Guide to Using CNAME Records (And When to Use them)

Guide to Using CNAME Records (And When to Use them)

There are various good reasons for using CNAME Records. CNAME stands for Canonical Name. The records are used for specifying the alias or nickname of a primary host. In other words, you can map a subdomain to the main domain that’s hosting the content of that subdomain. For example, if visitors want to access the site ‘mysite.com’ using ‘www.mysite.com,’ CNAME records can be used to point it to mysite.com site.

To set the CNAME records, you’d be using the DNS Management interface. In this article, learn how and when to use the CNAME records.

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When to Use CNAME Records?

There are times when using CNAME Records become inevitable. Without them, the user experience will plummet. Here are the scenarios where you must use CNAME Records:
  • When you want to redirect multiple domains to a single IP Address. Take for example, if you have migrated from mysite.com to mysite.org, you can use the CNAME Records to redirect users to the new website. You can also use it for redirecting users from mysite.co.uk, mysite.ae and other extensions (provided you own them).
  • When you want to point multiple sub-domains to the primary domain. Many websites have subdomains that are designed for a specific purpose. For example, you might have a subdomain ‘blog.mywebsite.com’ to display blog posts of your website. For managing these better, you don’t have to create A record for all these services. Instead, you should use CNAME for all of them. The main advantage is when you change the IP address of your serve, you only have to make the changes once in the A record. The changes will reflect for all the CNAMEs and they will follow the new IP address.
The thing to know about CNAME Records is that the records send multiple requests to the DNS servers. So there will be delay of a few milliseconds when visiting an alias of the main domain name.

Another thing to note is that you should always be pointing to the A record and not to a CNAME.

So that’s when you should be using the CNAME. For further details contact your hosting provider.
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