I have a reseller host the sites of my clients are hosted.

One such customer wants to keep the DNS management with them. For this, they request the CNAME for them to do the following change in DNS:

www IN CNAME xyz.website.com

The question is, what the difference is to change the A record pointing to the IP of my server to change the CNAME (As listed above?)


There are two differences:

  1. With the CNAME, people trying to access their web page will have to do an extra DNS lookup. This may result in slightly slower "first page" times. (It also adds an additional potential point of failure if they aren't good at managing their DNS.)

  2. With the CNAME, they'll be able to change what IP address the www host points to without having to modify the entry in that domain.

  • xyz is a subdomain of website.com, I would have to be the owner of website.com as possible for this to be correct? – ridermansb Apr 24 '12 at 15:19
  • Or you'd have to be coordinating with website.com. Because of Host headers, HTTP usually won't "just work" if you redirect your DNS to point to a stranger's server. – David Schwartz Apr 24 '12 at 15:21
  • Sorry, I missed the part of "you'd have to be coordinating with website.com" which means coordinating?? – ridermansb Apr 24 '12 at 15:25
  • Working together. If you just make www.somedomain.com a CNAME for, say, www.microsoft.com, it may or may not work. – David Schwartz Apr 24 '12 at 15:26

The is no difference. But the CNAME is easier, because you change just one record. In any case you can say that it's the same.

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