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What is Wildcard DNS Record?

The Wildcard DNS Record is used to match requests for non-existent domain names. Wildcard DNS Record is specified by using a "*" as the leftmost label (part) of a domain name, e.g. *.example.com. This type of record allows all subdomains to share the same set of web content with a single DNS entry.

The Wildcard Record has the following look in your ClouDNS Control Panel:

Host Type Points to: TTL
*.hostname.com A ip.of.your.website 1 Hour
*.hostname.com AAAA  ipv6:of:your:web::site 1 Hour 
*.hostname.com MX  your.mx.server  1 Hour 
*.hostname.com  TXT TXT Record  1 Hour
*.hostname.com  CNAME example.com  1 Hour
 *.hostname.com ALIAS  example.com  1 Hour
 *.hostname.com  WR  http://example.com  1 Hour

Why do you need a Wildcard record?

Let us explain it again, the wildcard DNS record is a kind of record that answers DNS requests for subdomains you haven't already defined. In other words, with *.yourdomain.com wildcard record, it won’t matter whether someone accesses your site through ww.yourdomain.com or wwwwww.yourdomain.com.

How to create a Wildcard record?

Go to your Control Panel and click on “Add new record”. Type, as follow:

Type: A, AAAA, MX, TXT, CNAME, ALIAS or WR
TTL: 1 Hour
Host: *
Points to: (resource you need to setup - IP/hostname/something else)

Note: A Wildcard Record can be added only for A (or AAAA), MX, TXT, CNAME, ALIAS or Web Redirect.

Wildcard DNS for subdomains

We are supporting Wildcard DNS records not only for the root domain name (example.com) but for the subdomains too. Example setup for the wildcard record *.sub.example.com:

Type: A, AAAA, MX, TXT, CNAME, ALIAS or WR
TTL: 1 Hour
Host: *.sub
Points to: (resource you need to setup - IP/hostname/something else)

How to add Wildcard record - Step by Step video:

How to check it?

To check if a wildcard DNS record is correctly configured for a domain, you can use the Nslookup or Dig command, depending on your operating system (OS).

If you are a Windows user, open the Command Prompt and use the Nslookup command followed by a random subdomain. Here is an example:

$ nslookup random-subdomain.example.com

In case you are a Linux/macOS user, open the Terminal and use the Dig command followed by a random subdomain. Here is an illustration:

$ dig random-subdomain.example.com

If the commands return the same IP address as the domain's wildcard entry ("*.example.com"), the wildcard record is active and functioning as intended.

Alternatively, you can use an online tool, like the ClouDNS Free DNS tool, which can provide similar results by querying a non-existent subdomain. 

Remember, wildcard DNS setups may vary, and testing with various non-existent subdomains can provide more comprehensive insights.

Wildcard DNS record Benefits

The main benefits that come with implementing wildcard DNS records include the following:

  • Simplified Management: These DNS records make subdomain management more efficient by directing all unspecified subdomains to a single destination, reducing the need to create individual DNS records for each subdomain.
  • Scalability: Perfect for environments where new subdomains are added regularly, wildcard records simplify the process by automatically handling DNS resolution, making it easier to scale up without constant manual adjustments.
  • Consistent User Experience: Wildcard records allow for the creation of default pages or content for unconfigured subdomains, ensuring a consistent user experience throughout the domain and improving brand consistency.

How to start managing Wildcard DNS records for your domain name?

  1. Open free account from here - free forever
  2. Verify your e-mail address
  3. Log into your control panel
  4. Create new Master DNS from the [add new] button - read more here
  5. Add or modify the Wildcard DNS records you need as it is described in this article

Support of Wildcard records

ClouDNS provides full support for Wildcard DNS records for all our DNS services, including the listed below. Just write to our technical support, if you need any assistance with your Wildcard records configuration. Our Technical Support team is online for you 24/7 via live chat and tickets.

FAQ

Question: Is a Wildcard DNS record a bad practice?

Answer: Despite the claims by some SEO specialists, that using the wildcard DNS records may refer badly to your website rating, there isn’t any technical obstacle for using it. Moreover, many clients find this feature very handy and they take benefit of it all the time.

Question: What will happen if I have specified subdomains and a Wildcard DNS record also?

Answer: Wildcard records don't override existing records. For example, if you have some record for example.domain.com and wildcard record *.domain.com, the hostname example.domain.com won’t be covered by the Wildcard.

Question: Can Wildcard DNS records be used for IPv6 addresses as well?

Answer: Yes, Wildcard DNS records can be used for both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

Question: Are there alternatives to using Wildcard DNS records? 

Answer: If you need more control over subdomains, you may prefer to use individual DNS records or subdomain-specific configurations instead of Wildcard records.

Question: Do Wildcard DNS records propagate instantly across the internet?

Answer: Changes to DNS records, including Wildcard records, need time to propagate through DNS caches worldwide. This propagation time can range from minutes to several hours.


Last modified: 2023-08-10
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