The CNAME record is also known as a canonical name record. It is used for specifying that a domain name is an alias for another domain, the “canonical” domain. A typical example is the www subdomain which is often set as an alias to the root domain name
The CNAME Record is used only for subdomains. You can't add any other records for a given hostname, if this hostname has a CNAME Record. Also, it's not possible to create CNAME record if there are any other records for this hostname.
The CNAME record has the following look in your ClouDNS Control Panel:
CNAME records are frequently used for pointing many hosts to the same place and updating them easily. Illustration of this can be seen below:
The example above is a typical setup for websites. If for some reason, your server's IP has changed, only a single record will need adjustment.
Some of the most popular scenarios for implementing CNAME record are the following:
Go to your Control Panel and click on Add new record. Type, as follow:
TTL: 1 Hour
Points to: example2.hostname.com
By following these best practices you will ensure the proper functioning of your CNAME record:
Following these best practices can help to ensure that your CNAME records are configured correctly and provide you with a smooth resolution of your domain name requests.
Here are several important restrictions that you should be aware of:
The A records and the CNAME records are the two most commonly used records and sometimes you can easily get confused when to use A and when CNAME. With A record, the hostname is resolved to the corresponding IP address. On the other hand, CNAME records map your hostname to another hostname.
The CNAME record maps a name to another name and it should only be used when there are no other records on that name. The ALIAS record also maps a name to another name, but can coexist with other records on that name. ALIAS records can also be added for the root domain.
TXT records and CNAME records fulfill different DNS functions. While TXT records are used for storing text-based data, such as a description of a domain or a string of characters, CNAME records are used to map a domain name or subdomain to another hostname. This allows you to easily redirect to a new host without altering any existing records. In addition, TXT records have become popular for enforcing Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) compliance to protect domains from malicious activities such as phishing and spoofing.
$ dig CNAME hostname.example.com
$ nslookup -type=CNAME hostname.example.com
$ host hostname.example.com
In case you prefer to use an online tool, you can check your CNAME record with ClouDNS Free DNS tool.
ClouDNS provides full support for CNAME records for all our DNS services, including the listed below. Just write to our technical support, if you need any assistance with your CNAME records configuration. Our Technical Support team is online for you 24/7 via live chat and tickets.
Question: What is the main purpose of the CNAME record?
Answer: In a nutshell, it redirects from your domain’s subdomains to other domains/subdomains.
Question: Why there can't be a CNAME record for the root domain?
Answer: According to RFC 1912 2.4, a CNAME record is not allowed to coexist with any other data. And since there are other data for the root domain (e.g. SOA records, NS records, etc.), a CNAME record cannot be added for the root. For such cases, we recommend using the ALIAS record, which is a replacement of CNAME and it can coexist with other data (it can be created for root domain).
Question: Can I use more than one CNAME record for the same host?
Answer: No, because of the same reason we stated above, there can be only one CNAME record the same host.
Question: Can CNAME records be used to point to an IP address?
Answer: No, CNAME records can only point to a hostname or another CNAME record.
Question: How often can I change a CNAME record?
Answer: CNAME records can be modified as frequently as needed, but keep in mind that changes may take time to propagate across DNS servers due to caching mechanisms and TTL settings.
Question: How long does it take for CNAME record changes to take effect?
A: DNS propagation times vary, but it generally takes anywhere from a few minutes to 48 hours for changes to CNAME records to propagate across DNS servers globally. The Time-to-Live (TTL) value associated with the record influences this duration.