How to Add or Modify DNS Records in Manage
To manage a domain’s DNS records in your account management interface, it must use one of our nameservers, which are:
- ns.liquidweb.com and ns1.liquidweb.com
- ns.sourcedns.com and ns1.sourcedns.com
If you already know that your site is using Liquid Web’s nameservers, skip ahead to Step #2: Adding or Editing a DNS Entry.
Step #1: Where is DNS hosted?
There are several methods to determine which nameservers are considered authoritative for your domain. You can either:
- Use a web-based WHOIS lookup tool such as ICANN WHOIS and noting the listings under Name Servers
- Query WHOIS from a terminal by running the command “whois yourdomainname.com” and noting the listings under Name Servers
- Log into your Manage interface, select Domains from the left menu and click on the DNS tab. Scroll down to the CURRENT DNS ZONES section and look at the Delegation column. If you see a green button labeled “Delegated”, your domain is using our nameservers and you can click the [+] the left of the domain name to expand its record and start managing entries immediately.
If your domain is not using our nameservers but you do want to be able to manage DNS records through your Liquid Web account interface, you will need to log into your account at the registrar and update the nameservers to one of the pairs noted at the top of this article.
Step #2: Adding or Editing a DNS Entry
- From your Manage interface, click on Domains in the left menu and then select the DNS tab in the Domains Dashboard and click the [+] to the left of the domain name to expand its DNS record.
- To add a new record, click the blue Add New Record button at the bottom. To edit an existing record, click the Edit button to the right of the entry you wish to change. Each entry has four fields:
- Name: This field allows you to append a prefix (or more accurately, a suffix, since domain names are resolved from right to left) to the main domain name. If you’re adding a record for a subdomain, such as shop.example.com, you would enter “shop” in this field. Note: The Name field is also called “Host” or “@” at some registrars and hosting companies.
- TTL: This specifies, in seconds, how long the DNS entry should be cached by a resolver before it’s considered outdated and checked again. A higher setting will reduce load on the DNS server, but will extend the time it takes for the new entry or value to propagate. Generally, you will want to set a lower value before changing a record (300 or 3600 for 5 minutes or one hour, respectively), and then raise the TTL back after 24 to 48 hours once your changes have had a chance to fully propagate.
- Type, and Data: Manage allows you to enter and edit multiple record types. Remember that only A, AAAA, and NS records take an IP address in the Data field.
- A and AAAA records resolve a domain to an IP address (IPv4 for A, IPv6 for AAAA). Without these records, a site will not resolve. In addition to the main domain name, you likely will want to add an A record for your hostname, as well as any subdomains which resolve to a different server.
- CNAMEs are aliases pointing an entry back to the main domain. Once a browser requests a page from that subdomain from your web server, the server will route the request to the proper directory. If you find yourself frequently creating records for subdomains, you may wish to add a wildcard CNAME to cover any requests for subdomains without their records. You can do so by entering an asterisk in the Name field.
- MX records determine how mail is handled for the domain. When selecting an MX record type, Data will contain two fields: Priority and Exchange.
- Priority always will be a number. Mail will be routed to the lowest numbered (highest priority) MX entry. Use the settings recommended by your control panel or email provider.
- Exchange is the server to which mail will be directed.
- NS Nameserver records specify the nameservers for the domain. Remember that the authoritative nameservers are specified at the registrar — if a WHOIS search returns different nameservers than what you’ve entered here, your entries in Manage will have no effect.
Note: When using your private or custom nameservers, their nameserver entries must be added at the domain’s registrar. When using custom nameservers, you will not be able to use Manage to add or edit DNS entries; that will be done via your server’s control panel.
- SRV, or Service, records are used to configure services for your domain. When configuring an SRV record in Manage, the Name field should begin with an underscore, then the name of the service, a period, an underscore, and finally the protocol. For instance, an SRV record for Office 365’s Session Initiation Protocol over TLS would contain “_sip._tls” in the Name field. An SRV record contains four Data fields, each of which should be filled out according to the service’s instructions:
- Priority: As with MX records, the lower the number the higher the priority.
- Weight: Is used to distribute requests based on capacity.
- Port: Directs requests to a specific port.
- Target: Specifies the destination. For the example Office 365 SRV record above, the target would be “sipdir.online.lync.com”.
- TXT records contain, as the name suggests, text. They can be used for SPF and rDNS entries, as well as domain verification information.
- Once you click the green checkmark button, the record will be added and DNS will begin to propagate. Typically, only a few hours is needed for this, but it technically can take up to 24 hours to 48 hours for a DNS change to fully propagate globally.
About the Author: dpepper
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