Managing DNS Records

The Domain Name System (DNS) changes easily-readable URLs into IP addresses. But how do you make sure a URL is pointing to the right IP address? Before people can find your website, you have to define your site's DNS records.

The most basic DNS record links the domain to an IP address. There are other types of DNS records that make sure your email gets delivered and allow you to set up subdomains and other services.

What Information Is in Each DNS Record?

Each DNS record contains four main fields: Type, Name, Data, and TTL

  • Type: The DNS record type determines the part of your domain each record will change. The most important types to get you up and running are covered below.

  • Name: This field allows you to append a prefix (or more accurately, a suffix, since domain names are technically read from right to left) to the main domain name. If you’re adding a record for a subdomain, such as shop.example.com, you would enter “shop” in this field.

  • Data: The data field contains different information depending on the type of record you are creating. In your AlpineWeb account, selecting different record types gives you the data fields you need to fill out. This makes it easy to know what information you'll need.

  • TTL: TTL stands for Time to Live. This is the time, in seconds, that it will take for any changes to the DNS record to go into effect. With a TTL of 3600, all changes to this example record should be refreshed every 3600 seconds (one hour).

Types of DNS Records

There are many types of DNS records, but these five are what you'll need to get started. If you are working with services that require other DNS records, like Cloudflare, the service will usually provide special instructions.

  • A and AAAA records link a domain to an IP address (IPv4 for A, IPv6 for AAAA). Without these records, your URL won't point to your server's IP address and won't show your website. This is also called "not resolving." In addition to the main domain name, you will likely add an A record for your hostname and any subdomains which resolve to a different server. The Data field of an A record will always be an IP address.

  • ALIAS records function much like CNAME records listed below. However, where CNAME records are used for sub-domains, ALIAS records are used to point the main domain name (or apex domain, like example.com) to a host name, like myapp.forinstance.com. Nameservers that support ALIAS records will then resolve the subsequent IP address of the hostname to direct traffic correctly.

  • CNAME records are aliases that point an entry back to the main domain. If a browser requests a page from that subdomain, the server will route the request to the proper directory. If you frequently create records for subdomains, you may wish to add a wildcard CNAME to cover any requests for subdomains without their own records. You can create a wildcard by entering an asterisk in the Name field.

  • MX records determine how mail is handled for your domain. When creating an MX record, Data will contain two fields: Priority and Exchange.

    • Priority always will be a number. Mail will be routed to the lowest numbered (highest priority) MX entry. Use the settings recommended by your control panel or email provider.

    • Exchange is the server that mail will be directed to.

  • NS records specify the nameservers for the domain. Remember that the authoritative nameservers are specified at the registrar — if a WHOIS search returns different nameservers than what you’ve entered here, your entries in your Liquid Web account will have no effect.

DNS Record Examples

If you registered your domain with AlpineWeb, a Cloudflare account will be created along with your registration. If your domain name will be hosted at AlpineWeb it will have been populated with a default set of DNS records as described here:

Type Name Data TTL Status
A domain.com 0.0.0.0 Automatic CF On
A mail.domain.com 0.0.0.0 Automatic CF Off
CNAME www @ Automatic CF On
CNAME ftp @ Automatic CF Off
MX @ mail.domain.com Automatic CF Off
TXT @ v=spf1 +a +mx +ip4:0.0.0.0 ~all Automatic CF Off
TXT default._domainkey "v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MI...IBIj" xhy...ek; Automatic CF Off



Creating DNS Records

CloudFlare

AlpineWeb recommends using CloudFlare. If you registered your domain with AlpineWeb, a Cloudflare account will have been created along with your registration. If your domain name will be hosted at AlpineWeb it will have been populated with a default set of DNS records.

CloudFlare DNS Records and other features can be managed in the Cloudflare interface in the AlpineWeb Customer Backroom:

https://www.alpineweb.com/backroom/clientarea.php

After logging in, navigate to:

Services > My Services > Cloudflare Account > Manage Cloudflare > DNS

For more information about managing Cloudflare see the following Knowledgebase Article:

Managing CloudFlare in the AlpineWeb Customer Backroom

eNom and Hexonet

To manage DNS using eNom or Hexonet Nameservers log into the AlpineWeb Customer Backroom:

https://www.alpineweb.com/backroom/clientarea.php

After logging in, navigate to:

Domains > My Domains > Domain > Manage > DNS Management

Third Party DNS

To manage DNS Records provided by a third party service please contact them directly.

If you register your domain with AlpineWeb and host your website with another provider you'll need to work with your hosting provider to determine the appropriate DNS records to create.

Additional Information

If DNS is not your language or you have questions not answered here, please please consult our Knowledgebase:

If you have additional questions or require assistance please consult the submit a Help Ticket or Contact Us directly:

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