How Do I Manage My DNS Server?


Heather Bennett

Managing a DNS server can seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and tools, it can be a straightforward process. In this tutorial, we will explore the steps involved in managing a DNS server effectively.

What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is the system that translates domain names into IP addresses, allowing users to access websites using easy-to-remember domain names instead of complicated numerical addresses. Managing a DNS server involves configuring and maintaining the records that map domain names to their corresponding IP addresses.

Types of DNS Records

There are several types of DNS records that you may need to manage:

  • A record: Associates a domain name with an IP address.
  • CNAME record: Maps a subdomain to another domain name.
  • MX record: Specifies the mail servers responsible for accepting incoming email for a domain.
  • TXT record: Stores arbitrary text data associated with a domain.

Step 1: Accessing your DNS Server

To manage your DNS server, you will need access to its control panel or administration interface. This interface may vary depending on the hosting provider or software you are using. Common interfaces include cPanel, Plesk, and WHM.

Step 2: Adding and Modifying Records

Once you have accessed your DNS server’s control panel, you can start adding and modifying records.

  • To add an A record:
    • Enter the desired subdomain or leave blank for the root domain.
    • Enter the IP address to associate with the subdomain or domain.
  • To add a CNAME record:
    • Enter the subdomain you want to map.
    • Enter the Target domain name.
  • To add an MX record:
    • Enter the priority for the mail server.
    • Enter the mail server’s hostname or IP address.
  • To add a TXT record:
    • Enter the desired subdomain or leave blank for the root domain.
    • Enter the text data you want to associate with the domain.
  • To modify an existing record, locate it in the DNS records list and edit the necessary fields.

Step 3: TTL (Time to Live)

TTL determines how long DNS records are cached by other systems. It is important to set an appropriate TTL value based on your needs. A shorter TTL allows changes to propagate quickly, but it can increase DNS server load.

Common TTL Values:

  • 1 minute (60 seconds)
  • 5 minutes (300 seconds)
  • 1 hour (3600 seconds)
  • 24 hours (86400 seconds)

Step 4: Testing and Verifying Changes

After making changes to your DNS records, it is crucial to test and verify their correctness. You can use online tools like nslookup or dig to query your DNS records and ensure they are resolving correctly.

Note: Changes made to DNS records may take some time to propagate across all DNS servers worldwide. This process is known as DNS propagation, and it can take anywhere from a few minutes to 48 hours.


Managing a DNS server involves adding, modifying, and configuring various DNS records. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can effectively manage your DNS server and ensure that your website is easily accessible to users worldwide.

Remember to regularly review and update your DNS records as needed to accommodate any changes in your infrastructure or domain configurations.

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