Change DNS records to use 3rd party services
In this article we'll go over how you can modify your domain's DNS records, in order to split up your various services between multiple hosting providers.
In most cases the average website owner will have all of their web services with one hosting provider. In some cases though you might want to split up your services, so that you have one provider actually host your website, and a completely separate provider to host your email.
In order to follow any of the steps below, you'll need to have your domain name pointed at our name servers, so that any DNS changes you make in cPanel on our server is what your domain actually uses.
Website hosted by 3rd party, email hosted by InMotion
A common example of this, is if you're using a website hosting company that has a proprietary website builder, but maybe doesn't host email. So if you looked for a new web host and found InMotion Hosting, your plan might be to slowly transition your website over to non-proprietary website software with us, and in the meantime also have us host your email for you.
In the steps below, we'll walk through using an example domain PrimaryDomain.com. Where we would like to continue to have the e-mail hosted by InMotion Hosting, but we want to point our DNS A (Address) record to another website host where you might already have your site built.
- Login to your cPanel
- Under the Domains section, click on Advanced DNS Editor
- Select the domain you'd like to modify in the drop-down to see those DNS records.
- In this example the DNS records are already setup pointing the entire domain to InMotion's servers for all of the services. So the only thing we need to modify is our A (Address) of the website.
Click on Edit beside the primarydomain.com. entry.
- Fill in the IP address of your remote website host, in the Address field, then click on Edit Record.
- You should now see the new A record you updated. Now click on Delete beside the CNAME record for mail.primarydomain.com.
- Under the Add a record section, now re-create the mail. CNAME record you deleted, but this time as an A record, and pointing to the InMotion server's IP address. You can always find your IP address in cPanel.
- At the main cPanel page, under the Mail section click on MX Entry.
- Under the MX Records section at the bottom, click on Edit beside your primarydomain.com entry with a Priority of 0.
- Now type in mail. in front of your domain to correlate your MX record with the local A record we previously created.
Anytime you make DNS changes, it can take between 24-48 hours for those DNS settings to fully propagate. So your website will not start immediately pulling from this new IP address, and it will take a different amount of time depending on several factors.
Website hosted by InMotion, email hosted by 3rd party
A common example of this, is if you'd like to host your website with InMotion Hosting, but you have email services with another provider such as Google Apps for your domain.
In the steps below, we'll walk through using an example domain PrimaryDomain.com. Where we would like to continue to have the website hosted by InMotion Hosting, but we want to point our DNS MX (Mail Exchange) record to another email host.
- Login to your cPanel
- Under the Mail section, click on MX Entry.
- In the Add New Record section, you'll want to set the Priority and Destination for your 3rd party mail service, then click on Add New Record.
We are going to use Google's as an example, since they're very common:
Priority Destination 1 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM 5 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM 5 ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM 10 ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM 10 ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM
These should all now be populated in the MX Records section at the bottom.
- With all of the remote MX servers added, we now want to remove the original local one.
Click on Delete beside the primarydomain.com. MX entry, then click the confirmation Delete button.
- Finally change the Email Routing option to Remote Mail Exchanger, then click on Change
Anytime you make DNS changes, it can take between 24-48 hours for those DNS settings to fully propagate. So your email will not start immediately delivering to these new remote MX servers.
You should now understand how to split up your domain's various services by using DNS records. While this typically isn't needed for the average user, it might be good to know that you do have this option available to you.
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