How to setup a hosting site with WHMCS and Plesk.

Posted August 3, 2017 6.8k views

I’m going to be honest, I probably am not at all qualified to be doing this, but could really use your help. I’m trying to setup a web hosting service for my new nonprofit to host other nonprofit sites. I’ve installed Plesk and WHMCS and have vanity name servers setup for my domain ( The problem is, if someone signs up for a hosting package and purchases or transfers a domain, I still have to add the domain in the DNS Manager on DigitalOcean. It sounds like I need to setup Branded Nameservers.. I can’t make sense of this though. Is there a good guide somewhere for accomplishing this?

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4 answers

You can run your own DNS server for your hosting, depending on the control panel that you provide. If you are providing access to cPanel then you can spin up two servers to serve as a DNS server. Install

Install cPanel DNS Only and setup Bind and Cluster in your full cPanel server. After configuring the cluster and testing that it works as intended, you can disable the DNS server in your primary machine.

Here’s the documentation on how you can do that

Alternatively, you can just provide your clients the server IP address and instruct them to add A record with that IP on their own DNS providers like CloudFlare or the ones provided by the domain registrar.

  • Alright, so I think in the future that’s what I’d like to, but I think I’m going to have to save my pennies and raise donations to hire someone to help me set this up. It’s a little beyond my abilities (I tried).

    So here’s my next question.. I’m going to just use the DigitalOcean DNS Manager for now, but do I really have to manually setup the domain in DigitalOcean myself and enter all the records overtime somebody signs up through WHMCS? Assuming I do, is that also true with subdomains? I tried pointing the domain to my Plesk server and when I create a subdomain it doesn’t work unless I create an A record in DigitalOcean. Is that right or am I doing something wrong?

Hi @accountse852cac4061fc4dad9

If you want to control the DNS in Plesk/WHMCS, then you need to run your own DNS server, which I wouldn’t recommend.
Otherwise you would need to setup at least two droplets acting as DNS servers.

I would probably recommend that people that signs up keep control of their own domain - since they might want to do other things with their domain, like using it for mail, which I’m guessing you’re not going to provide.

Then you tell them to create A records pointing to your droplet at their DNS provider.
That’s how a lot of hosting companies work.

By doing that, you let everyone keep control over their own domain at their registrar (or whichever name servers they prefer to use).

This is public available on official WHMCS site


Plesk is now available as a one-click app on DigitalOcean. Just click on “create droplet” and then click “one-click applications” -> Plesk on Ubuntu 18.x . It is a free but full version of Plesk with certain limitations. Details can be found on .

Regarding WHMCS, there is a basic integration as mentioned above. And an advanced integration by .

Regarding DNS, I partially agree with the above answers. Either do it externally or have 2 droplets running as DNS servers and integrate them (Plesk has a slave DNS Extension to manage that). Plus that Plesk has an extension (free) to integrate with your DO DNS account. So you can sync all your domains directly with the DO DNS from Plesk.