Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog

Help – Can a subdomain be on different Host?

Help – can you host subdomains on a different servers than your main domain?

I’ve got a client whom is getting a blog and a forum added to his website (wordpress and phpbb).

Problem is, the current site is designed by another company whom has a content management program in place, and that is the only way to update the site (no control panel, no direct FTP access).

I thought there was some kind of technique where I could host the blog and the forum on another site (another host), and be able to have them be subdomains on the other site.

For example:

Where the subdomain of "blog" and "forum" are hosted at another site.
Anyone know how to do this trick?


15 Responses

  1. Hi Jim,

    Effectively www is a sub-domain with it’s own A (or Address) DNS record. You need access to the DNS settings to point ‘blog’ and ‘forum’ to different IP addresses using new A records. Then you set these new sub-domains as virtual host names under the web server (e.g. Apache) on your target boxes.

  2. Paul,
    Thanks for the info.
    So if the domain was purchased at network solution, I’d go in and add more nameservers…and somewhere in there I could add subdomains (through the register?).

    Then I’d contact the original site host and tell them to …..?

    just a little confused as to exactly what I’d need to do.

  3. Ah you got there first Paul 😉

    My personal favourite is SRV records, amazing things. You can use them to point to different servers, with a weight and priority setting. Effectively giving you DNS managed load-balancing. You could take 3 of the cheapest possible web hosts and have a 100% uptime.

    Also allow people to call you on VoIP to your domain address – very cool.

    There are issues with synchronising databases but they really push the power of DNS beyond the usual A/C/MX records.

  4. Cool thanks guys….you’re speaking a bit greek to me, but the good thing is that it can be done 😉

    question…for now (not looking to publish blog for forum for another month), should I just host the blog and the forum on subdomains of another site….

    ie… and and then when I’m ready to have them show up at the subdomains of the real site, I’d do what you guys are saying?

  5. You keep the same nameservers – they point to a DNS zone. Here you would need to add the extra A records for and

    If the domain registrar for the domains only lets you change name servers, there isn’t much you can do there there.

    Equally if the host for the domain doesn’t let you add them there you’re a bit stuck.

    I would point the domain name to a DNS service you control (we sell that here Jim, I can show you how it works) by changing the name servers. You should then be able to find some hosts who will host your chosen domain names ( or

    It’s always a good plan to keep these things in their own place rather than lumping the DNS/Hosting and domain registration all in the one place.


  6. Nice one Nick – impressive.

    Not over familiar with NetSols, but I think you’re looking for DNS Manager – Advanced Tools in the domain account. Although the DNS will probably contain NS (nameserver) records, you actually want to add more A records. These point to the actual IP address of the web server – www will be pointing to the client’s current host. You will add two more – one for each sub-domain, pointing to your host/server IP (or two different IPs if you want).
    The original host of www should have nothing to do.

  7. Yes Pauls right – but these days more than often the hosts ask for the domain to be pointed via name servers and don’t leave you with that control.

    If you activate their DNS option be careful you don’t break the setup with your host as they *may* replace the name servers of your host with their own name servers in order to give you this control. As Paul says though, if there is a www record there already pointing in the right place, you don’t have to worry.

    There is no reason why the host can’t do their job without having the zone but sometimes they kick up a fuss.

    I’m kicking myself for not being sure on this one, but I think you maybe able to use a Cname record actually. This will point an alias of your domain to another hostname. So you maybe able to point to using that?

  8. A simple A-Record will do the trick, and most major domain registrars now offer DNS services so that you can use their control panel to create the A-Record (Sitelutions, Enom, and Registerfly for example).

    You may consider just creating a single * as the A-record that way in the future if there are more subdomains you want to add, you do not have to keep creating more and more A-records.

    NOTE: Sitelutions offers free domain DNS services even if the domain is not registered with them…

  9. If not set on WordPress, another option is to host the blog on Typepad as they provide a domain mapping service and you could map your blog subdomain to there. Look for domain mapping on Typepad support and it talks you through the process.

  10. To lay it out for you:

    Add an extra “A” record to the DNS server to point to Point this to your server. This will leave you with the rest of the domain servers –,, and or whatever still pointing to the old set of servers.

    Setup your server to respond to

    The thing to realise is that while hosting companies package them together, DNS and webhosting are very different things that can be seperated.

    The only potential wrinkle is if the old servers control panel does not let you get to the DNS settings. In which case, go to the registrar and point the domain to a DNS server you control instead of where it is now pointing. Then copy the DNS settings from the old DNS server to your new one, and add the extra “A” record as mentioned above.

    In either case (looking at http only to keep it simple) you will end up with this:


  11. Well since I made a typo and filting got rid of my digram anyway…

    DNS {– Registrar

  12. I post regularly to a blog which comprises a subdomain of our main site and is hosted on a different IP. I wish this thread was around way back when we switched blog hosting over to a different server, this would have helped tremendously.

    Somewhat off topic, SEOs far less n00bish than I already know that certain directories, if they have already received and accepted a link to your main site, will often not let you submit subdomains. Ran into this challenge earlier today, so it’s still fresh in my mind. Even if your subdomain is hosted on a different IP, one can expect possible challenges.

Comments are closed.


Meet The Bloggers

Jim Boykin
Jim Boykin

Founder and CEO

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty

Community & Branding Manager