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Create vanity name servers with Godaddy (ns1, ns2) and use your custom DNS with external client domains

Problem: I manage several client domains and I wanted a way to centrally manage their DNS while pointing their DNS records to my custom vanity name servers: ns1.curvve.net and ns2.curvve.net. This isn’t a straight forward solution that Godaddy offers, but it does work. WHOIS my domain and see for yourself.

At first, I tried signing up for Godaddy’s Premium DNS server. The service itself is really nice because it allows you to batch modify your DNS records. In order to use Godaddy’s premium DNS, the domains have to be pointed to Godaddy’s DNS Servers.

Godaddy’s Vanity DNS Failure

Godaddy also offers custom vanity DNS, but it only applies to the specific domain domain that has registered for the vanity domain. In short: If my domain has vanity name server (e.g., ns1.curvve.net), I can’t point another domains’s DNS records to my vanity name servers. Believe me, I tried. If you have a domain that is registered with Godaddy, and you try to add your custom vanity name servers to that domain, Godaddy will throw an error.

Vanity Name Server Workaround

My solution is actually fairly simple:

  1. Pick the domain that you want to use as your name server domain (in my case, curvve.net).
  2. Edit the DNS details of that domain in the DNS Manager.
  3. Create an A-record (Host) alias for each of the name servers you want to use, and point them to the correct IP address of the corresponding DNS servers.

GoDaddy Update for Premium DNS Users

Optional for use with Godaddy Premium DNS
Setting up custom DNS with Godaddy is now a bit easier, especially if you want to manage your DNS from Godaddy’s Premium DNS services.

  • In order to create your custom name server, go to the Premium DNS Manager, find the domain you want to use, and pressed the “advanced settings” link.
  • Click on the “Vanity Nameservers” tab.
  • Activate the vanity name servers.
  • Now, if you point any domain to those vanity name servers, GoDaddy will automatically recognize them and they will still appear in your DNS Manager.
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