What DNS Records Do I Need to Set Up For My Website?

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About this Article

This article explains what DNS records are needed in order to make sure your website can be visited by the public. It assumes that you have a domain name and have bought a web hosting account.

What Are DNS Records?

DNS or Domain Name Server Records tell the internet where the server is that your website sits on. When someone types your website address into their browser, a look up process begins to take place to find your website and DNS records are a part of this.

Depending on where you are now, you may have had a domain name for a while. If this is the case then your DNS records are already probably set up with your current web host. If you have just bought a domain name then these will probably be with the registrar.

We’ve always been a big advocate of external DNS management. This is why we don’t sell domain names or support DNS Management.

Take a look this article to see the benefits and how to get set up with external DNS.

What DNS Records Do I Need to Add?

If you already have DNS records and use the link above to set up with Cloudflare, they should import all of the records you have.

If you are starting from scratch or are just interested in what records you will need, these are the minimum:

  • You MUST have an A Record. This record should point to the IP address of the server you wish to use. Without this, nothing works
  • If you want to use www. with your domain name then you will either need to create an A Records again that points to the same IP address. The safer way to do this is to set up a CNAME record and point this to your domain name rather than the IP address
  • If you have any subdomains such as blog.mydomain.com then you will need to set up A Records for these also and point them to the IP address of where they are held
  • If you are using email you will need an MX Record. Your email provider will tell you what this is.

With just the 3 records above, your website will work fine.

Nameservers

You will need to adjust the nameservers of your domain name if you are moving your DNS to another provider.

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