Back to Basics #13: Basic DNS Zone Editing

DNS is one of the most important features of your server. It is what connects your server’s true identity, its IP address, to its human-readable name, also known as its domain name. In order to add domains, sub-domains, or mail server addresses, you need to edit DNS zone entries for your domains. Using a web-based control panel, such as cPanel, you can accomplish this task rather painlessly.

The following are some of the DNS terms you should know before working with DNS zones:

A record – The most fundamental DNS record, an A record, connects the base domain to the server’s IP address.

CNAME – A CNAME record serves as an alias for a domain name. This is useful when you want multiple domains or sub-domains pointing to the same place.

MX – An MX record is for mail servers. You can define the address for multiple mail servers with MX.

NS – These are the authoritative nameservers and are the most important records. The servers specified here actually host your DNS and should be different from your own server.

There are many other DNS records, but the above are the most commonly used. You can view a complete list of DNS records online.