Add a DNS Record #
Posted 22nd November, 2018
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DNS Preparation #
- Establish which nameservers the DNS on the domain name runs from.
- Ensure that this is the correct location and these are not legacy nameservers. If a domain has recently been transferred, the nameservers may point to the old domain registrar.
- There may be a better place for the DNS to run. For instance, the hosting panel, or the domain provider. Alternatively, Cloudflare offer excellent DNS services for free.
- If nameservers are changed (or have been changed recently), beware the affects of propagation and caching.
- Check that the nameservers are correctly set up. Fixed includes a free DNS Health Check report which can alert to most common errors. At a minimum you should check that all nameservers are online.
- Ensure that you are have a log in to the DNS management area. Sanity check you are in the right area by confirming entries match the responses you get when digging commands.
- Take a screenshot of the current DNS setup. If Fixed staff change a DNS record for a customer, we provide a screenshot or paste of the old record(s) in the communication thread.
- If the DNS change requires a short switchover (for instance for an ecommerce store), and is prepared in advance, the TTL could be lowered for the respective records.
Validate Requested Record #
DNS can contain some quirks which might not be immediately obvious. For instance, a CNAME record should never be used on the root. As DNS records may be cached, incorrect DNS could cause lengthy disruption.
Explanations of various records can be found in our advanced discussion of DNS but the following should be analysed:
For A records #
- Does the IP point to a publicly resolvable IP address (as opposed to a local or protected IP range)?
- Is it an IPv4 address? IPv6 should be added as AAAA
- If there are any doubts, a hosts file can be used to preview the affects of a potential A record change.
- If multiple A records point to the same IP address, would it be better to set up a single A record and set the others pointing to that as a CNAME? For example:
For CNAME records #
- CNAME records cannot be used for the root zone. An A record pointing to an IP should be used instead.
- Does the CNAME resolve?
- If the CNAME is within the domain itself, is the subsequent record set correctly?
For MX Records #
- Are there any existing MX records which might be overwritten?
- Do the priorities on the MX records seem correct?
- Do the MX records resolve? Are they proper FQDNs?
- If the MX records are from Google Apps or a similar provider, can they be verified against the publicly posted records available from that provider?
Adding the Record #
- If required, ensure a dot is added to the end of the entry. Otherwise, the domain may be appended.
- Add the records in the DNS zone editor.
- Save the records.
- Wait five minutes.
- Use the dig command to check against each nameserver and see what they respond. If the nameservers do not respond correctly, retry later.