How To Properly Setup and Configure Godaddy DNS Settings

If you buy domains through Godaddy, but host the website and mail somewhere else, chances are you had to edit your DNS settings.

Up until a few weeks ago I had been doing it wrong.  It was working, for the most part, but some things like reverse dns lookups would fail, and strange errors would sometimes crop up.

When you buy your domain through Godaddy, find your way into Total DNS Control.  You will see a page similar to this:

Scary, that’s for sure.

Now, before we can edit this, you need to know where your website is going to be hosted.  So if you are hosting at for example, you would sign up with them and they would give you the IP Address to use for your site.

Armed with that IP Address, you can start editing your DNS Record.  Keep in mind that this is not gospel – your mileage may vary.  This works for me everytime when I point to a website I am setting up in CPanel and also need to manage the mail.  If you want your mail through Godaddy, then you do not want to make these changes.

  1. Switch to advanced mode so that you can edit more than one line at a time.
  2. Change the @ A(Host) @ record to your new IP.
  3. Delete every CNAME except for www and ftp
  4. Add the mail A(Host) Record for mail pointing to the same new ip.
  5. Delete the MX record with Priority 0.
  6. Change the priority 10 record to mail.YOU-DOMAIN-NAME.COM
  7. Add new SPF record and follow the following prompts
    1. Choose “an ISP or other mail provider”
    2. inbound tab: all inbound servers may send mail
    3. outbound tab: all addresses in A records
    4. PTR tab: include PTR
    5. The resultant line should look like “v=spf1 a mx ptr ~all”

Your DNS should now look like this:

58 responses to “How To Properly Setup and Configure Godaddy DNS Settings”

  1. Hey Scott, thanks a lot, it worked great. Especially dealing with a 3rd party host that’s not going out of the way to help you because you didn’t purchase your domain name through them! No angst here! Very helpful and thanks again for the instructions… saved a lot of time!

  2. Wow, thank you so much. I don’t know why it’s SOO difficult to get any good instructions from godaddy themselves. This worked perfectly for me!

  3. Thanks. After much deliberation, I am using GoDaddy DNS rather than my VDS, and this helps. For anyone setting up GoDaddy DNS to use Google Apps on a domain, there is a GoDaddy wizard that makes it easy: .

    If you are using aliases for gmail, docs etc. (like, then add the CNAME records accordingly.

    For the spf record I am following Google’s advice:
    and using “v=spf1 ~all”.

    Haven’t tested this spf record yet, but have high hopes…

  4. I had the brilliant idea to buy an Italian domain through Godaddy only to find out later that it wasn’t as easy to manage the dns as for the other main domains.

    I was just about giving up and trasferring the domain to an Italian registrar when I ended up on your article!!!

    I am not a technical person so I easily got lost with the Godaddy’s support emails. Following your instructions it took me five minutes to get everything working!!!

    My only regret is not having found your article a month earlier!


  5. Was working for this problem for 3 days with no luck , until I found this …. took 5 mins. to configure and let it go….

    Thanks , u r gr8

  6. Is there a way to register a domain with GoDaddy that was purchased through Google? I see that you can transfer it to GoDaddy but wanted to know if there was a way to do this to use their DNS settings because I cannot seem to get it to work with the ones provided through Google Apps. Thanks!

  7. Thanks, Scott…very helpful writeup; unfortunate that GoDaddy doesn’t turn to the SPF record issue in their early support steps. You are the man!

  8. I had no idea how stupid I really was. I was trying to use telnet into my mail server and getting an address based in Arizona. It now makes sense! haha!

  9. Thanks for Great Post.

    Just want to ask, what if hosting for website and email are in different servers (Both not godaddy)

  10. Wow, Scott! We were bumming, lost, and no tips worked for us, until we found your instructions!! Yours is the only walkthrough that worked for us!!! Thanks a zillion!!!!!!!!!!

  11. not a problem. the www and the domain ( will point to your website IP. your mail records will point to the mail ip.

  12. While yes your article is great but if you host your email with ANY OTHER company you will notice quickly that your reverse lookup will not function. This is a primary DNS function where the hosting company uses forwarders to validate reverse lookups. Since Reverse lookups are a fundamental part of email validation you will find you are getting blacklisted because of this. I reccoment that you use whom ever hosts your EMAIL alsp hosts your DNS.

  13. really? can’t the entity that hosts your email set the reverse record themselves? is there any other way to handle it? what about Google Apps? Google doesn’t handle DNS as far as I know.

  14. Just want to THANK YOU for this great tips. The GD DNS configuration is a mess 😛

    Now my email is working perfectly with my hostgator

    Thanks !!!

  15. Thanks Scott, you saved us some time!

    An additional information for people who have their @domain in godaddy pointed on e. g. google blogger, but are using a different mail service (from another host with cpanel):

    On your host, go to cPanel :: Domains, Parked Domains. There you have to add your godaddy-domain name.
    Afterwards go to cPanel :: Mail, Forwarders. Click on “Add Forwarder”, in Address to Forward enter e.g. “info” @(now choose your godaddy domain!!). And in ‘Forward to email address:’ you enter your standard email address, where you receive your mails regularly.

    Hope that can help other people 😉

  16. Well, I have to say godaddy sucks hard! They are the worst I’ve ever seen so far, plus they got no support for me. I send email asking for support and they sent autoreply “We’ve received your question. You can expect a response within 24 hours.” wtf? Godaddy sucks!

  17. what i dont understand is, how do we get the A @ host list ip from godaddy, what ip do we use? right now it has placed a random IP and site is not loading, any clues?

  18. I’ve been searching for articles regarding this topic for days, literally. So far your post has been the best and most understandable I’ve found, because is simple and well-structured. Thank you very much Scott, I really appreciate it.

  19. the @ host ip is the IP that godaddy assigns you. either it is assigned to just a stupid ‘coming soon’ page, or if you purchased hosting through them, it will be the IP for that hosting server.

  20. I use as my mail server, but still get emails to Other than that, that is all I know :).

  21. Can you guys tell me if i’m hosting the mail server locally (exchange) with static ip how to configure the A record and the MX record for that. Remember the website is hosted outside and the exchange is hosted inside (meaning 2 different ips)

  22. thank you thank you thank you. GoDaddy goes out of thier way to skip the mail A host record part. It’s all good now thanks to you.

  23. Scott
    Came across your article, and I am still having problems with RDNS. The text record was created as described two days ago, but RDNS is still failing. The reverse IP zone has been delegated to Godaddy’s name servers by the ISP, but nslookup still comes back from those nameservers with a “query refused”. I also spent about an hour on the phone wit Godaddy and they flat out state they do not support PTR records. Any words of wisdom?

  24. You are a legend Scott. Godaddy’s help pages assume a high level of DNS config knowledge. We host web, mail and DNS ourselves so this not only fixed my issues but confirmed I had set up our local DNS servers correctly. Many thanks.

  25. I am using Hostgator to host a website and email, with the domain name purchased at Godaddy. I’ve made all of the changes to my Godaddy DNS record outlined in these instructions but am wondering if I need to change the NS records, as well — from Godaddy’s to the ones Hostgator supplies in their welcome email. Do I need to keep Godaddy’s NS records in place?

    Great set of instructions! Really helped me out. Thank you!

  26. Thank you for your advice. I did what you said (in the MX Mail Exchanger “points to” entry I tried mail.YOU-DOMAIN-NAME.COM both with and without a leading “www” in YOU-DOMAIN-NAME.COM); however, when e-mail is sent to user@YOU-DOMAIN-NAME.COM delivery fails permanently with the message:

    Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 554 554 5.7.1 Relay access denied (state 14).

    If it matters, I am running Postfix, and in /etc/postfix/ there is no relayhost specified; line 15 is simply:

    relayhost =

    Interestingly, my IP address is also assigned the free (but now Google-censored) domain name YOU-DOMAIN-NAME.CO.CC, and e-mail sent to user@YOU-DOMAIN-NAME.CO.CC is delivered.

    Any suggestions?

  27. Hostgator users might want to adjust the TXT to use:

    “v=spf1 a mx ptr ~all”

    Do this particularly if you use their freebie SSL mail servers. This basically says allow the A records, allow the MX records, allow the PTR records, and allow Hostgator’s SSL mail servers.

  28. Scott,

    This is a new perspective on custom DNS – one that works. One question: I know that many hosting services use one IP address for multiple web sites. I resell hosting, and all the sites that I host are at the same IP address, except those for which I pay for a dedicated IP address. If I point my custom DNS to the host’s DNS IP address, then set a A record to a specific site’s IP address, how does it know which site to point to?
    Or am I missing a step somewhere?


  29. The custom name servers just point to the host’s name servers. I get it.
    But, what if you want to create your own cname records to use with Google Apps? How do you make your cname records work?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *