Setting up vanity names

Vanity names allow your DNScaster nameservers to be referenced with your own domain names, in addition to the default *.dnscstr.com names.

Vanity names are a more advanced configuration and will require that automatic glue updates be enabled for the vanity domain itself. In turn, this requires that the vanity domain be registered through a supported registrar. This only applies to the vanity domain itself—any other domains assigned to the configured vanity name may use any registrar. As always, reach out if you have any questions.

  1. Add the domain to be used as a vanity domain, if not already present.

  2. Connect the vanity domain’s registrar.

    Go to Preferences -> Registrars -> Add Registrar. Select your registrar from the list of currently supported registrars.

    Name will default to the registrar’s name. If you have two or more accounts at that registrar, you may wish to modify the name to distinguish accounts.

    Follow the remaining instructions on the page to locate or create an API token for your registrar.

  3. Add a vanity name.

    Go to Nameservers -> Vanity names -> Add Vanity name. Select the vanity base domain and choose a Naming pattern.

  4. Set the vanity domain to use itself as a vanity name.

    Go to Domains -> {vanity domain} -> Settings. Change NS Naming to the vanity name you just added.

    If delegation updates are enabled, this will immediately change the delegation. If this domain is already live, you may want to temporarily disable delegation updates first.

    Note: Strictly speaking, this is optional, although it is almost always wanted. If unsure, then go ahead and do it.

  5. Enable automatic glue updates.

    If you performed step 4 above, then automatic glue updates must be enabled.

    Go to Domains -> {vanity domain} -> Nameservers. Click on Enable in the Glue records section.

  6. Enable automatic delegation updates.

    We recommend enabling delegation updates for all vanity domains. If you disabled delegation updates in step 4, this is the time to reenable them.

    Go to Domains -> {vanity domain} -> Nameservers. Click on Enable in the Nameservers section.

  7. Configure other domains to use this vanity name.

    If you wish to configure other domains to use this vanity name, then for each domain:

    Go to Domains -> {other domain} -> Settings. Change NS Naming to the new vanity name.

    If the domain isn’t using automatic delegation updates, either enable them or manually update the nameserver delegation at your registrar.

Manual vs automatic updates

For domains already in production on DNScaster, some folks may prefer to make the initial glue and delegation updates manually. This is fine. After doing so, be sure to enable automatic updates so that DNScaster can properly handle any ongoing updates. Failure to do so may result in outages.

If you’re still preparing to migrate the vanity domain into DNScaster, then wait on steps 5 and 6 until you’re ready to migrate. See Enabling automatic glue updates -> Migrating in.

Are automatic updates really required?

Automatic glue updates are required for all vanity domains that use themselves as their vanity name. For example, when example.com uses ns1.example.com as a vanity name. When glue updates are disabled, DNScaster will be unable to properly recover from a nameserver failure!

If a vanity domain’s NS Naming is set to *.dnscstr.com (or a different vanity name), then glue updates aren’t required. This is a rather uncommon configuration, however.

Automatic delegation updates are recommended for vanity domains, but not required.