How to Point My Domain to HostGator When Using DNS Elsewhere

We recommend that you change the nameservers for your domain to the ones we provide so that our servers can automatically manage your DNS for you; but sometimes it is desirable to use a DNS server other than HostGator's. Typically you would do this if you currently have many DNS records set up elsewhere and only wish to use HostGator for certain services. Otherwise, it is better to simply point the nameservers to HostGator and manage the DNS here.

Using Non-HostGator DNS Servers

If you do not use our DNS servers, you will need to manually update the individual DNS records on the remote DNS server, and HostGator staff will not be able to make changes for you.  Also, any changes to your HostGator server, such as adding subdomains or a change in IP address, will not be reflected in the remote DNS automatically as they would if you used our DNS. If you are uncomfortable doing this, we recommend you use our nameservers instead.


How to Point Your Domain to HostGator for Web Hosting

You will need to create or change some A records at your DNS server to accomplish this. In most cases you will need to create one entry for your domain without the www and another entry with the www, assuming you want your website to show up regardless of how visitors type your domain name.

The method for changing A records varies; so you will want to reference the specific instructions for your DNS server.

DNS Server DNS Display

Many DNS Servers will display these records in various fashions. Please see the examples below showing how the A records may appear.

Example One:

Name

TTL

Type

Address

@

14400

A

111.222.333.444

www

14400

A

111.222.333.444

Example Two:

Name

TTL

Type

Address

yourdomain.com.

14400

A

111.222.333.444

www.yourdomain.com.

14400

A

111.222.333.444

Example Three:

Name

TTL

Type

Address

yourdomain.com.

14400

A

111.222.333.444

www.yourdomain.com.

14400

CNAME

yourdomain.com.

And you may find still more slight variations. Don't panic, though. The rule of thumb is to create your entries to look like the ones already there, and if the entry already exists, then edit it instead of adding a new one. 

You may need to consult the documentation of your DNS server to know with certainty how the records should be formatted. Contact support for the company providing the DNS server if you are unsure how to proceed.

What to Change

  • IP address - Instead of using the IP address (111.222.333.444) used in the examples above, substitute the IP address of your site. Your site's IP address can be found in the Account Information/Stats panel of cPanel, or you can contact HostGator support to obtain it.
  • Domain Name - You should also substitute your actual domain where it currently says yourdomain.com.

Leave all other information the same (formatted according to the specifications of your DNS server).


How to Point Your Domain to HostGator for Email

You will need to create (or edit) an A record and an MX record to point your domain to HostGator for email.

The method for making changes to A records and MX records may vary, so you will want to reference the instructions for your DNS server.

Many servers represent the A and MX records like in the example listed below:

Name

TTL

Priority

Type

Address

yourdomain.com.

0

MX

mail.yourdomain.com.

mail.yourdomain.com.

14400

A

111.222.333.444

Note: Certain DNS servers will allow you to omit the period after the domain name. You may need to consult the documentation for your DNS server or contact your DNS server's support if you are not certain how they are supposed to be formatted.

What to Change

  • IP address - Instead of using the IP address (111.222.333.444) used in the example above, enter the IP address of the server you want to process your email, which in this case will be the IP address of your HostGator site. Your site's IP address can be found in the Account Information/Stats panel of cPanel, or you can contact HostGator support to obtain it.
  • Domain name - You should also be sure to substitute your actual domain name where it currently says yourdomain.com.
  • Subdomain - You do not need to use mail.yourdomain.com as shown in the example above. You may actually use any subdomain you desire, which is useful if mail.yourdomain.com is currently in use for something else.

Where to Obtain Support

If you need your HostGator IP address, you may contact HostGator via phone or live chat; or you may submit a ticket to our Support team to have it provided.

If you require assistance with a non-HostGator DNS server, we recommend contacting the company that provides your DNS server since they are knowledgeable of how their servers are configured.