How to Use Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor in 2024

How to Use Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor in 2024

The Domain Name System (DNS) plays a central role in how the internet functions. It acts as a directory, translating domain names, like example.com into numerical IP addresses that computers can understand. This process lets your web browser locate the server hosting a website and display its content on your screen.

Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor, accessible through hPanel, is a valuable tool for web, cloud, and Managed WordPress hosting clients to oversee their domain’s DNS records.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the DNS Zone Editor’s functions, clear instructions on its proper use, and tips for better domain management.

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How the Domain Name System (DNS) Works

Before discussing the specifics of the DNS Zone Editor, let’s revisit the fundamental process behind the Domain Name System (DNS).

Suppose you’re entering a website address like www.nytimes.com into your web browser. Here’s what happens behind the scenes:

  1. Browser queries DNS servers. Your web browser contacts a DNS server to translate the user-friendly domain name into its corresponding IP address.
  2. DNS servers locate the IP address. The DNS server consults its vast database of domain names and IP addresses to find the match for www.nytimes.com.
  3. An IP address is returned. Once the IP address is identified, the DNS server relays this information back to your web browser.
  4. The browser connects to the website. With the IP address found, your web browser can now establish a connection with the server hosting the nytimes.com website.
  5. The website’s content is delivered. The server sends the content back to your browser, allowing you to see the New York Times website displayed on your screen.

Sometimes, for example, when you switch web hosts or point your domain to a different IP address, you need to access the DNS Zone Editor through your web host’s control panel.

For Hostinger clients, the DNS Zone Editor is conveniently located within hPanel. The user-friendly interface makes it easy to modify your domain’s DNS records, granting you greater control over your website’s online visibility.

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What Are Nameservers?

Nameservers store all DNS records of a domain name and use them to locate the domain’s associated IP address. They also direct traffic to the website the domain is associated with.

When a user registers a domain name, the host provides at least two nameserver values. One acts as a backup if the other fails. Hostinger’s nameservers look like this:

ns1.dns-parking.com

ns2.dns-parking.com

To modify a domain’s DNS records, the DNS settings must include the nameserver values of the website’s hosting provider. To use hPanel’s DNS Zone Editor, ensure that your domain points to Hostinger.

If you purchased a domain name from us, it will default to our nameserver values. Hostinger clients can verify this by navigating to hPanelDomains and clicking Manage on their current domain.

The nameservers will be listed in the Domain Overview table:

For those who bought a domain name from a different provider, go to your registrar’s settings and replace the existing nameservers with the ones above. This action will point the domain to your new hosting account, directing visitors to the site hosted with Hostinger.

Exploring Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor

If you have a Hostinger web hosting plan, open the DNS Zone Editor by going to hPanelWebsites and select your site. In the side menu, scroll down to the Advanced settings and select DNS Zone Editor.

If the DNS Zone Editor is inaccessible, check that your domain name already connects to your hosting plan and uses the correct nameservers.

Here’s what your DNS Zone Editor page should look like:

If you only purchased a domain name at Hostinger and don’t have web hosting, click on the Domains top menu and select the domain you’re using. On the left sidebar, choose DNS / Nameservers, and then navigate to the DNS records tab.

There will be several DNS records you can edit, add, and remove.

What Is an A Record?

An A record is the main DNS record that directs a domain or a subdomain to an IPv4 address.

In the DNS Zone Editor, there are two default listings: one for the domain’s ftp subdomain and another for the main domain, represented by the @ symbol.

For example, using the domain loremipsum.com, these records will direct both ftp.loremipsum.com and loremipsum.com to the IP address 000.0.000.00.

To point the domain or its subdomains to a different IP address, simply add a new A record in the Manage DNS Records section. Here are the fields you need to fill in:

  • Type. The type of DNS record you want to create.
  • Name. Use @ to point the main domain to another IP address or enter a subdomain name.
  • Points to. Enter the IP address that your domain or subdomain should resolve to.
  • TTL (Time to Live). Specifies how long the DNS resolver should cache the query for this domain. Most hosting providers typically set this to 14400 seconds (4 hours).

After completing these fields, click Add Record to create the entry.

What Is a CNAME Record?

A CNAME, short for Canonical Name, record lets you make one domain or subdomain an alias of another domain.

For instance, if your website uses the domain loremipsum.com, you might want visitors who type www.loremipsum.com also to reach your site. The CNAME record makes this possible by pointing www.loremipsum.com to loremipsum.com.

When adding a new CNAME record, instead of entering an IP address in the Target field, you will enter the main domain name, as shown below:

If the IP address of the main domain changes in the A record, the CNAME records will automatically update to reflect this change.

What Is an MX Record?

An MX record, short for Mail Exchanger, specifies the mail server responsible for receiving emails sent to your domain. By default, Hostinger domain clients use the following MX records:

mx1.hostinger.com

mx2.hostinger.com

These records appear in the DNS Zone Editor as shown below:

If you wish to use a third-party email hosting service, you need to remove these MX records and add new ones provided by your email service. Besides Name and TTL, you need to fill in the following fields:

  • Mail server. The address of the server that will receive the emails.
  • Priority. Indicates which mail server to use first. A lower number represents a higher priority.

Important! You can only use one email provider per domain name at a time. Ensure you only have one MX record per domain. If you are using different email providers for the main domain and subdomain, make sure to correctly use the Name section in the DNS zone.

Here is an example of an MX record using one of Google Workspace’s mail servers:

What Is a TXT Record?

A TXT record is a DNS entry that contains text information about a domain that is readable by external parties.

Common examples of TXT records include Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). Website owners use these to secure email exchanges from spoofing or phishing attempts. Google also uses TXT records for domain verification purposes.

The SPF TXT record specifies the IP addresses or hostnames authorized to send emails on behalf of a domain. The DKIM TXT record adds cryptographic signatures to emails to verify they come from a trustworthy source.

A domain can have multiple TXT records for various purposes but should only have one SPF and one DKIM record.

Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor includes an SPF TXT record by default. It uses the v=spf1 tag within the TXT value, as shown here:

Example of a TXT record

To add a new TXT record, follow the same steps as other entries. Use @ for the main domain or enter the subdomain’s name in the Name field, depending on the purpose of the information. For a DKIM record, include the selector name along with _domainkey.

Instead of a Points to field, a TXT value field will appear where you need to input the required information.

Below is an example of what the fields should look like when adding a new DKIM TXT record:

What Is an AAAA Record?

An AAAA record functions similarly to an A record, but it points your domain to an IPv6 address instead of an IPv4 address.

In Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor, this record is left blank by default since many internet service providers (ISPs) and internet routers do not yet support IPv6. Luckily, it’s important to note that IPv6 adoption is increasing, and you might see more usage of AAAA records in the future.

What Is an NS Record?

In the DNS Zone Editor, NS records list the nameserver values provided by Hostinger. These should only be edited if you intend to transfer your website to a different web host.

Expert Tip

NS records should always point to ns1.dns-parking.com and ns2.dns-parking.com. Even if you plan to switch hosts, the DNS Zone Editor is not the place to change NS records. Instead, change the nameservers through your domain registrar, which can be checked via a WHOIS domain lookup.

Editor

Aurimas L.

Technical Product Manager

What Is an SRV Record?

An SRV record specifies the server location for a service to establish a connection. It is commonly used for protocols like VoIP and XMPP, which facilitate user communication over the Internet. By default, this entry is empty in the DNS Zone Editor.

The required information for an SRV record includes:

  • Name. The service, protocol, and domain name, formatted as _service._protocol.example.com.
  • Weight. Determines the order of contact if multiple SRV records have the same priority. A higher number indicates higher priority.
  • Port. The port number used by the service.
  • Target. The address of the destination server.
  • Priority. Indicates the priority of the server. Lower numbers represent higher priority.

What Is a CAA Record?

A CAA record, short for Certification Authority Authorization, specifies which certificate authorities (CAs) can issue SSL certificates for a domain. This prevents unauthorized parties from issuing fake certificates.

If you have multiple subdomains, you only need to create one CAA record for the root domain, which will apply to all subdomains.

Hostinger includes the following CAA records by default:

To add a new CAA record, fill in the following fields in addition to Name and TTL:

  • Flag. An unsigned integer from 0 to 255, with 0 being the default.
  • Tag. Choose between issue, issuewild, and iodef:
    • Issue. Authorizes a single CA to issue any type of certificate. 
    • Issuewild. Allows the CA to issue only wildcard certificates. 
    • Iodef. Specifies the contact information for reporting CAA-related issues.
  • CA domain. The domain name of the certificate authority.

Here’s an example of what you might enter to add a CAA record for Sectigo:

Resetting Your DNS Zone to Default Settings

If an error occurs after editing the DNS zone, you can fix it by restoring the default settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the DNS Zone Editor and click the Reset DNS Records button:

Conclusion

The DNS Zone Editor lets clients with web, cloud, and Managed WordPress hosting edit their domains’ DNS records easily within hPanel. The types of DNS records you can modify include:

  • A record. Points to IPv4 addresses.
  • CNAME record. Creates aliases for the main domain.
  • MX record. Specifies mail servers for receiving emails.
  • TXT record. Contains text information for security and verification.
  • AAAA record. Points to IPv6 addresses.
  • NS record. Lists the nameserver values.
  • SRV record. Specifies the server location for a service.
  • CAA record. Defines which CAs can issue SSL certificates.

We hope you refer to this guide when you need to use the DNS Zone Editor. If an error occurs, remember that you can always restore the DNS records to their default settings.

Author
The author

Matleena Salminen

Matleena is a seasoned Content Writer with 5 years of content marketing experience. She has a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, website building, and AI. In her free time, Matleena enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese. Follow her on LinkedIn

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The Co-author

Maisha R.

Maisha is a proponent of high-quality, actionable content. When she's not writing for Hostinger Tutorials and Blog, she immerses herself in the English thesaurus. Her love for personal development essays drives her to help her fellow writers succeed in the world of content marketing.