Tutorials - Domains > Setting up Domain RecordsTutorials & FAQs: Domains: Setting up Domain Records
This guide is designed to help you use the Domains page on the portal to make some changes which are useful to some people.
Although PlusNet's DNS servers are supposed to update every 2 hours it may take up to 24 hours for your new configurations to take effect.
It's easy to configure your domain as long as you have the following resources:
- A domain name
- A computer with Internet access
All of the settings you need to make are done from the Domain Names section of the portal's Member Centre.
Throughout this guide we will imagine you own the domain name fa55.net and are using it to make the configurations you need. Of course you don't really own that domain, because the author of this tutorial does.
There are a lot of other things you can do with your domain and its records but if you need to use the help of this guide then you shouldn't be looking to do any of the really advanced stuff.
Setting up domain records
If you already have a domain name hosted with PlusNet, you will be presented with a small table called 'Existing Domains' just under the 'New Domains' section.
Click the 'Configure' button on the domain name you wish to tinker with.
The Additional DNS records (Advanced) table shows the 'records' you have already created. Put simply - domain records are instructions on how a domain works. All domains have records, however this table only shows the additional ones you have created. If you have not yet created any then it will be blank.
Scroll down to the bottom of this badly designed page to configure your domain's records.
This page will present you with the following:
You will need to use some or all of these to make any customised records on your domain.
You CAN NOT use any of PlusNet's domain control systems to simply create 'sub domains' to point to different directories on the homepages server.
Pointing your domain to your computer or another IP address
You can point your domain name to somewhere other than PlusNet's homepages server if you like. The main advantage of this is to host your website on your own machine. This is particularly useful if for some reason you run an IIS webserver and use ASP, as PlusNet doesn't support ASP.
Let's imagine you want people to be able to see your webserver hosted on your own machine by typing mycomputer.fa55.net in their web browsers. In this example 22.214.171.124 is the IP address of your machine. You will need to find out what your IP address is as this one, like the domain, is mine.
In the configure DNS page you need to enter the following:
Similarly, the same will work if you wanted to point www.fa55.net to your computer. Simply enter:
If you are using a router and NAT on your home internet connection don't forget to set-up the relevant port forwarding. For help with this check your router's manual or get help from PlusNet.
You can do the same for other types of server too, not just web servers. You could run your own mail, ftp or telnet server for example.
Pointing a 'sub domain' to another domain name
You could point a sub domain to another domain name if you wish. For instance, if you owned fa55.net and anotherdomain.co.uk you could create something.fa55.net which would simply point to the same place as anotherdomain.co.uk
To do this you need to do the following:
Notice the trailing . at the end of the right field entry, this is needed to make a CNAME entry work. It's not needed for an A record.
This isn't really the best example of CNAMEs but they are handy for a few of the other uses such as MX records, shown below.
Pointing your domain to the CGI server
This will allow you to point ccgi.fa55.net to your space on the CGI server. This is often handy for people who like to use CGI / PHP / Perl features on their web sites.
Don't forget the trailing dot in the right field!
Once you have done this, raise a "Contact Us" ticket to PlusNet support asking them to "Change the CGI service to basic" this will create the necessary records on the CGI and DNS servers to correctly point the domain to your files on the CGI server.
If you wanted to keep your whole website on the CGI server (not recommended) create the record as follows (you still need the above intervention from PlusNet).
Pointing your domain to the FP server
The FrontPage server has been decommissioned and is no longer available. Hence this section does not apply but is left here for historical reasons.
Unfortunately, you can't currently set up your FrontPage webspace in the same way as the CGI trick above. This is due to the configuration currently employed by PlusNet of the FrontPage servers.
The only way to do this is to either:
- Not use FrontPage extensions
- use a nasty frame-set, check http://www.moonphase.plus.com/ for help on doing this.
Pointing your domain to another directory on the homepages server
This is a nice easy one. If you have 2 or more domains hosted on the same account. For example one is for your business and one is your personal website.
You won't want these domains to both point to the same website but as default your domains will both point to your normal HTDOCS directory which you can see in FTP.
In the configure domains page Domain hosting settings area simply enter the directory where your website is kept. Make sure the directory name you enter EXACTLY matches one you have created or are about to create in your FTP space.
Remember that the directory names on the PlusNet web servers are case sensitive.
You can point multiple domains to the same directory or several different domains to different directories if you so desire.
At present this can not be done on the CGI server; however, there are plans to implement this in the future.
Setting up SMTP mail
If you want to run your own mailserver rather than PlusNet's POP3 mail then you need to reconfigure your domain name.
This is relatively easy, although a lot of people make the common error of trying to use customised MX (Mail Exchange) records to do this.
All you need to do is go to the Mail Settings section of the Configure Domains screen (it's the first option).
This will automatically create the necessary MX records without any further configuration needed from yourself. This will push all mail to your machine's IP address in the first instance and store it on the autoturn (backup mail server) if you are off line.
The most difficult thing for people to do is to set-up their SMTP servers and relevant port forwarding if they have a router, but this is a guide about domains not SMTP!
If your mail should be sent to another IP address, for example, you have a block of 8 IP addresses and your mail server is on the 6th in your range, then you need to raise a "Contact Us" request to have PlusNet change it to the necessary IP address. If any mail is queued on an incorrect IP address ask them to move it over to the new one at the same time.
Change it from POP3 to SMTP. As with all of the other changes in this guide it can take a while (up to 24 hours) to take effect. Your mail may bounce during this time, so beware.
Using MX records
Generally speaking MX records can be quite complicated and their use really depends on what you want to do with them, so it would be impossible to write any general guidance and the majority of people really need to follow the advice in the setting up SMTP mail section.
Some key points to remember are:
- MX records can only point to domains not IP addresses so the following would work to point all mail to mail.fa55.net
- This one would not work, you need the MX Record entry as shown below.
- One thing worth noting with MX records is the use of the Pri field. This stands for priority, 1 being highest priority. So if, for instance, you wanted your mail to go to your IP address in the first instance then you would need the record to have a high priority. If you wanted it to go to autoturn as a next priority then give that record a lower priority.
- You shouldn't give your records priority of 1,2,3,4 and so on. Always leave spaces so your top priority one could be 5, second 10, third 15. This means that if you ever did want to introduce another in-between your first choice and second it can be done relatively easily.
Credit to eurotrain4 for the images.
Original Article by: fa55dsl - Edited by: spraxyt