Similarly to this question, I have a client with a site hosted on HostGator which I wish to move to my own Linode. I know enough to navigate normal DNS settings, and assumed that simply changing the main A record (as directed in the answer to the above linked question) would allow me to change the web server without altering the MX records, thus maintaining HostGator as the email server.
I was wrong. HostGator's DNS is completely, stupidly roundabout and backwards. The MX record points to mail.example.com. mail.example.com is a CNAME to example.com. example.com is a the only A record in the entire place. So, changing example.com to point to my server work, but it breaks all the MX handling.
So, I tried the obvious: changing mail.example.com into an A record and pointing it at the original IP address specified in the A record for example.com. No dice. Nothing.
Looking deeper, I found that they are doing your typical landing website with all their MX records for all their mail servers, pointed to by an SPF setting. In all honesty, I never thought anyone with technical knowledge necessary to do so would knowingly create such a roundabout setup. It would be much simpler if even just the client MX record pointed somewhere besides back at the web server, but I guess that would make it too easy to do anything outside of their system.
Anyone have any ideas, or will I be forced to talk to some entirely unknowledgeable and anti-helpful (though well intended) support personnel?
Currently on the domain, johnchapmanguitarist.com:
johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN A 184.108.40.206 localhost.johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN A 127.0.0.1 mail.johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN A 220.127.116.11 www.johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN CNAME johnchapmanguitarist.com ftp.johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN CNAME johnchapmanguitarist.com johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN TXT "v=spf1 ip4:18.104.22.168 a mx include:websitewelcome.com ~all"
With one MX record, mail.johnchapmanguitarist.com priority:0.
johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN A 22.214.171.124 localhost.johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN A 127.0.0.1 mail.johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN CNAME johnchapmanguitarist.com www.johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN CNAME johnchapmanguitarist.com ftp.johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN CNAME johnchapmanguitarist.com johnchapmanguitarist.com. 600 IN TXT "v=spf1 a mx include:websitewelcome.com ~all"
With the same MX record.