After registering a domain, you may wish to utilise the services of another hosting provider without transferring your domain to them. A common way to do this is to update the name servers used by your domain. However, they may just provide you with individual DNS entries linked to a specific service (e.g.: website hosting or e-mail). Being provided with this information is handy if SA Domain already hosts one of your services and you do not wish to move it to another hosting provider.
Each entry has several fields which contain very specific data, as you will see in the examples below. The first field represents domain name or sub domain. The second field represents the type of record and the third shows the destination.
The entries for your website would be similar to this:
These are known as A records. A records always make use of a string of numbers known as an IP address. This is the address of the server on which your website is located.
Occasionally, you may come across another type of record referred to as a CNAME:
The CNAME record serves as an alias of sorts. In the example above, this means that anyone who visits www.yourdomain.com will be directed to yourdomain.com.
A third commonly used entry is the MX record, which is linked to e-mail:
You will notice that there is an additional field in the MX record (indicated by the number 5). This field allows you to specify the priority of the record which means that when mail is sent to your domain, it will try to deliver the message to the entry with the highest priority. The lower the number in this field, the higher the priority is. If you create more than one MX record, it is important that you specify the priority precisely as per the information supplied by your mail hosting provider.
Another entry that you may encounter is the TXT record:
TXT records can be used in a variety of ways. A very common use is for security purposes. Some hosting providers require proof that you own the domain that you wish to link to their services and will typically ask you to add a randomly generated TXT record which, once added, allows them to verify ownership.
It is important to note that the data entered into the destination field must be enclosed in inverted commas otherwise the record will not function correctly.
DNS Entries can be updated using the following steps:
- Log in to your cPanel account.
- Locate the Domains section and click on the Zone Editor icon. This will open the Zone Editor page.
- If you wish to create new A, CNAME or MX records, click on the appropriate link from the Actions menu; enter the details for the new record and click on Add a(n) "X" Record.
- If you wish to add a different type of DNS record or you need to modify an existing record, click on the Manage link instead.
- Once the existing DNS records are loaded, locate the entry you want to change and click on the corresponding Edit link.
- Update the record as needed and then click on Save Record.
If you have multiple domains that you would like to update, then you can access the cPanel account for each domain via the Client Area.
You can do this using the following steps:
- Log in to the Client Area.
- Click on Services, followed by My Services.
- On the My Products & Services page, find the domain that you need to update and click on the corresponding Active button.
- On the next page scroll down to the One Click Login section.
- Click on the cPanel button. You will be re-directed to the cPanel account for your domain.
Once you have updated the domain, you will need to allow between 1 and 48 hours for the changes to take effect. This is due to a process known as DNS propagation: a period in which the changes are updated around the Internet.