Domainplus domain management system FAQ

Customizing DNS Settings

Through Plesk, a user can customize DNS settings for each domain created. The Plesk administrator can also enable the client to customize his/her own DNS settings; however, it is very important that the client possesses a strong understanding of DNS prior to making any modifications to the DNS settings.

NOTE

Improper setup of DNS results in improper functioning of your web, mail and ftp services.

DNS Settings Page

There are five types of accessible DNS records:

A = Address - This record is used to translate host names to IP addresses.

CNAME = Canonical Name - Used to create additional host names, or aliases, for hosts in a domain.

NS = Name Server - Defines an association between a given domain name and the name servers that store information for that domain. One domain can be associated with any number of name servers.

MX = Mail Exchange - Defines the location of where mail should be delivered for the domain.

PTR = Pointer - Defines the IP address and host name of individual hosts in the domain. Translates IP addresses into host names.

When you first enter this screen, you see the DNS status for the domain, as well as the default DNS settings created for the given domain. Plesk will retrieve the default DNS settings from those set up under the Server -> DNS option.

Changing DNS Settings

In order to change DNS settings, follow these steps:

  1. At the Domain Administration page click the DNS button to access the DNS Settings page.

  2. The DNS Zone Status icon indicates whether DNS is turned on or off.

    • If you wish to turn DNS on or off for the domain, click the On/Off button.

    • Turning the DNS zone off will refresh the page, so that only a list of nameservers remains.

    • If you are running remote DNS, and therefore want to turn DNS off for the domain, you should first create the appropriate NS entries for the domain and remove any inappropriate NS entries possibly created by the default DNS template created in the Server section. At that point, turn DNS off. You see that the name server(s) for the domain remains listed as a link.

    • You can perform a test on these name servers by selecting any of them. Selecting any name server will perform an NSLookup to check for the DNS records for your specific domain on that specific name server. NSLookup is used to verify the A record for the domain, the CNAME record for www, and the MX record to ensure that these basic records are resolved properly on the remote name server. The results are interpreted and presented through the user interface.

  3. In order to add a DNS entry, select the type of record you wish to create and click Add. Each record type has its own different setup. When creating DNS entries within a specific DNS zone the name of the zone must be present for all entries. Plesk sets the screen up with certain unchangeable fields in order to prevent possible errors within the zone.

    • For an A record you will need to enter the domain name for which you wish to create an A record. If you are simply defining an A record for your main domain, then you leave the available field empty. If you are defining an A record for a name server then you will need to input the appropriate entry for the given name server (ie. ns1). Then, you need to enter the appropriate IP address to which to associate the domain name. Then select Update to submit your entry.

    • For a NS record, you will need to enter the domain name for which you wish to create the NS record. If you are defining an NS record for your main domain, then you will leave the available field blank. Then enter the appropriate name server name in the field provided. You will need to enter the complete name (i.e. ns1.mynameserver.com). Then select Update to submit your entry.

    • For a MX record, you will need to enter the domain for which you are creating the MX record. For the main domain, you would simply leave the available field blank. You will then need to enter your mail exchanger, this is the name of the mail server. If you are running a remote mail server named 'mail.myhostname.com' then you would simply enter 'mail.myhostname.com' into the field provided. You will then need to set the priority for the mail exchanger. Select the priority, 0 being the highest and 50 being the lowest, from the drop down list. Keep in mind you would also need to add the appropriate A record, and/or CNAME if applicable for the remote mail server. Select Update to submit your entry.

    • For a CNAME record, you will need to first enter the alias domain name for which you wish to create the CNAME record. You then need to enter the domain name within which you want the alias to reside. Any domain name can be entered. It does not need to reside on the same server. Select Update to submit your entry.

    • For a PTR record you will first enter the IP address/mask for which you wish to define the pointer. Then enter the appropriate domain name for this IP to be translated to. Select Update to submit your entry.

  4. To remove a DNS record, select it using checkbox in the Sel column, and click Remove Selected. Before anything is processed you will be asked to confirm the deletion.

From the DNS Settings page, you can switch the DNS zone type from master to slave.

To switch the DNS zone, follow these steps:

  1. On the DNS settings page, click on the Switch button. The DNS Zone Properties page will open and the DNS zone type will change to slave.

  2. Enter the DNS master server IP in the field provided, and click Add. The new DNS master server record will be added immediately to the list of DNS master servers.

  3. To remove a DNS master server record, select it by clicking in the appropriate checkbox in the Sel column, then click Remove Selected.

  4. You have also the option of searching the DNS master servers list for a certain pattern. It may help you in case you have a great number of DNS master servers' records in the system and you need to work with a particular one. To search the list, type a pattern string in the text input field and click Search.

  5. Sort the list by various parameters, if needed. To sort the list in ascending or descending order, click on the IP-address heading of the list. An arrow will appear indicating the order of sorting: down for descending order, up for ascending.

To switch the DNS zone type back to master, click the Switch button again. You will return to the DNS Settings page.

To restore the DNS zone by the DNS template, you can select the IP address from the drop-down list to be set up in the template, add the www prefix if required, and click on the Default button to restore it.

DNS Setup Examples

Example 1

A hosting company (we'll use abcdehosting.com, which is for example purposes only, and is not intended to represent any existing companies or domains) wishes to set up their Plesk enabled server as the primary DNS server for all the domains they create and will run secondary DNS services on an external server (the recommended configuration). The Plesk enabled server has an IP address of 10.10.10.1 and the external name server has an IP address of 10.10.10.2. These addresses will be used for ns1.abcdehosting.com and ns2.abcdehosting.com respectively. IP address 10.10.10.1 is also the main server IP address that was set up during Plesk installation.

NOTE

All name servers need to be properly registered. They need to specifically be registered as name servers with Internic. Also, all domains must be registered with the appropriate name server information.

*The first step in the process is to create the domain abcdehosting.com on the server. By default, when a domain is initially created, even before hosting has been configured, Plesk sets up a DNS record for the domain. This DNS record is created based on the DNS template that is created by the Administrator under the Server -> DNS option. For the purpose of this example we will use the default setup prior to any modifications made by the Administrator under the Server -> DNS option. With this default setup a properly registered domain will resolve. However the setup does require some modification. The initial assumptions are that the DNS, Mail and FTP services are to be handled locally. So the resulting default DNS settings for domain abcdehosting.com are as follows:

*The next step is to create A records for the name server names you will be using. Every name server name must have a specific IP Address associated with it. Manipulate the DNS records for abcdehosting.com to reflect the following. Exact instructions for adding and removing DNS records are described earlier in the section or can be found by selecting Help within Plesk.

No other entries are needed.

*From that point on you would only need to change the NS records for each individual domain, such as abcdehosting2.com, to be ns1.abcdehosting.com and ns2.abcdehosting.com and then remove the A record that is created for the default name server (ns.abcdehosting2.com). The result for a different domain, abcdehosting2.com, would be as follows:

This would be repeated for all the domains created on the server.

NOTE

Plesk creates the Primary Zone Files for every domain on the server. It will not create any Slave Zone Files for the secondary DNS. If you plan to setup both primary and secondary name servers locally on your Plesk machine it important to understand that you will technically have no Slave Zone Files. For some registrars this can cause rejection of your domain registration request. It is always recommended that secondary DNS services be run on a separate physical server from the primary.

Example 2

A hosting company, abcdehosting.com, wishes to run both their primary and secondary DNS services remotely from the Plesk enabled server. They have two name servers: ns1.anameserver.com and ns2.anameserver.com. Their Plesk enabled server has the IP-Address of 10.10.10.1.

NOTE

By default, when a domain is created in Plesk, it is assumed that DNS is being resolved locally. In the case described above, abcdehosting.com needs to add in the appropriate NS records within each newly created domain and then turn DNS off for that domain.

*The first step is to modify the default Plesk DNS settings for the new domain, abcdehosting.com, to include the appropriate NS records. The result would be as follows:

*Then select the On/Off button. Plesk will remove the DNS records, however you will still see the records that you had entered as the NS records for the domains. The result would be as follows:

You can then perform a test on these name servers by selecting either of them. Selecting either name server will perform an NSLookup to check for the DNS records for your specific

 

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