all of its DNS records to DynDNS, or, ideally, create a subdomain with NS records solely dedicated to that sub-domain.
This is where my rant starts. I have to state, that my webhost is Hostmonster, and I have to say, that as far as their service and uptime is concerned, I’ve been happy with them, however, when it comes to asking for some advanced help, their first level support is either quite uninformed, uneducated, or are severely bound to follow a script in answering a question. Whatever the case may be, this kind of support makes me cringe, and makes me think about moving to a different host which is more flexible.
You see, the issue I had with contacting my host to ask the NS records to be added to my domain, (because that record type did not exist in my cPanel), was not that they said that they do not support NS records for subdomains, but rather, their complete persistence about the fact that NS records are not possible for sub-domains.
Here are a couple of quotes directly from my communication with Hostmonster about this matter:
Rep 1 [10:30:40 AM] sub domains do not use cname records
[10:32:27 AM] go to cpanel
[10:32:29 AM] domains
[10:32:32 AM] dns zone editor
[10:32:40 AM] they actually use A records.
Rep 2 [2:54:24 PM] Nameservers can only be modified for the domain name itself, not for sub-domains.
In the history of our company, there has been no way to modify nameservers for a sub-domain, I do apologize.
Rep 3 NS records can not be created for sub-domains, as it is not possible to set NS records for sub-domains we do not support the creation of these records.
Rep 1′s claim is technically correct, and is, in fact, the correct way to do this, assuming that there is no need to split the domain to different NS servers. But that’s about where it stops.
3 reps, and not a single one bothered to do a Google search about NS records possibly being allowed for sub-domains. Let me help you guys, one link is from DynDNS, which explains exactly how that is possible:
Quote from that document:
In Dyn Standard DNS, you can use NS records to delegate a sub-domain off to your own (or third-party) name servers:
I’m not sure about you, but that some-host.example.com looks very much like a sub-domain to me.
If that is not enough, here is another link to another web-host, which even has an instructional video on how to create a custom NS record for a sub-domain:
You see, I don’t have a problem if a company/web-host, decides to make it policy to not allow NS records for sub-domains. It’s their policy, and if I don’t like it, I would just have to find someone who does offer this feature. What I do have a problem with, is the path that all these reps have taken to tell me what I would’ve otherwise been ok with, only, they irritated me in the process, because not a single one of them took the initiative to ask around or even do a simple Google search before they claimed wrong information, upon which, they based their decision on not providing me this feature or service.
And, that, my friends is one of the simple ways, you can decrease the reputation of your company, by not doing some of the simplest things. Please get it right Hostmonster. You guys are great for the most part, keep it up that way, and if nothing else, consider this constructive criticism.