When you host your WordPress website with Kinsta, you can also use our Kinsta DNS service to manage your DNS records. This is optional (you can manage your DNS records anywhere you like), but if you’d like to take advantage of our premium DNS service, follow the instructions below.

How DNS Works (The Basics)

When someone types in your domain (yourwebsite.com) in their browser, their computer uses the DNS system to look up which name servers it should contact to get DNS information. It will return something like the following:

The visitor’s computer then contacts one of those name servers to look up the IP address for the domain by checking for the DNS A record, which contains the IP address of the server where it’s hosted. In this case, your domain’s A record is pointed to Kinsta’s IP. The visitor’s computer then connects to Kinsta’s IP to load yourwebsite.com.

What is Kinsta DNS?

All Kinsta plans come with Kinsta DNS, a premium Anycast DNS service powered by Amazon Route53. Route53 consistently ranks among the fastest DNS services in the world, and it even supports latency and geolocation-based routing to ensure quick response times. Unlike other WordPress hosts that charge extra for premium DNS, all Kinsta customers can take advantage of Kinsta DNS at no additional cost.

How to Configure Kinsta DNS for Your Domain

To set up your domain with Kinsta DNS, click on the Kinsta DNS tab in MyKinsta, and click Add Your First Domain. If you already have a Kinsta DNS zone added, click Add Domain in the top right corner of the page instead.

Kinsta DNS settings in MyKinsta.
Kinsta DNS settings in MyKinsta.

Next, enter your domain in the Add Domain modal/pop-up. If you’re using Google Workspace for email, you can check the Add Gmail MX Records option to automatically add the required MX records. Keep in mind that this only adds the MX records, and you may still need to add additional CNAME and TXT verification records for Google Workspace later on.

After entering your domain, click Add Domain to proceed to the next step.

Add your domain name to Kinsta DNS.
Add your domain name to Kinsta DNS.

Your domain is now ready to be pointed to four name servers like the ones below:

Kinsta DNS name servers in MyKinsta.
Kinsta DNS name servers in MyKinsta.

Next, you’ll need to update your domain’s name servers at your domain registrar. The process of updating name servers is specific to each registrar, so be sure to consult your registrar’s documentation or support team if you are unsure about how to update your name servers.

In this example, we’ll be updating name servers at Google Domains with the Kinsta DNS name server addresses below. Note that these name server addresses are specific to our example domain, so make sure you copy your domain’s correct name server addresses.

In Google Domains, click on your domain’s DNS tab and select the Use Custom Name Servers option. Add the four Kinsta DNS name server addresses and click Save.

Update name servers in Google Domains.
Update name servers in Google Domains.

After updating the name servers at your domain registrar, it may take 24-48 hours for the changes to propagate across the Internet. While you wait for that to happen, you can begin adding any DNS records needed, as explained in the next section.

How to Add DNS Records

Kinsta DNS supports various DNS record types, including A records, CNAME records, MX records, TXT records, and more. In this section, we’ll walk you through all the supported DNS records and show you how to configure them in Kinsta DNS.

On the Kinsta DNS page, click on the domain you want to manage to begin adding or editing DNS records. Click the Add DNS record or Change DNS record button after adding or editing a record to save your changes.

A Record

An A record maps a domain name to the IPV4 address of a server and is required for a website to be served via a domain name. For specific information on adding and pointing your domain to Kinsta, please refer to our in-depth guide here.

Add an A record in Kinsta DNS.
Add an A record in Kinsta DNS.

AAAA Record

An AAAA record maps a domain name to the IPV6 address of a server that supports an IPV6 address.

There may be a couple of situations where you may want to add an AAAA record in Kinsta DNS:

You won’t be able to use this for your site hosted at Kinsta, as we only support IPV4 addresses.

Add an AAAA record in Kinsta DNS.
Add an AAAA record in Kinsta DNS.

CNAME Record

A CNAME record handles the mapping of a domain name to another hostname. CNAMEs are commonly used to map a www domain to a non-www domain (e.g. www.kinstalife.com to kinstalife.com). If you selected the Add DNS record with and without www box when adding an A or AAAA record, the CNAME for your www domain has already been added. For specific information on adding and pointing your domain to Kinsta, please refer to our in-depth guide here.

Add a CNAME record in Kinsta DNS.
Add a CNAME record in Kinsta DNS.

CAA Record

A CAA record is an optional DNS record that lets you specify which certificate authorities (CAs) are allowed to issue SSL certificates for your domain. If a domain has no CAA records, any CA can generate an SSL certificate for it if requested. Setting up a CAA record provides you with an additional layer of security to prevent untrusted CAs from issuing SSL certificates for your domain. The CAA record follows the format below:

your-domain.com CAA <flags> <tag> <value>

Let’s take a closer look at each element of the CAA record.

CAA Flag

A CAA flag specifies whether a CA is allowed to use the information specified in a CAA record. The flag has two values – 0 or 1

CAA Tag

A CAA tag specifies that allowed behavior for authorized CAs when issuing SSL certificates. The tag is generally one of three values — issue, issuewild, iodef — but custom values specific to certain CAs are supported as well.

CAA Value

A CAA value specifies the domain name of a certificate authority (CA). For example, the CAA value for Let’s Encrypt (a popular CA) would be letsencrypt.org. If the CAA value is set to ;, no CA is allowed to issue an SSL certificate for the domain. To add a CAA record in Kinsta DNS, you’ll need the hostname, CAA value (the domain name of the CA), CAA flag, and CAA tag. In this example, let’s add the CAA record below.

kinstalife.com. CAA 0 issue “digicert.com”

We can add this CAA record in Kinsta DNS like so:

Add a CAA record in Kinsta DNS.
Add a CAA record in Kinsta DNS.

MX Record

MX Records are used for email routing, and the specific records will vary based on what your email provider gives you.

For this example, let’s configure MX records for MX Route, a popular email hosting service. Below are the MX records provided by MX Route:

  1. echo.mxrouting.net (Priority 10)
  2. echo-relay.mxrouting.net (Priority 20)

Add the first MX record like this:

First MX record for MX Route.
First MX record for MX Route.

Next, the second MX record can be added like so (notice the different Points To hostname and Priority):

Add the second MX Route MX record.
Add the second MX Route MX record.

Add Gmail MX Records on a New Domain

If you’re using Google Workspace for your email service, we make it super easy to add the required MX records. When you’re adding a domain in Kinsta DNS, check the Add Gmail MX Records box, and the necessary MX records will automatically be added.

Automatically add Gmail MX records with Kinsta DNS.
Automatically add Gmail MX records with Kinsta DNS.

Add Gmail MX Records on an Existing Domain

Already have a domain added and set up in Kinsta DNS? No problem. Click on the Add Gmail MX records button at the top.

Add Gmail MX records to an existing domain.
Add Gmail MX records to an existing domain.

Next, click Add 5 Records, and you’re all set!

Add Gmail MX records in KinstaDNS.
Add Gmail MX records in KinstaDNS.

TXT Record

TXT records are used for a variety of things. Typically they are used for verification. For example, you can verify your domain name with Google Workspace using a TXT record.

Let’s say we need to add the TXT record below to verify the domain kinstalife.com with Google Workspace.

google-site-verification=rXOxyZounnZasA8Z7oaD3c14JdjS9aKSWvsR1EbUSIQ

Here’s what that TXT record would look like in Kinsta DNS:

Add a TXT record in Kinsta DNS.
Add a TXT record in Kinsta DNS.

SPF Record

SPF records are used by internet service providers (ISPs) to check the sender’s IP address, as well as the IPs of the website. If they match up, then you’re good to go. Here’s an example of what an SPF record looks like:

v=spf1 include:servers.mcsv.net ?all

Third-party email providers and transaction email services might have you set up an SPF record for email authentication purposes. However, SPF records are now obsolete (RFC 7208) and can be entered as TXT records instead.

Add an SPF record in Kinsta DNS.
Add an SPF record in Kinsta DNS.

DKIM Record

DKIM stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail. This is an extra layer of email authentication typically used by email marketing software and transactional email providers. In MyKinsta DNS, there is no separate option for DKIM, as these are typically entered as either a CNAME record or TXT record, depending on the service. In the example below, we are adding a DKIM record for Mailgun.

TXT records have a limit of 255 characters. This limit is not on our end but rather imposed by the DNS protocol itself. If you need to add a DKIM record that is longer than 255 characters, you’ll need to split the value/content of the record into multiple strings. This is done by encapsulating each string in double quotes.

Add a DKIM record with multiple strings in Kinsta DNS.
Add a DKIM record with multiple strings in Kinsta DNS.

Checking DNS (with dig or a lookup tool) will show the record as a single entry:

"v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUkIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3D"

SRV Record

An SRV record is used when a service needs additional information, such as a port number. These are most commonly used with SIP configurations, VOIP, and IM.

In this example, we’ll add the SRV record below for Office 365 Skype for Business to Kinsta DNS.

Add an SRV record in Kinsta DNS.
Add an SRV record in Kinsta DNS.

Summary

In this article, we discussed how to set up A records, CNAME records, MX records, and more. After configuring DNS records, we recommend setting up HTTPS and enabling Kinsta CDN for your site. Check out this post for more information on how to go live with your Kinsta site.