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CNAME questions & Branding
kcal




msg:3600507
 1:32 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

A client has been hosting with me for several years. Recently she signed up with a service company that promises to increase traffic, make them blog experts, and generally, make them the most sought-after site on the web.

The catch is that the website needs to be hosted with the service company. The client has requested that I continue to host the e-mail (the service company doesn't do e-mail) and that the site be hosted at the service company.

1) The service company has requested that I add a CNAME record for the www.domain.com.
2) They refuse to give me an IP address.

I have created the CNAME, and pointed the mail to the A record. E-mail works and www.domain.com works. A record points to original website.

What do I do about getting domain.com to point to www.domain.com? I read another post (http://www.webmasterworld.com/website_technology/3454188.htm) that says I need an A record, but, without an IP...

On another front. The service company has set up my client as a subdomain (subdomain.servicecompany.com). When I look up the domain.com using a whois service, the record displays everything about the "service company" and only the basics (i.e. domain name and owner) about my client's website. Looks to me like the service company is setting itself up to be the most sought-after site.

So, I ask the experts two questions: In the end, Which site will be branded? and Which site will get credit for the traffic?

 

bill




msg:3607210
 12:55 pm on Mar 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

1) The service company has requested that I add a CNAME record for the www.domain.com.
2) They refuse to give me an IP address.

You don't put IP addresses in a CNAME. Why do you need the IP?

I have created the CNAME, and pointed the mail to the A record.

Mail is usually associated with an MX record, but I don't know your mail setup. I guess you're pointing the MX to a A record on your server?

Looks to me like the service company is setting itself up to be the most sought-after site.

Sounds like that's the case.

jtara




msg:3607366
 3:54 pm on Mar 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

A record points to original website.

Huh? WHICH A record? An A record is for a specific domain. There's no such thing as "the" A Record.

You CAN'T "point" example.com to www.example.com. The base domain name MUST have an A record, never a CNAME.

The "conventional" setup is to use an A record for example.com, and a CNAME for www, pointing to the base domain name. I prefer A records for both, though, as an A record is ever-so-slightly faster than a CNAME.

In your case, you need to create a new A record for your mail server - say, mail.example.com. Then, reference that name in your MX record(s).

Sounds to me, though, like a better plan would be to run, not walk, away from the "SEO" company.

kcal




msg:3608383
 12:00 pm on Mar 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Bill and jtara, thanks for responding.

I can tell by your questions and comments that you have a solid understanding of the records set up, and that you were equally confused by the request I got from the SEO company.

The original "A" record and WWW pointed to my DNS.

I wanted an IP address from the SEO company because I thought the proper approach was to point the "A" record to their servers, then create an MX record that pointed to mine. Simple. Easy. I could create the CNAME for WWW, but I needed the IP for the "A" record.

They were insisting that the only thing they wanted changed was the WWW. So from my perspective, the WWW would work fine, but, when someone typed in the base domain name, they would end up getting an error. None of it made sense to me. Then I thought, maybe there is something that I don't understand about the records and posted here.

So how was this resolved?
I told the client (*again*) that the SEO company's request was not going to work. Of course, they don't understand the record set up, so, they were caught with two companies pointing their fingers at each other. Soooo, using another of the client's domain names, I demonstrated to them what would happen. The client went back to the SEO company and they *quickly* coughed up an IP.

Unbelievable. A 5 minute task spread out over days.

I DO appreciate your responses. And, yes, now the client understands the serious situation they are in.

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