How to point a domain at an external web service

This article will show you how to configure your domain to point at an external web service provider such as Weebly, Moonfruit, WIX, SquareSpace or others.

This article also assumes that you want to continue receiving e-mail into your Krystal cPanel account's mailboxes as normal.

These changes may require that you change the configuration of your email software. They will also mean that you will be unable to log into your webmail or cPanel account using your domain name. Instead, you will have to use your Home Server name instead (you should determine your home server name before you carry out this task). This is covered later in this article.

This article assumes that you have already successfully logged into the cPanel account to which the domain is assigned. We have a separate guide for the cPanel DNS Zone Editor (link opens in a new window) that you'll be using to make these changes.

  1. Open the DNS Zone Editor in cPanel
    Click on Manage next to the domain you'd like to point.
    Altering your "A" record
    If you want your apex domain (the domain name itself) - e.g. https://yourdomain.com - to point to the external web service then scroll down, and look for the entry for your domain in the Zone File Records. This is the entry that shows your domain without anything in front of it. Here is an example for the entry for the naked domain krystaldemo.co.uk. Click the Edit link to open up the editor pane.
    Address: Take a note of the existing IP address (we'll call this your original IP address - we will need this later) and change the Address field to the IP address provided by the external web service provider. The example shows the IP address being changed from 77.72.0.130 to 93.184.220.23 (for Moonfruit). You may need to use a different IP address if you are using a different external service.
    Once you have made the change, click the Edit Record button to confirm the change. After changing your A record in this way it is important to ensure that your mail delivery continues normally.
    IMPORTANT: Please read 'Ensuring mail delivery is unaffected' below.
  2. Altering your CNAME record
    Your external web service provider may also ask you to change the CNAME record for your www.yourdomain address. To do this, look for your www host entry and click on the Edit link.
    CNAME: Enter the new CNAME target in this field. This will be provided by your external web service provider.
    Once you have made the change, click the Edit Record button to confirm the change.
  3. Ensuring mail delivery is unaffected
    By default, our spam filtering system sends your cleaned email to your apex domain. Because the domain now points to a third party IP address, your email delivery will be broken.
    This is easily fixed by carrying out two steps
    1. Modify the mail.yourdomain DNS record to point back to your Home Server.
      Look for the mail.yourdomain CNAME record and click on the Edit link.
      Modify the mail.yourdomain DNS record to point back to your Home Server
      Type: change the record Type from CNAME to A
      Address: Enter your Home Server's original IP address (you took a note of this above in the section "Altering your "A" record")
      Once you have made the change, click the Edit Record button to confirm the change.
    2. Alter your incoming email delivery route using the Spam Experts tools
      You must now log into the Spam Experts system via your cPanel account and change your delivery destination either to mail.yourdomain (in our example, this would be mail.krystaldemo.co.uk) or you could change it to your Home Server name directly. The process is described in the article Managing SpamExperts - Email delivery destinations (link opens in a new window).

Email software configuration changes

If you were using your naked domain as the incoming and outgoing mail servers (e.g. krystaldemo.co.uk instead of mail.krystal.co.uk) then you will also have to change your incoming and outgoing mail servers to either mail.yourdomain or your Home Server name instead. All other configurations will remain unaffected.


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