How to Setup DNS Records for a Domain Name

Your website is really just a bunch of files in a folder on a server somewhere in the world.

That server has a special number assigned to it called an IP address.

When you want someone to see your website when they type in a domain name, there’s something you have to create first to make that happen.

That something is a DNS record.

DNS is the domain name system and it’s how the Internet keeps track of where all the websites are located.

When you purchase a domain you then have the ability to create DNS records that tell the Internet where your website is located.

It also can tell the Internet where to send messages to email addresses that end with your domain name.

Out of all the years I’ve spent working on websites, I’ve only ever had to mess with 4 types of records and each one has less than 4 boxes to fill in.

A records

(point to an IP address)

root domain

CNAME records

(point to another domain name)

point to the root domain
point to an external domain

TXT records

(notes and settings)

Google site verification for root domain
SPF settings for a subdomain

MX records

(where to send email)

Record for sending to Google’s email server
Record for sending subdomain mail to another email server

Other Notes About DNS Records

@ = root domain

Records can be created for your root domain..


And for your subdomains..


If you don’t want to type the root domain you can sometimes use the @ symbol as a placeholder.

TTL (time to live)

This is how long a server should wait before asking for a fresh copy of your website.

I usually leave this number at whatever the default is.

Propagation (when is it ready?)

When you update a record it has to be copied to a bunch of servers all over the world.

This can take a while.

You might even see a message about it taking 24-48 hours.

My experience has been most of the time just a few minutes to sometimes a few hours.

Just depends on where the records are being kept.

(I use Cloudflare for my DNS and it’s really fast.)

If you want to check on the status of your record change here’s a cool website to use..