DNS records overview

Read this document for a brief overview of DNS records in the scope of GitLab Pages, for beginners in web development.

A Domain Name System (DNS) web service routes visitors to websites by translating domain names (such as www.example.com) into the numeric IP addresses (such as 192.0.2.1) that computers use to connect to each other.

A DNS record is created to point a (sub)domain to a certain location, which can be an IP address or another domain. In case you want to use GitLab Pages with your own (sub)domain, you need to access your domain’s registrar control panel to add a DNS record pointing it back to your GitLab Pages site.

Note that how to add DNS records depends on which server your domain is hosted on. Every control panel has its own place to do it. If you are not an admin of your domain, and don’t have access to your registrar, you’ll need to ask for the technical support of your hosting service to do it for you.

To help you out, we’ve gathered some instructions on how to do that for the most popular hosting services:

If your hosting service is not listed above, you can just try to search the web for how to add dns record on <my hosting service>.

A record

A DNS A record maps a host to an IPv4 IP address. It points a root domain as example.com to the host’s IP address as 192.192.192.192.

Example:

  • example.com => A => 192.192.192.192

CNAME record

CNAME records define an alias for canonical name for your server (one defined by an A record). It points a subdomain to another domain.

Example:

  • www => CNAME => example.com

This way, visitors visiting www.example.com will be redirected to example.com.

MX record

MX records are used to define the mail exchanges that are used for the domain. This helps email messages arrive at your mail server correctly.

Example:

  • MX => mail.example.com

Then you can register emails for users@mail.example.com.

TXT record

A TXT record can associate arbitrary text with a host or other name. A common use is for site verification.

Example:

  • example.com=> TXT => "google-site-verification=6P08Ow5E-8Q0m6vQ7FMAqAYIDprkVV8fUf_7hZ4Qvc8"

This way, you can verify the ownership for that domain name.

All combined

You can have one DNS record or more than one combined:

  • example.com => A => 192.192.192.192
  • www => CNAME => example.com
  • MX => mail.example.com
  • example.com=> TXT => "google-site-verification=6P08Ow5E-8Q0m6vQ7FMAqAYIDprkVV8fUf_7hZ4Qvc8"