Setting up Ghost CMS on a subdomain of domain managed by Vercel nameserver

Hello, I am currently running a Next.js frontend deployed to Vercel, and I am using the Vercel nameservers to manage the domain.

Now, I want to deploy Ghost CMS to a DigitalOcean droplet on a subdomain, and thus have the admin interface at

My A DNS records in Vercel look as follows:

Name Value
@ [vercelIP]
cms [DO droplet IP]

when i attempt to install the droplet and set it up, it fails to generate a SSL certificate, and it seems like it cannot use the root domain’s certificate from Vercel if i just provide the IP to the setup script

I am very green with DNS stuff so if anyone knows how i can achieve this setup that would be great.

I am trying to do this because I would not like a user to be able to go to and be able to see the CMS login. Additionally, if the user goes to first, then to, a 404 will be returned until the cache is cleared. This is why i am trying to put the ghost CMS on a subdomain.

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Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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September 7, 2021
Accepted Answer


I believe that it is important to do the process in a specific order, what I could suggest is doing is:

  • First create the Ghost Droplet and note down the IP address
  • Then go to your Vercel’s DNS zone and add the A record for your cms subdomain to point to that new Droplet’s IP address
  • Then after that add a CNAME record for to point to, that way you would have the www version also covered
  • After that SSH to the new Ghost Droplet and finish the installation process

Let me know how it goes. Regards, Bobby

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