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Add A domain record to the Cloud DNS manager

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  1. How To Add Your Domain To Hostwinds Cloud DNS

Hostwinds has a free DNS / Nameserver management implementation in Cloud Control that can be used to point a domain name at a Cloud VPS, Dedicated server, or other web hosting service.

For servers without a DNS server like BIND installed (or WHM/cPanel, CentOS Web Panel), these are the steps you would follow to point a domain at a VPS for web and mail hosting:

Navigate to the Cloud portal and chose Network -> Domains or go to

Step 1: Click the +Domain button if you don’t have any yet or Create-> Domain using the Create button at the top right of the page


Step 2: Type in the domain you want to host on your VPS or Dedicated server such as

Step 3: Enter the nameservers at the domain registrar. If your domain name is registered with Hostwinds, you can change your nameservers for your domain in the Client Area

Step 4: At the right of the domain listing in the Cloud DNS manager, click Actions > Check.

It may take several minutes for the registrar to update their records to the new nameservers.

Once Actions -> Check prompts the status change from Pending to Active, you will be able to click Actions > Records:

Where you will see the blank DNS Zone for the domain and the fields to add records:

Step 5: add an A record

  1. The left dropdown defaults to A
  2. The first A record is for the domain itself, so put an @ in the second box
  3. Put the IP address of your Cloud VPS in the 3rd box
  4. The default timeout of 3600 seconds (4 hours) is reasonable and doesn’t typically need to be changed.
  5. Click Add

Create an A record for a Subdomain:

  1. If it is not already set to A, click the dropdown and select A
  2. Input the subdomain into the hostname
  3. Input the IP of the server that the subdomain is hosted on. It can be the same IP as the main domain
  4. The default timeout of 3600 seconds (4 hours) is reasonable and doesn’t typically need to be changed.
  5. Click Add

Create Nameserver Records: add NS records for mdnsX/

  1. Change the left dropdown to NS
  2. Enter @
  3. Enter the
  4. Click add

Repeat for the other nameserver

Create a CNAME record (For WWW): add a CNAME record for www.

  1. Change the left dropdown to CNAME
  2. Enter ‘www’ for the hostname
  3. Enter the domain name
  4. Click Add

Create a CNAME record (For Mail Subdomain): [optional] add a CNAME for mail. If you’re not hosting mail on this server, you can skip this step.

Optionally, you can repeat the above with ‘mail’ to have point to your VPS as a mail server.

Create a MX Record: add MX record(s)

If you are hosting mail on the VPS, you will want to make MX records that point to the server:

  1. Change the left dropdown to MX
  2. Enter @
  3. In the ‘Enter Priority Hostname’ box enter your domain or the optional subdomain CNAME from step 8
  4. Click add.

If you are hosting mail elsewhere, you will enter the mx records given, e.g.

For Google Mail


For the Hostwinds Enterprise Email Service.

Create a SPF record: [optional] add SPF record

  1. Change the dropdown to SPF
  2. Enter @
  3. Enter the SPF record with the IP of the VPS or the domain of the MX record
    Note that quotes will be added automatically to the entered record

Your DNS Records for your domain should now look something like this:

Additional records may be needed depending on your server setup.

Note that DNS propagation for the initial nameserver changes can take 12-48 hours to spread worldwide.

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