Configure Your Domain’s DNS for Email

If you’ve followed my advice on buying your domain name independently of your web hosting, you will need connect your domain and email addresses.

In this article, I’ll explain the process for setting up your email that comes with your web hosting. The images show the process using Namecheap, but it’s largely similar wherever you have purchased your domain.

This involves editing some DNS entries for your domain. If you’re unclear about wnat DNS is and how it works, check of this beginners guide.

In your web hosting account, you should be able to find at least one, but usually two or more, MX Addresses, most likely under an email section.

Each address should also have a Priority value that you will need too.

You need to check whether the MX Records’ domain name is your website’s domain name or another domain name altogether.

So if my site is joinbuilders.com, an MX Record might look like mail.joinbulders.com or mail.webhost.com.

If the MX Record does end with the domain name of your site, you will have some additional steps, otherwise skip the Set A Records section below and go straight to Set MX Records down the page. More commonly with Shared Hosting, the MX Records won’t use your site’s domain name, but I’m covering this here just in case.

Set A Records

The MX Records will either be a domain name or a sub-domain and domain name.

Just a domain name will look something like joinbuilders.com, while a sub-domain will look something like mail.joinbuilders.com. Note there are two periods in that sub-domain address and the sub-domain is the text that appears ahead of the first period. In the example, the sub-domain is mail.

Go to your Namecheap account and the Advanced DNS tab of the domain name you’re setting up.

Skip this if your records don’t include a sub domain and continue to set your MX Records.

If your MX Records include a sub-domain, scroll down to the Host Records section and click the ADD NEW RECORD button.

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Set the Type to A Record, enter the sub-domain in the Host column, the IPv4 address of your site in the Value column (unless told otherwise, this will be the same as the www A Record) and click the green tick to save the record.

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Set MX Records

Go to your Namecheap account and the Advanced DNS tab of the domain name you’re setting up.

Scroll down to the Mail Settings section and set the dropdown control to Custom MX.

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  • Enter @ into the Host column
  • Enter the first MX Record into the Value column
  • In the Priority column, enter the priority specified by your web host
  • Click Save all changes
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Repeat the steps to add all the MX Records specified by your webhost. Note that when you’re finished, it may take anything from a few minutes to more than a day for these new records to propagate and start taking effect.

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