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What are the DNS records and what do they mean?

A Records

An A record can point a host name to an IP address. You can add multiple host records for a domain name.

  • To point just [yourdomain] to an IP address, leave the "Record Host" field blank.
  • To point [yourdomain] to an IP address enter www into the "Record Host" field.
  • To point all sub domains for [yourdomain] that do not already have a host record to an IP address enter * into the "Record Host" field.

CNAME Records

A CNAME, or canonical name record, points a hostname with no other records to another valid hostname. The canonical name you use shouldn’t have any other DNS records associated with it. CNAME’s should only be used in very few instances. For common aliases and host names use an A record instead.

A bare CNAME (ie: no “www”) will break MX records and not allow email to work. We recommend placing the CNAME on the “www” subdomain.

If you do not understand what CNAME’s are used for we do not recommend you tinker with them because the misuse of CNAME records can cause problems with the resolution of your domain name (you’ll bring your site down, and that’s no good for anyone).

MX Records

MX records are used to deliver email associated with your domain name, such as info@yourdomain.com, to the appropriate mail server, for instance, mail.yourdomain.com. If you are using your own mail server, you must do the following. First, create a Host record (A Records) with the name of your mail server, most often mail.yourdomain.com or smtp.yourdomain.com, in the Host name field and the Internet Protocol (IP) address of your mail server in, naturally, the IP address field. Second, make a MX record in which you leave the Record Host name field blank and enter the name of your mail server, again, mail.yourdomain.com or smtp.yourdomain.com, in the Record Answer server field.

TXT Records

TXT or text records can be used to enter arbitrary text strings into a DNS entry.

AAAA Records (IPV6)

An IPV6 (AAAA) record, is much like an A records, only it can point a host name to an IPV6 IP address. You can add multiple host records for a domain name.

  • To point just [yourdomain] to an IP address, leave the "Record Host" field blank.
  • To point [yourdomain] to an IP address enter www into the "Record Host" field.
  • To point all sub domains for [yourdomain] that do not already have a host record to an IP address enter * into the "Record Host" field.
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