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:

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 in MyKinsta.

Add domains in MyKinsta.

Then you will need to locate your Site IP address. This can be found in the MyKinsta dashboard under your sites “Info” tab.

WordPress site IP address.

WordPress site IP 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 in MyKinsta.

Add domains in MyKinsta.

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

Add a domain in KinstaDNS.

Add a domain in KinstaDNS.

Click on “Add Domain” at the top, and type in your domain name. If you are using G Suite for email, check the “Add Gmail MX Records” option to automatically add the necessary MX records.

Add a domain to MyKinsta.

Add a domain to KinstaDNS.

Step 2 – 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 the first DNS record in KinstaDNS.

Add the first DNS record in KinstaDNS.

A Record (Required)

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

Add an A record in KinstaDNS.

Add an A record in KinstaDNS.

CNAME Record (Required)

If you did not use the “Add DNS record with and without www” option when adding the A record, you will want to manually add the CNAME for the www version of your domain. To add additional records simply click on “Add a New DNS Record” at the top.

Add a CNAME record in KinstaDNS.

Add a CNAME record in KinstaDNS.

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 in MyKinsta.

Manage DNS records in MyKinsta.

Step 3 – 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.

Nameservers in KinstaDNS.

Nameservers in KinstaDNS.

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

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’re adding one of Mailgun’s MX records. Mailgun is a transactional email service provider.

Add an MX record in KinstaDNS.

Add an MX record in KinstaDNS.

Add Gmail MX Records on New Domain

Using G Suite? We make it super easy to add your Gmail MX records.

If you’re adding your domain for the first time in the Kinsta DNS tool, simply select the checkbox to “Add Gmail MX records.” And you’re done! The 5 Gmail MX records are added along with your domain.

Add Gmail MX records when adding a domain.

Add Gmail MX records when adding a domain.

Add Gmail MX Records on Existing Domain

Already have a domain added and setup in Kinsta DNS? No problem. Simply click on the “Add Gmail MX records” button at the top.

Add Gmail MX records in KinstaDNS.

Add Gmail MX records in KinstaDNS.

Then click on “Add 5 records.” And you’re done.

Add aspmx.l.google.com records in KinstaDNS.

Add aspmx.l.google.com 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 G Suite using a TXT record. That’s what we’ll be using in this example.

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

Add a TXT record in KinstaDNS.

Add a TXT record in KinstaDNS.

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.

Add a TXT (SPF) record in KinstaDNS.

Add a TXT (SPF) record in KinstaDNS.

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.

Add SRV record in KinstaDNS.

Add SRV record in KinstaDNS.

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.

Add an AAAA record in KinstaDNS.

Add an AAAA record in KinstaDNS.

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 records depending on the service. In this example below, we are adding a DKIM record for Mailgun.

Add a DKIM record in KinstaDNS.

Add a DKIM record in KinstaDNS.

TXT records have a limit of 255 characters. This limit is not on our end, but rather imposed by the DNS protocol itself. There might be a time where a service will require that you add a DKIM record that is longer than 255 characters.

In this case, you will need to split your DKIM into multiple strings for the TXT record. You can do this via the console by entering each string encapsulated in quotes, one string per line. Here is an example. Important: Pay attention to the quote marks. There is a single space between each.

Split DKIM TXT record

k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb" "3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUkIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3D

Summary

Pointing the necessary DNS records to Kinsta is a crucial part of going live with your site. In this post, we discussed how to set up A records, CNAME records, MX records, and more. After pointing to DNS to Kinsta, 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.


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