Currently we are using a DNS service (GoDaddy), an email service (GoDaddy), and a hosting service (Squarespace). I want to start a mailman mailing list on this domain, but want to use yet another service to host it.

Currently traffic to the domain goes to squarespace. Email goes to Godaddy. I would like to setup a subdomain where both web traffic and email traffic go to the third (mailman) service. The subdomain would be something like: lists.domain.com.

I believe this is what I need to do:

Setup an "A" record

  • Host: lists
  • Points to: ip address of mailman server
  • TTL: 1 hour

Setup a "MX" record

  • Priority: 0
  • Host: lists
  • Points to: mailman server domain
  • TTL: 1 hour

Can anyone please confirm whether this is correct or not? I really don't want to move forward with these changes before I can confirm that this won't disrupt the existing email@domain.com accounts as well as webtraffic to (www.)domain.com.


What you are proposing is correct, and should work without disrupting mailflow to your existing mail server.

I would suggest that you don't make your subdomain and the FQDN of your list server host the same - not because it won't work, but because it is confusing.


You don't need an MX record to receive mail.

In fact, if you are concerned about possibly disrupting existing mail flow to an existing MX record, don't add a new MX record.

The A record is sufficient to run a list manager off that host.

EDIT: Much more important is proper FCrDNS, so make sure your list server's IP has a PTR record for the hostname.

  • +1 Good point. You would need an MX record only if you wanted to add redundancy, mail filtering or some other function. – dunxd Oct 27 '11 at 14:59
  • If I make a mailman mailing list with the email: bradslist@lists.domain.com, and "lists.domain.com" is using a different mail server/web server than domains.com, then I need to set both a "MX" record and an "A" record to the lists.domain.com FQDN right? If I were to only set an "A" record, then any emails sent to bradslist@lists.domain.com would still be sent to the domain.com server rather than the lists.domain.com server, wouldn't they? – BradC Nov 2 '11 at 2:57
  • no - I think it would try and resolve the whole domain name, and go for the A record. Easy enough to test. – dunxd Nov 3 '11 at 18:09
  • @BradC: incorrect. The RFCs are very clear in how SMTP clients should resolve destination hosts, and if there is no MX record for that label, it is the A record that determines that. – adaptr Nov 4 '11 at 9:32

You can setup a MX record for particular host. In your case MX record will be for lists.domain.com. Do not mess with sub domains if you are going to use only one host. What you are thinking is basically correct. In this case you are just adding new MX record for specific host (and not to your main domain)- so this will not cause mail troubles to the whole domain. It is advised to have reverse (PTR) DNS record for your MX.


Nikolay Kabaivanov


  • An MX record is always for a domain (or subdomain) - the MX record specifies a host (with a priority) that mail addressed to the domain (or subdomain) should be delivered to. – dunxd Oct 27 '11 at 14:52

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