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Host records, server IP vs NameServers

[2 Grey Star Level]

I use a registrar that provides tlds not available with site5 (.ca, for example).

Once I have registered those domain names I have to point the domains host records to my site5 web hosting account(s).

Typically, I have 2 options:
1. use nameservers ( and as a CNAME (alias) record
2.use my hosting server’s shared IP (###.###.###.###) as an A (Adress) record

The only difference I have noticed through testing is that Adress records resolve faster.

Why should I use one over the other?

Answer #1

Hello Sebastien,

That is actually a very good question. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference more than anything else. I’ll describe both scenarios:

1 – Using Our Nameservers

The drawback here is what you describe – sometimes this takes longer to propagate. Propagation times have improved greatly in recent years, however, and any changes of this nature should be a few hours, at most. The upside is that any changes to DNS records, like the A record or MX record, are done internally within our system, meaning propagation time is cut to minutes, at most. It also means you have “one stop shopping” for all your hosting needs; your site files are with us, your mail is with us, and your DNS is with us. This cuts out potential points of failure.

2 – Using External DNS, Pointing A Record

This method works just the same, and gives you a little more freedom in how your nameservers function. The downside is that any changes to your DNS requirements – let’s say you need to migrate to a VPS down the road, which will change your IP address – need to be done by you. We will not have access to ensure your DNS records are up to date at all times. The main upside is the freedom, as mentioned – if you want to adjust your DNS records, you can do so on your own, without having to contact us in any way.

Answers Answered By: jdavey [359 Blue Star Level]

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