1. Knowledge Base
  2. >
  3. Results
  4. >
  5. Making DNS Changes to the Domain Bought from HostGator

Making DNS Changes to the Domain Bought from HostGator

If you bought your domain from HostGator at the time of sign up, we will automatically make the name server (DNS) changes for you. It may take up to 48 hours for your domain to become fully working with your account. In this article, we will address how you can manage a domain's DNS within cPanel and manage the name servers in the Customer Portal.


Managing a Domain's DNS in cPanel

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 accounts. For more information on changing DNS Zones for Reseller, WHM, and Plesk accounts, please see Changing DNS Zones (MX, CNAME and A Records).

The following DNS will be covered:
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.

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 nameservers 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:


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.

Managing a Domain's Name Servers in the Customer Portal

With domains purchased through HostGator, you may update the domain's name servers directly through the Customer Portal. Please use the instructions below to step you through this process.

  1. Log into your Customer Portal.
    If you are unable to login, you can request a reset link to be emailed to you by going here and providing your Customer Portal email address.
  2. Click on Domains in the side menu.

    HostGator Customer Portal - Domains Selected in Menu

  3. Within Manage Domains, you will see any domains attached to the Customer Portal along with a quick view of the following domain information:

    • Expiration: The domain's expiration date
    • Renew: Whether or not the domain is set to automatically renew
    • Lock: The lock status of the domain
    • Privacy: The privacy protection status of the domain
      Note: There is a yearly fee associated with Domain Privacy.
  4. To manage a domain's Name Servers, click on the domain name or the More button.
  5. In the side panel tabs, select Name Servers.
  6. Configure the name servers for the domain by selecting either Automatically point my domain to my hosting account or Manually set my name servers.
  7. Click Save Name Servers.
    Note: It takes 24 to 48 hours before name server changes are fully propagated as networks around the world update with your domain's new DNS information. Until then, some traffic may go to the old name server(s), please be patient once name server changes are made as this is normal.

For more information on how to access and use the Manage Domains feature in the Customer Portal, please read the article: