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Basics of DNS Records

What is DNS?

(DNS) Domain Name System. This system helps to locate a website on the internet. It is a system that translates an IP address into a human- friendly name (like example.com). There are different types of DNS entries that you can create or modify in the DNS Zone Editor.

Below Are the DNS Record Types:

Name Servers 

Name servers are the primary records in DNS and act as the server component.  It connects the IP address to a domain name on a server. The primary function of the name servers is to translate an IP address ( to an easily remembered domain name (example.com). 

Nameserver (Screenshot)

Here is an article to know where to get your name server information with HostGator: What Are My Name Servers?

A Record

Also known as Address records. This record points a domain or subdomain to a specific IP address (IPv4) on a server (example.com to 192.987.654.321). This record controls which specific server will host an online presence such as email, website, and online apps.

A record (screenshot)

CNAME Record

A Canonical Name Record is used to alias and map a domain or subdomain to another. This record should always be pointed to a domain or a subdomain. The most common example is when you have both example.com and www.example.com.

cname record (Screenshot)

MX Record

A Mail Exchange Record (MX record) specifies the mail server responsible for sending and receiving messages on behalf of a domain name.

MX record (screenshot)

TXT Record

This would be better categorized as human-readable information. The most commonly used example (as pictured) is a hostname or IP address.


TXT record (Screenshot)

SRV Record

The Service Record is used to point a domain name to another domain using a specific destination port. It allows services as a VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or IM (Instant Messaging).

SRV record (Screenshot)


This record is similar and works the same way as the A record. The only difference is it allows you to point a domain name to an IPv6 IP address. Currently, HostGator does not support IPv6 addresses.

AAA record (Screenshot)

DNS Glossary

  • Zone File. It is a text file that contains all the DNS records of a domain name. This is where you can add, remove, and delete a DNS record.
  • Name. This section is where you place the domain you wish to add or edit its DNS record.
  • TTL. Acronym of Time To Live. It is the expiration date placed on a DNS record. It tells the server how long a record should be stored locally before a new copy of the record must be retrieved from the DNS. 
  • Address. It points a domain name to the destination server that the domain and sub-domain are sending the site traffic.

Related Articles

DNS Troubleshooting Guide 

How to Change DNS Records

Changing DNS Zones (MX, CNAME and, A Records)

What is DNS Propagation?

Pointing My Domain to HostGator When Using DNS Elsewhere