Back to DNS and Nameservers

How To Make DNS Changes To A - MX - CNAME Records And More

This article is for cPanel Accounts. Determine where your account is with this guide.

In cPanel you will have the Simple DNS Zone Editor as well as the Advanced DNS Zone Editor to make changes to your DNS. This ONLY works if your domain is using the WestHost DNS.

There are no significant differences between the Simple and Advanced editors, and in most cases, you are fine using the Simple editor. The Advanced does have some extra features which this article will detail at the end.

REMEMBER that any changes made to the DNS Record must propagate before they will appear to be working. Please allow 3-6 hours for the WestHost internal systems to update. Depending on your location and Internet connection you may need to wait 3-24 hours for full propagation to complete.

Simple DNS Zone Editor

Login to your cPanel account and click on the Simple DNS Zone Editor
Click on the drop-down menu to choose the domain name on your account that you would like to modify.

This will load three new areas. The first allows you to add an A record for your domain name. All you need to do is enter the desired sub-domain name for the A record and the IP address to which you would like it pointed. When you have entered the correct details, click the "Add A Record" button to save the changes.

The second section allows you to add CNAME records for your domain name. All you need to do is enter the desired sub-domain name for the CNAME record and the address to which you would like it pointed. NOTE that it should be a fully qualified domain name -- do NOT include backslashes or file paths. Only a domain name like or will work. Then click the "Add CNAME Record" button to complete the change.

The third and final section lists any current custom DNS Records and allows you to delete them. If you no longer with to use a DNS Record you have previously created it can be removed via this tool simply by clicking the "Delete" link next to the record you no longer need. This action is NOT reversible. If you remove a record you need to manually re-create with one of the former tools.

Advanced DNS Zone Editor

 If you are not 100% sure what changes you are making it is ALWAYS better to use the Simple DNS Zone Editor to avoid any major DNS issues. Because of DNS propagation times, incorrect changes, breaking your website, or breaking your email may take 12-48 hours to notice, correct, and fix.

There are three differences between the Advanced versus the Simple DNS Zone Editor.

The first is that you can completely reset your DNS Records to the server default. Note that this option should not be used in cases where you need a custom setup for your domain. It is only safe to use this option if you would like the DNS reset to the default state of a brand-new account.

To reset the DNS zone for the chosen domain name click "More" and a reset confirmation box will appear. Check the box confirming that you would like the DNS zone reset and then click the "Reset Zone File" button. This option CANNOT be reversed. Any records removed in this process will need to manually be re-added by you.

The second difference is that you can add on an additional type of record, a TXT record. The A and CNAME records are still available and you can choose to add such records from the same drop-down menu.

The TXT record is not that commonly used but it can be required in several cases. For example, when creating an SPF filter for your domain name, you would need a TXT record.

There is also an additional field to add TTL or Time-to-live for your record. This tells remote servers how long they should cache this record locally. The TTL default is 14400 seconds, which equates to about 4 hours.

Finally, the third difference is the "Manage Existing Records" section. You can now edit existing records. This can be done by clicking the "Edit" link next to the record you would like to modify.

Custom MX Records

If you would like to use your e-mail server or the e-mail services of a non-WestHost company you will need to point your MX or Mail Exchanger Record to that location. This can easily be done through your cPanel. To change your MX Records, complete the following steps.


  1. Login to cPanel,
  2. Select "MX Entry" under the Mail section,
  3. Select the domain to edit from the drop-down menu,
  4. Select the desired e-mail routing option. Automatic is usually fine,
  5. Define the Priority [0 is highest] and the web address for your mail server,
  6. Click the "Add New Record" button.

 that MX Records are a part of the DNS and will need to propagate before the changes take full effect. DNS Propagation can take 12-48 hours to complete worldwide.

Related Articles

What Is DNS
How Does DNS Work
How To Configure DNS
How To Manage DNS
How To Update Name Server Records

Can’t Find what you need?

No worries, Our experts are here to help.