How to Change DNS Zones (MX, CNAME and A Records)

Shared

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 nameservers or private nameservers registered with HostGator IPs are being used.

  • Users can create and edit A and CNAME records by going to the Simple DNS Zone Editor which is found under the Domains section in cPanel.
  • Users can also create and edit MX records with the MX Entry icon found under the Mail section in cPanel. For more information, please see: Local, Backup and Remote Mail Exchanger
  • Users can easily customize SPF records using the Email Authentication icon under the Mail section in cPanel.
  • Users can also add TXT records using the Advanced DNS Zone Editor icon under the Domains section in cPanel.
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.
 
If you would like help making DNS zone changes, please contact HostGator via phone or live chat; or submit a ticket to Support 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 nameservers or private nameservers 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 HostGator via phone or live chat; or submit a ticket to Support, 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 nameservers point.
  • DNS zone changes are not instant; they require time for propagation. Most records need 0-4 hours, but nameserver 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 nameservers 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.

DNS Zone Functions

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

  • Nameservers 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:


cPanelcPanel is a popular web hosting control panel that helps you manage your hosting account and assists you in creating web sites, managing e-mail addresses, & installing applications to a server.

cPanel is available on all HostGator Linux hosting plans, including Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS and Linux Dedicated Servers.