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 Name servers 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 name servers 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 name servers, 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, it simply takes time. You can use an online tool like whatsmydns.net to test to see if your DNS changes have finished propagating.

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 fast response times.

Unlike other WordPress hosts that charge extra for premium DNS, all Kinsta customers are able to 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. 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 domain name to Kinsta DNS.

Add domain name to Kinsta DNS.

That’s it! Your domain is now set up with four name server domains like the ones below:

  • ns-332.awsdns-41.com
  • ns-1255.awsdns-28.org
  • ns-618.awsdns-13.net
  • ns-1650.awsdns-14.co.uk
Kinsta DNS name server domains.

Kinsta DNS name server domains.

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 the correct name server addresses for your domain.

  • ns-1896.awsdns-45.co.uk
  • ns-1489.awsdns-58.org
  • ns-476.awsdns-59.com
  • ns-992.awsdns-60.net

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.

How to Add DNS Records

Kinsta DNS supports a variety of 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.

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 how to point your domain to a site hosted on Kinsta, please refer to our in-depth guide here.

  • Hostname: Specify a subdomain if you’re configuring a subdomain. If you are setting up an A record for your root domain, leave the “Hostname” field empty.
  • IPV4 Address: Specify the IPV4 address of your server. If you’re setting up an A record for your site hosted on Kinsta, you’ll want to use your “Site IP Address” in MyKinsta.
  • TTL (Time to Live): We recommend using the default setting of 1 hour.
  • Add DNS Record With and Without WWW: If you are setting up an A record for your root domain.
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, and is required for a website to be served via a domain name.

  • Hostname: Specify a subdomain if you’re configuring a subdomain. If you are setting up an A record for your root domain, leave the “Hostname” field empty.
  • IPV6 Address: Specify the IPV6 address of your server. If your site is hosted on Kinsta, you’ll need to use an A record because we only support IPV4 addresses. However, if your web server uses an IPV6 address, you can create an AAAA record in Kinsta DNS.
  • TTL (Time to Live): We recommend using the default setting of 1 hour.
  • Add DNS Record With and Without WWW: If you are setting up an A record for your root domain.
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 the server IP address of another hostname. CNAMEs are commonly used to map a www domain to a non-www domain (e.g. www.kinstalife.com to kinstalife.com). For specific information on how to point your domain to a site hosted on Kinsta, please refer to our in-depth guide here.

  • Hostname: Specify the hostname of your subdomain.
  • Points To: Specify the hostname you’d like the CNAME to resolve to.
  • TTL (Time to Live): We recommend using the default setting of 1 hour.
Add CNAME record in Kinsta DNS.

Add 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 is able to 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

  • If the CAA flag is set to 0, it means a CA is allowed to use the information within the CAA record even if it doesn’t recognize the CAA tag.
  • If the CAA flag is set to 1, it means a CA is not allowed to use the CAA record unless it recognizes the CAA tag.

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.

  • The issue tag allows a CA to generate a non-wildcard SSL certificate.
  • The issuewild tag allows a CA to generate a wildcard SSL certificate.
  • The iodef tag allows you to receive email alerts if an invalid SSL certificate request is made.

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.

In order 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”

This CAA record can be added 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 a detailed walk-through of this record, check out our article on MX Records, but we’ll cover the basics below.

  • Hostname: Specify the hostname of your email address.
  • Points To: Specify the hostname for your email provider.
  • Priority: Specify the priority number for the MX record.
  • TTL (Time to Live): We recommend using the default setting of 1 hour.

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)

The first MX record can be added like so:

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 for the first in Kinsta DNS, simply 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 Existing Domain

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

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

Add aspmx.l.google.com 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.

  • Hostname: Specify the hostname for your TXT record.
  • TTL (Time to Live): We recommend using the default setting of 1 hour.
  • Content: The body of the 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 IP address of the sender, 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.

  • Hostname: Specify the hostname for the SPF record.
  • TTL (Time to Live): We recommend using the default setting of 1 hour.
  • Content: The body of the SPF record (begins with v=spf1).
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 records depending on the service. In this example below, we are adding a DKIM record for Mailgun.

Add a DKIM record in Kinsta DNS

Add a DKIM record in Kinsta DNS

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 of a split DKIM record (notice the quotation marks):

k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb" "3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUkIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3D

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.

  • Hostname: Specify the hostname for the SRV record.
  • Target: The target domain for the SRV record in this format – service.protocol.hostname.
  • Priority: The priority level of the target host.
  • Weight: The weight relative to other SRV records with the same priority number.
  • Port: The network port for the service.
  • TTL (Time to Live): We recommend using the default setting of 1 hour.

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

  • Service: _sip
  • Protocol: _tls
  • Port: 443
  • Weight: 1
  • Priority: 100
  • TTL: 1 hour
  • Target: sipdir.online.lync.com
Add SRV record in Kinsta DNS.

Add SRV record in Kinsta DNS.

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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