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Using DKIM & With Third Party DNS

DKIM & SPF records are important for ensuring that your domain is not delivered to your recipients' spam folders or even outright rejected. HostGator currently enables these by default for all cPanel accounts. Third-party DNS providers may require you to add these DNS records manually.

There are three core steps to adding DKIM & SPF records to your third-party DNS provider:

Note: This article is to assist with email accounts hosted on your HostGator cPanel hosting. If you use a third-party email hosting provider, you will need to consult them for assistance with DKIM and SPF records.

Step 1: Ensure DKIM & SPF are Enabled

The first step is to ensure that both DKIM and SPF are working properly on your cPanel.

  1. Log in to your cPanel.
  2. Click Email Deliverability located in the Email section.

    HostGator cPanel Email Deliverability

  3. Check the Email Deliverability Status.

    If it says Valid, then the DKIM & SPF are Enabled.

    HostGator cPanel - Email Email Deliverability Valid DKIM & SPF are Enabled

    If it says Problems Exist (DKIM and SPF) or Problems Exist (DKIM), click Repair. Select Generate Local DKIM Key, then Repair to save the changes.

    HostGator cPanel Email Deliverability Repair


    Note: If you are already using third-party DNS, the required DKIM record will be provided here when the service is enabled.
  4. When your DKIM & SPF are Enabled, your SPF and DKIM records will be displayed.
  5. Click Manage to see the records, and please copy the SPF and DKIM records for Step 3.

    HostGator cPanel Email Deliverability Manage

If your DNS is already pointed at your third-party DNS host, you may copy the DKIM record, and raw SPF record provided on this page and skip to Step 3.

Step 2: Find and Copy Your DKIM-Signature

If you are using HostGator name servers, your DKIM record will not be displayed in cPanel.

To get your DKIM record, you will need to be able to view your full email headers.

  1. To do this, send mail to yourself using an external email address, such as Gmail, Yahoo, or a domain hosted on another server, then check the email headers. Alternatively, you may use a service such as ISnotSPAM.
  2. Once you have the headers from an outbound email, look for this section:
    DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; q=dns/txt; c=relaxed/relaxed;
    d=hgunlimited.com; s=default; h=Message-ID:Subject:To:From:Date:
    bh=JUmMmS1Lna1PPFKxOCvqS3v+fr8dj4qCwpvucGl1i2o=; b=TNH8rwqFBvZO2m9qcXLollRx82xvvo9RYsfIMl34/k6XMD3WiB6LGMSDCw715EAca6RadiTAq7LtOfAIYhiJ4DE0hPOMnvKGWweypTZLz8cw+x9Zx4I03is55TuxIS5+Vk4g0F5V+gv5Ddr5m8Gni80Yx22aL9qrYkZInBdkU3Z0lTavUgxdLdARscOcS4apQmuOnQfOqOPR8Nof1tg3YhiLs6cTQ/cR+6fT0gngw9+70owkSpY6mydOl1KLDpJBYWHNgyoBFQhx+QqalFZMIj+w2i+3yBdP+EE0nUhBS2J5rxpTett+cfV4Mkmoc88yI1zFYdyld4xBWeeZvgGBmw==; 
  3. You will need to copy the entire value after DKIM-Signature: for creating your DKIM record. Once you have both the raw SPF record and the DKIM record, you may proceed to the next step.
Note: Copying the signature may add line breaks that must be removed. Paste the signature into a notepad program with word wrap off and delete any line breaks until there is only one line.

Step 3: Add SPF and DKIM Records to Your DNS Zone

Once you have the values for your SPF and DKIM records, you will need to create 2 TXT records at your third party DNS provider:

  • Record Type: TXT
  • Name: example.com. (Please make sure to replace 'example.com" with your actual domain name and be sure to include the extra period (.) at the end)
  • TTL: 14400
  • Value: Enter the value for the raw SPF record you copied earlier.

  • Record Type: TXT
  • Name: default._domainkey.example.com. (Please make sure to replace 'example.com" with your actual domain name and be sure to include the extra period (.) at the end)
  • TTL: 14400
  • Value: Enter the value for the DKIM signature.

After adding your new DNS records, they should function correctly within 4 to 8 hours due to propagation.