How Do I Point my Domain or DNS to Kinsta?

Updated on September 17, 2018
259
Shares

When you host your WordPress website with Kinsta you will need to point your domain and or DNS to us so that our servers can deliver your site to visitors. 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 Nameservers it could contact to get DNS information. It will return something like the following:

  • ns-155.awsdns-22.com
  • ns-326-awsdns-15.net
  • ns-1352-awsdns-29.org
  • ns-1536-awsdns-08.co-uk

The visitor’s computer then contacts one of those nameservers to look up the IP address for the domain. It looks for the DNS A record, which contains the IP address, pointing to the server where it’s hosted. In this case, you want your A record to point to Kinsta’s IP. The visitor’s computer then connects to Kinsta’s IP to load yourwebsite.com.

Important: when you make a change to the DNS of a given domain, such as updating a DNS record or switching nameservers, these changes take time to take effect. This time is called DNS propagation. In most cases, this is usually 1 to 4 hours. However, in some instances, it could be longer. This is determined by the TTL value on your DNS records which are controlled by your domain registrar or DNS provider. Therefore, Kinsta cannot speed up DNS propagation. You can use an online tool like whatsmydns.net to test to see if your DNS changes have finished propagating.

Point Domain to Kinsta

You have two different options when pointing your domain (DNS) to Kinsta. The first is to simply point your domain to your assigned IP address. The second, which is recommended, is to use Kinsta’s premium DNS feature with Amazon Route 53. You can read more about why premium DNS is important. If you are already utilizing a 3rd party DNS provider then option 1 is fine.

Option 1: Point Domain to Kinsta with A Record

Option 1 involves a two-step process. This option is easier than using option 2, but you won’t be able to manage all of your DNS records at Kinsta. You also won’t be able to take advantage of our premium DNS.

Step 1 – Add Domain to MyKinsta

The very first thing you should do is ensure you have added your domains to the MyKinsta dashboard under the “Domains” section. Usually, this involves adding your primary domain (non-www) and the www version. Or vice versa.

Add domains

Add domains

Then you will need to locate the IPv4 address of your WordPress site. This can be found in your MyKinsta dashboard under your sites “Info” tab.

WordPress IPv4 address

WordPress IPv4 address

Step 2 – Create/Point Domain to A Record at Your Registrar

You will then need to go to your domain registrar or 3rd party DNS provider and setup/point your domain’s A record to the IP address above. Here are some links on how to set up an A record with popular DNS registrars:

Option 2: Point Domain to Kinsta with Nameservers

We partnered up with Amazon Route 53, a global Anycast network. They offer DNS failover as well as latency and geolocation routing to help ensure your website is always online and stable. The routing is especially important as it makes sure that your DNS is routed to the nearest location with the lowest latency. Amazon Route 53 premium DNS is included for free for all Kinsta customers. Follow the three steps below to use this method.

Step 1 – Add Domain to MyKinsta

The very first thing you should do is ensure you have added your domains to the MyKinsta dashboard under the “Domains” section. Usually, this involves adding your primary domain (non-www) and the www version. Or vice versa.

Add domains

Add domains

Then in your MyKinsta dashboard click into “Kinsta DNS.”

Kinsta DNS - Amazon Route 53

Kinsta DNS – Amazon Route 53

Click on “Add Domain” at the top.

Add a domain to DNS

Add a domain to DNS

Step 2 – Point Domain to Kinsta Nameservers at Your Registrar

You will then need to point your domain with your domain registrar to the newly created nameservers. You can view these for each of your domains on the main “Kinsta DNS” page.

DNS nameservers

DNS nameservers

Here are some links on how to change nameservers with popular DNS registrars :

Step 3 – Add DNS Records in MyKinsta

After you point your domain to our nameservers, your WordPress site will require at least an A Record and CNAME to function properly. If you click into your domain it will prompt you to add your first DNS record.

Add first DNS record

Add first DNS record

A Record (Required)

The first record you’ll want to add is an A record.

  • In the hostname field, leave this blank to be associated with your main domain.
  • Add your Kinsta IPv4 address into the IPv4 address field.
  • We recommend a 1 hour TTL for all records (1 hour is set by default). The less frequent the DNS requests are, the lower your site’s load time will be.
Add A record

Add A record

CNAME Record (Required)

The second record you will want to add is a CNAME. To add additional records simply click on “Add a New DNS Record” at the top.

  • A CNAME record handles the mapping of a subdomain, such as being able to point the “www” version of your domain. If you need to redirect www to non-www or vice versa, you can set up a redirect rule.
  • This is based on a personal preference for your site.
Add CNAME record

Add CNAME record

You can then manage all your records from the main Kinsta DNS screen. All DNS records support in-line editing for quick changes.

Manage DNS records

Manage DNS records

Additional Records

We also support adding and management of these additional DNS records:

These are not required for your site to operate, but may be needed if you host email with a third-party provider, need to verify your site in Google Search Console, etc. We’ll dive into each of these below.

MX Record(s)

MX Records are used to route email. These will vary based on what your email provider gives you. For a detailed walk-through of this record, check out our article on MX Records. But we’ll cover the basics below.

Click on “Add a DNS Record” at the top. In this example, we’ll be adding 5 of them used with G Suite.

  • Choose MX for the type and input ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM for where it points to. You can leave the hostname blank to point to your main domain.
  • Choose priority 1.
Add MX record

Add MX record

If you have additional records from your provider, you’ll need to repeat this, slightly changing the “Points to” and priority values. Here is an example below with G Suite:

  • ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM / Priority 1 (the first one you added above)
  • ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM / Priority 5
  • ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM / Priority 5
  • ALT3.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM / Priority 10
  • ALT4.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM / Priority 10

By the time you are done, it should look like this:

Google MX records

Google MX records

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 G Suite using a TXT record. That’s what we’ll be using in this example.

Click on “Add a New DNS Record” at the top.

  • Choose TXT for the type. You can leave the hostname blank to point to your main domain.
  • Change the TTL to what the provider gives you. In this case, Google recommends a TTL of 3600 seconds, which is the default 1 hour.
  • Add the TXT record content they provide. For example: google-site-verification=
    rXOxyZounnZasA8Z7oaD3c14JdjS9aKSWvsR1EbUSIQ
Add TXT record

Add TXT record

SPF Record

SPF records are used by ISPs to check the IP address of the sender, as well as the IPs of the website. If they match up, then your good to go. Third-party email providers and transaction email services might have you set up an SPF record. However, SPF records are now obsolete (RFC 7208) and therefore can usually be entered in as a TXT record. These are essentially the same thing.

Click on “Add a New DNS Record” at the top.

  • Choose TXT for the type. You can leave the hostname blank to point to your main domain.
  • Typically a 1 hour TTL is fine.
  • Add the Policy Parameters that they provide. In this example, we are using MailChimp. v=spf1 include:servers.mcsv.net ?all
Add TXT (SPF) record

Add TXT (SPF) record

Check out our in-depth post regarding email authentication.

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 be adding a record for Office 365 Skype for Business.

Click on “Add a New DNS Record” at the top.

  • Choose SRV for the type. If your provider has “service” and “protocol” values, you can append these to your hostname (as seen below)
  • Input the target they provide and the specified priority, weight, and port values.
Add SRV record

Add SRV record

AAAA Record

An AAAA record is similar to the A record, but it allows you to point the domain to an IPv6 address. Note: we don’t utilize IPv6 addresses here at Kinsta, but perhaps you want to point your domain or subdomain to an external provider.

Click on “Add a New DNS Record” at the top.

  • Choose AAAA for the type. You can leave the hostname blank to point to your main domain.
  • Add the IPv6 address they provide.
Add AAAA record

Add AAAA record

If you enjoyed this tutorial, then you'll love our support. All Kinsta's hosting plans include 24x7 support from our veteran WordPress developers and engineers. Chat with the same team that backs our Fortune 500 clients. Check out our plans
Was this article helpful?
No, or there was something off

Hand-picked related articles

Use WordPress?

Use WordPress?

Join 20,000+ others who get our FREE weekly newsletter with WordPress tips on how to drive more traffic and revenue to your business!

Consent

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Send this to a friend