Before proceeding with how to edit DNS zone files via cPanel, it is really important to know how DNS works. When you register a domain, the domain registrar provides a control panel called Domain control panel (Don’t confuse this with cPanel or other web hosting control panels).
This is where you can specify the name servers of the domain, renew the domain name, change contact information of the domain etc. These name servers specified in the domain control panel are the authoritative name servers of the domain. In these authoritative name servers, there needs to be a zone file in which the DNS records (A, NS, CNAME, TXT records etc.) are added.
The NS records in this zone file should be same as the name servers entered in the domain control panel for perfect name resolution.
Users using our name servers, can easily modify the DNS zone file or DNS records within cPanel. Those who are using external or third party name servers (eg: CloudFlare services), you need to update the DNS records or zone file there in their DNS management area.
How to Edit DNS records via cPanel
Go to cPanel >> Domains >> Advanced DNS Zone Editor
To edit the DNS reords of the existing DNS Zone you just need click on the ‘Edit’ button which is present on the right hand side of the coresponding DNS record which you can find in the bottom of the above given screenshot.
To Add new DNS records, Select the domain name from the drop down, add the DNS records below and click on ‘Add record’ button.
Please note that MX (mail exchange) record cannot be specified here, how to do that will be discussed later in this tutorial.
A (Address) record – It is used to specify the actual IP address of the domain.
AAAA record – It is used to map a hostname to a 128-bit Ipv6 address.
CNAME (canonical name) record – It is used to make one domain an alias of another domain.
MX (Mail Exchange) record – It is used to specify list of mail exchange servers (mail servers) that are to be used for the domain.
PTR (pointer) record – It is used to map an IPv4 address to the CNAME on the host.
NS record – The authoritative name servers of the domain is specified here.
SOA (State of Authority) record – It is one of the most important DNs records which stores informations about the domain (eg: last updated date of domain)
SRV (service ) record – It is used to specify TCP service operating on the domain.
TXT record – used to insert any text into the DNS record, this is to verify the domain ownership.
Edit MX records
As said earlier, MX records cannot be added or modified via Advanced DNS Zone Editor option. It has to be done via cPanel >> Mail >> MX Entry
Select the name of the domain from the drop down list.
In the Email routing option, select whether local Mail Exchanger (mail server in the same server, default mail servers) or Remote Mail Exchanger (third party or external mail servers like Google Apps or mandrill) or Backup Mail Exchanger (set this option if the highest priority mail server is external) option depending upon the mail server you are using. If you are using our name servers (not mail servers), just leave it as Automatically detect configuration.