Use of CNAME instead of A record to point to custom domain?

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  • Updated 8 years ago
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Hi there,
I'm a web host and built a website for a friend of mine using yola. Works very well, and used the domain name. Now I've alread got a custom domain name for my friend. It's a name, so it works the same way as domains in the sense that there's no fancy DNS management console that the registrar gives you like godaddy does for instance. I also don't want to point the A record to an IP address because then I can't manage my MX record anymore, since it points to the domain name. Anyways, to make a long story short... can't I make use of a CNAME record and point the 'www' subdomain to an IP address instead of changing my domain's A record? Currently I'm pointing the 'www' subdomain to by forwarding via my .htaccess file, but I'm hoping for a DNS only solution.

Thanks in advance for any advice
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Ettiene Grobler

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  • confused

Posted 8 years ago

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Photo of Margie


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I know nothing about a nz domain, but I have my .com A records pointed to Yola's IP. I am still able to have C Names and MX records (for email) to be pointed to google where I have my email set up.

Not sure if that helps you or not.
Photo of SilverX


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What are you talking buddy?

Actually I don't know about domains. Surely , they aren't ccTLDs.

However , if you need to use both MX(emails with Google Apps , Live admin or myeaddress) Yola is the way.

First , make sure that you can create MX , CNAME and A records for your domain.

Then , add 2 A records with following information.

1st A record,
subdomain :
destination/IP/host :

2nd A record,
subdomain : www
destination/IP/host :

now , go to Yola and configure your custom domain.
After ,

should show up your site's content.

Then , go to Google Apps(
sign up and enter to your domain.

If you are lucky , Google apps may require you to add a CNAME record.

Then , put that CNAME record. It may something like this.
Subdomain : googleffffffffadmgadamg8
destin/ip/host :

after verifing your domain , just add MX records.(ex, Below)
host/ip/dest :
priority : 20

submit and dance! You are ready to use emails and yolasites.
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Ettiene Grobler

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Thanks for the reply Ayesh. 2 Things:

1. The 1st A record's subdomain field is empty. Should it stay empty or should it be @ ?
2. I'm not interested in using Google Apps for this domain. I've setup cPanel hosting for this domain, so that's also where I'm managing DNS from. cPanel will also host the emails, so it's going to point to the IP address of my server it's being hosted on.

Is this still doable with the above in mind?

Photo of SilverX


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First , you need to point NAMESERVERS To cPanel hosting.
There is a section in cpanel to manage spamassasin,roundcube,auto-responders and much more.

Then , you need to do the yola's stuff with A records.

If you are paying the cPanel host to manage your domain bought outside of your host , it may be a longer route for your domain to reach yola.

Make sure that your site starts loading (end of resolving DNS) befor 800 miliseconds

in cPanel , you need to use , not @.
In Plesk , use the @.
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Jonathan Hitchcock

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Hi Ettiene,

You can use a CNAME for the 'www' subdomain of your domain, but not for the domain itself. However, you don't really gain anything by using a CNAME instead of A records. All you need to do is ensure that both and resolve to our IP, whether you add a CNAME for, or point their A records to

(Also note that MX records do not need to be dependent on your other DNS settings - you can point your domain where you want without affecting how mail gets delivered.)

Let me know if you need more information - perhaps tell me your domain name or show me what you currently have set up?

Yola Operations Team Leader
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Laura Thomas, Social Media Coordinator

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Came across this today and just wanted to clarify that our IP address has changed since this was posted, it is now
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Using CNAME records for services like this is actually better than A records. So saying that you don't gain anything is wrong. If your IP changes, for whatever reason, everyone will have to change their A records. Which has been the case, as Laura Thomas just said. Also, addresses will change again as IPv6 comes close.
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Jonathan Hitchcock

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As I have already said - you cannot use a CNAME for main (top level) domains, only for subdomains - this is a part of the Domain Name System specification, and doing so leads to strange behaviour. As such, if the IP changes, you will need to change the A record for your top-level domain in any case, so using a CNAME for the subdomain does not save you much at all.