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Changing DNS Zones (MX, CNAME and A Records)

 

With cPanel, users are granted access to make some DNS changes from within the control panel. Please note that this effect will only work if HostGator's name servers or private name servers registered with HostGator IPs are being used.

If you find that you need to update individual DNS settings for your domain, this article will address how you can manage DNS settings within cPanel for your HostGator Shared and Reseller accounts.

DNS Zone Functions

The following information will assist you in understanding the purpose of each DNS zone.

  • Name Servers assist in finding the server and correct DNS zone for a domain in order to get the information on the other DNS zone records.
  • NS Records listed in the DNS zone must match the name servers being used.
  • A Records point the domain to an IP address (e.g., mydomain.com -> IP address).
  • CNAME Records point subdomains to another domain name like www and mail. (e.g. www.domain.com -> domain.com).
  • MX Records control where emails are received. If the mail is to be hosted on another server, then the MX records are what need to be changed. (e.g. domain.com -> mail server).
  • TXT records are custom records which contain machine-readable data. TXT records must be formatted according to whichever technology you are trying to use.

For more information on the purpose and use for each DNS record, please refer to the following article:


Shared

Domain Name Servers MUST be Pointed to HostGator: In order for the DNS changes within cPanel to properly work, the domain must be using HostGator's name servers or private name servers registered with HostGator IPs.
Propagation: DNS zone record changes such as A, MX, and CNAME records can typically take 0 to 4 hours to resolve but are known to take as long as 8 hours to fully propagate.

How to Update DNS in cPanel

A Record
  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. In the Domains section, click Simple Zone Editor.
    HostGator cPanel Simple Zone Editor
  3. Select the domain from the drop-down menu that you wish to use.
  4. Go to the Add an A Record section.
  5. Provide the name for the A Record and add the IP Address.
  6. Click Add an A Record.

CNAME Record
  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. In the Domains section, click Simple Zone Editor.
    HostGator cPanel Simple Zone Editor
  3. Select the domain from the drop-down menu that you wish to use.
  4. Go to the Add a CNAME Record section.
  5. Provide the name for the CNAME Record and add the CNAME.
  6. Click Add CNAME Record.
    Note: A commonly used CNAME is for www so that it loads the same website as the main domain name. For example, www.snappygator.com will point to the same website as snappygator.com.

MX Record
  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. In the Email section, click MX Entry.
    HostGator cPanel MX Entry
  3. Select the domain from the drop-down menu that you wish to use.
    Note: A section will show to choose Automatically Detect Configuration, Local Mail Exchanger, Backup Mail Exchanger, and Remote Mail Exchanger. For more information, please see Local, Backup and Remote Mail Exchanger.
  4. Go to the Add New Record section.
  5. Enter the Priority and Destination
    What would happen if two MX Records have the same priority?
    The lowest-numbered priority is the most preferred. If two MX Records have the same priority, the SMTP Sending Server will select one at random to use when delivering emails.
  6. Click Add New Record.
Note: cPanel is not able to display any record ending with a comment. If you include a comment, cPanel indicates that there are no MX records and that it is defaulting to the main A record, but this is not true. While it is legitimate to have comments at the end of your records, cPanel will not understand.

SPF Record
  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. In the Email section, click Authentication.
    HostGator cPanel Email Authentication for DKIM and SPF
  3. Go to the Add an A Record section.
  4. You will be able to see the current raw SPF record associated with your account and use the Advanced Settings to update the information.
  5. If you opt to make changes, click Add and Update at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

TXT Record
  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. In the Domains section, click Advanced DNS Zone Editor.
    HostGator cPanel DNS Advanced Zone Editor
  3. Select the domain from the drop-down menu that you wish to use.
  4. Go to the Add a Record section.
  5. Under Type, select TXT from the drop-down menu.
  6. Enter the Name, TTL, and TXT Data in the appropriate fields.
  7. Click Add Record to save.
If you would like help making DNS zone changes, please contact us via phone or Live Chat with your account details, and be prepared to verify your identity for the protection of your account.

Reseller

With a Reseller account, any of the DNS zone records can be added and modified with no restrictions; however, this feature is only available if HostGator's name servers or private name servers registered with HostGator IPs are being used.

DNS zones can be edited in the same way as Shared accounts (listed above), but as a Reseller, you have a more powerful tool in WHM.

For more details about updating DNS inside WHM, please refer to the following article:

If you do not feel comfortable editing DNS records, we can help make the changes for you and confirm that your DNS settings are correct. Please contact us via phone or Live Chat, and be prepared to verify your identity for the protection of your account.

Important Information About DNS Changes

When making changes to DNS, please keep the following in mind:

  • DNS zone changes must be made where the domain's name servers point.
  • DNS zone changes are not instant; they require time for propagation. Most records need 0-4 hours, but name server records require approximately 24-48 hours. For more information, please see our Propagation Times article.
  • It is vital to check the NS records and ensure they match exactly to the name servers being used at the domain's registrar (also known as "fixing the glue"). If they do not match exactly, your website may experience intermittent downtime.