The Domain Name System (DNS) is used by computers around the Internet to translate easy to remember names, such as yahoo.com and firstname.lastname@example.org into the numerical addresses used to route Internet traffic to its destination. Each of your domain names are assigned a number of name servers, you may have encountered the name servers for your domain when you transferred it from your previous host. With our name servers assigned to your domain name, each time a user wishes to view your web site or send you an email, their computer will contact our name servers and they will reply with the numerical address needed to access the web site or send the email. This name resolution process takes place transparently to the end user.
Our name servers are automatically configured with appropriate DNS records to resolve domain names mapped to one of our hosting accounts to our web and email servers. Therefore it is not normally necessary for you to edit the DNS records held on our name servers. However, you may want to host only your website with us, whilst your email is handled by another service provider or by your own company mail server or vice versa.
You may customise DNS records for your account using the DNS page, records you enter here will be applied to all domain names mapped to this account. Records you enter here will take precedence over any records automatically defined by default.
Adding A Custom DNS Record
Click ‘Add MX Record’ or ‘Add A or CNAME Record’ to add an email or website record respectively. On the resulting screen, enter the prefix, for example to define shop.yourdomain.com, enter shop in the prefix field when editing the DNS for yourdomain.com or the account it is mapped to. If you wish to define a record in the root of domain (sometimes called the origin or referred to with the @ symbol), leave the prefix field blank. If you wish to define a TTL for the record, enter it in the box provided. If you do not define a TTL it will default to 86400 (1 day). If you are not sure what TTL is required, leave the box blank, the default is appropriate for the majority of cases. Complete the remaining fields according to the instructions below for the record type in question and click ‘Add Record’.
Deleting A Custom DNS Record
To delete a Custom DNS Record, click its adjacent ‘Delete’ link, you will be asked to confirm the deletion before the record is actually removed.
Editing A Custom DNS Record
You may change the parameters of an existing DNS record by clicking the adjacent ‘Edit’ link, the description of the options when editing a record is the same as when creating a new record.
Mail (MX) Records
The MX (Mail Exchanger) records for your domain name instruct other mail servers where to send messages destined for your domain name. When creating an MX record set the value to the hostname of the server you wish to receive the mail, be sure to terminate the hostname with a period (.) unless you want the domain name appended to the hostname by the DNS server. If you have multiple mail servers and thus multiple MX records, you may assign each record a distance between 0 and 10. Mail transport agents will attempt to deliver mail to the server with the lowest distance first, if that attempt fails they will try the server with the next lowest distance and so on. This is useful when you have a primary and a backup mail server. An MX record must point to a hostname, not an IP address, if you need to direct mail to a server which does not have a hostname, you will first need to create one for it by adding an A record pointing to the server IP address, then create the MX record directing to the newly created hostname.
Web Site (A & CNAME) Records
The A and CNAME records determine the server that will receive web site traffic. An A record is used to direct traffic to a server’s IP address whilst a CNAME record is used to direct traffic to a server’s hostname. When creating an A record set the value to the server IP address in dotted decimal notation. When creating a CNAME record set the value to the server hostname, but sure to terminate the hostname with a period (.) unless you want the domain name appended to the hostname by the DNS server.
Name Server Reloads & Caching
The name servers are reloaded hourly, it may therefore take up to one hour before the changes you make become active on our DNS servers. Once changes have become active, other name servers on the Internet may continue to serve the old information until the data in their cache times out.
It is important to realise that setting DNS records incorrectly may stop your domain name functioning and that since third party servers may be involved over which we do not have control, we may not be able to investigate, debug or solve problems you encounter when using custom DNS records.