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How to Change DNS Records


DNS records are essential in connecting your domain to your hosting server and getting your emails and website live for the world to see. There are many types of DNS records, each with its own functions. Please check out the Basics of DNS Records article to learn more about the different types of DNS records and their appearance.

The first thing you need to do to connect your domain to your web hosting account is to set up your name servers. Although you can use other providers' name servers, we strongly recommend using your HostGator name servers so you can easily manage your DNS settings in your HostGator control panel. For more information about name servers, please check our article, How Do I Change My DNS or Name Servers?

Please note that if you use non-HostGator's name servers, you must manually set the DNS records in your host's control panel. However, if you use HostGator's name servers, most DNS records you need are generated for you automatically.

Before you can set your DNS records

If you have not set your name servers yet, please see the following article first:

Remember that it takes about 24 to 48 hours for your domain name to update the web due to propagation.

Here is a video showing how to change your domain name servers in the HostGator Customer Portal.

The video above may show the name servers within your cPanel's General Information section. However, due to the current cPanel theme, the name servers are no longer available in cPanel. You can find your name servers in your Welcome email and Customer Portal. Please visit the article What are my Name Servers? for more information on where to find your name servers.

Once you set your name servers, you can manage specific DNS records for your website (controlled by A records), email (controlled by MX records), and more.

This article will provide a list of articles to guide you in setting up your DNS records within different platforms (cPanel, WHM, or Plesk), depending on your hosting server.

Setting DNS records in cPanel

If you use HostGator's name servers with a cPanel-based account (Linux Shared and Cloud hosting), you can update your DNS records directly in cPanel.

Setting DNS records in WHM

If you use HostGator's name servers and have access to WHM (Reseller, VPS, or Dedicated hosting), you can change your DNS records directly in WHM and change them in cPanel.

Setting DNS records in Plesk

If you use HostGator's name servers and have an account with Plesk (such as Windows or VPS with Plesk), you can change your DNS records within Plesk.

Using other name servers

You don't have to use HostGator's name servers. But as stated earlier, this means manually maintaining the related DNS records. The following article will give you an overview of how to do this.

Advanced DNS

Troubleshooting tools

The Traceroute, Whois, Ping, and Dig article provides information on the use of the following:

  • Dig may be used to check a domain's DNS records;
  • WHOIS is used to check the name servers; and
  • ping can check your connection to the server when all of your settings are correct.