1. Home
  2. General Use and Troubleshooting
  3. Using External DNS With Your Rochen Account
  1. Home
  2. Nameservers and DNS Information & Troubleshooting
  3. Using External DNS With Your Rochen Account
  1. Home
  2. cPanel
  3. Using External DNS With Your Rochen Account

Using External DNS With Your Rochen Account

Who is this article recommended for?

If business reasons require you to host your DNS for a domain externally, this article is for you. Such reasons may include a client needing to retain in-house control of a particular DNS Zone, extensive zone customizations at an existing DNS provider that you don’t want to transfer over, or having a complex DNS configuration or clustered service.

Who isn’t this article recommended for?

If you’re using the nameservers that have been assigned to your Rochen Account in your official Welcome Email, this article does not apply to your account.

Using the nameservers that we assigned to your account allows everything to “just work” without any further configuration and is the recommended configuration.

For example, this article does not apply to your account if:

  • You have already set the nameservers for your domain to nsXX.rochenhost.com (XX can vary, check your Welcome Email for the exact nameservers).
  • You have already registered and are using your private Reseller nameservers (such as ns1.yourdomain.com and ns2.yourdomain.com, where “yourdomain.com” is your primary Reseller domain) for your primary Reseller domain and all other domains under that account.

All about using External DNS

Using External DNS for your domain means that all DNS queries for your domain will be handled by that external provider. Any support questions about your DNS configuration or technical issues with your external DNS Zone would need to directed to your DNS Administrator at your DNS provider since they are the ones with direct access to your DNS Zone.

Getting Started

The primary change is to point your domain to our servers. When a visitor browses to “your-rochen-domain.com” or “www.your-rochen-domain.com” they will then see the content that you have uploaded to your Rochen account.

To do this, have your DNS Administrator update the ‘@’ and ‘www’ A-records in your DNS Zone for “your-rochen-domain.com” to point to the IP number that your domain is hosted on in your Rochen Account.

You can find the IP number that your account is hosted on in the left column of your Rochen cPanel (you may need to click ‘Expand Stats’ first) or, for resellers, in your WHM under “List Accounts”. In many instances your external ‘www’ record will actually be a CNAME that points back to your ‘@’ record, so only a single change to the ‘@’ A-record will be necessary.

A Records

You will need to manually manage your subdomain records when using external DNS. For example, to create a subdomain named “mysubdomain.your-rochen-domain.com”, you’ll still need to first add it via your cPanel, but you will also need to add a corresponding A-record at your external DNS host named “mysubdomain” pointing to the IP number that your account is hosted on. A CNAME record pointed to your ‘@’ record will also work.

You may point an ‘ftp’ A-record to your account IP number if you need to be able to use the hostname “ftp.your-rochen-domain.com” in your FTP Client. This is optional however; you can also use your-rochen-domain.com and servername.directrouter.com (or servername.directrouter.co.uk for UK-hosted domains) directly in your FTP Client.

The following video shows how add an A record in cPanel:

SPF/DomainKeys Records

Your cPanel-based options for adding SPF/DomainKeys records are only meant to be used with Rochen-hosted DNS, you will need to manually add such optional records to your external DNS Zone if needed.

SOA/NS Records

Since you don’t want your Rochen DNS Zone to be authoritative when using external DNS, you should update these records with the proper values. Some broken DNS implementations on the Internet will mistakenly think your Rochen DNS Zone is authoritative if you don’t adjust these values. This can lead to failed lookups for visitors that may be stuck using one of these broken DNS servers. Under “Edit DNS Zone” in your Rochen WHM (for Resellers and above) you will see the following default record values at the top of your DNS Zone in most cases:

your-rochen-domain.com. 86400 IN SOA ns1.your-rochen-domain.com. dns-user.your-rochen-reseller-domain.com.

your-rochen-domain.com. 86400 IN NS ns1.your-rochen-domain.com.
your-rochen-domain.com. 86400 IN NS ns2.your-rochen-domain.com.

Replace the 3 incorrect values with your proper external nameservers that your DNS Administrator has provided to you (or use an external WHOIS service to find them), similar to this example:

your-rochen-domain.com. 86400 IN SOA ns008.external-dns-provider.net. dns-user.your-rochen-reseller-domain.com.

your-rochen-domain.com. 86400 IN NS ns008.external-dns-provider.net.
your-rochen-domain.com. 86400 IN NS ns009.external-dns-provider.net.

Don’t forget to include the trailing period (“.”) after each value to indicate that the value is a FQDN. If you have three or more nameservers, you should add new NS records as appropriate. If you do not have a Rochen Reseller account with WHM access, please submit a support ticket with the requested changes and we’ll be happy to make them for you.

External Email

Using External Mail at an external email provider? – Configuring the proper MX records under your account when using an external mail service is a necessity. This is required so that your Rochen server will know not to deliver server-generated mail (contact forms, newsletters, etc.) locally and instead direct it to the external mailserver(s) that you specify in your MX record(s). Please see this article on MX Record Changes for more info. Your external email provider will provide the proper MX records to you.

Using External Mail at an email server without a hostname? – If you’re running an in-house email server at your office or you’re in a situation where you don’t already have a hostname (FQDN) to point your MX record to, this section is for you. You’ll need to first create a DNS records that points to the static IP of the mailserver. You’ll need to add an A-record that points to your mailserver IP number in your external DNS Zone. You can pick any name, for example “mx01”:

mx01 14400 IN A xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

In the example above, replace the record value with the actual static IP of your mailserver. After you have added this A-record at your external DNS provider, you can now set your both your external MX record (if your email is already working no further changes are needed in your external DNS Zone) and your Rochen MX record to:

your-rochen-domain.com. 14400 IN MX 0 mx01.your-rochen-domain.com.

Ensure that ‘Email Routing’ is set to ‘Automatically Detect Configuration’ and that it’s detected as ‘Remote’ to disable local delivery of mail under your Rochen account.

Rochen based email

In this instance you’ll need to ensure that ‘Email Routing’ is set to ‘Local’ to enable local delivery of mail under your Rochen account in your cPanel under “MX Record Entry” or under “Edit DNS Zone” in WHM. By default on all new accounts it will already be Local. You will then need to point your external MX record to an A or CNAME record that resolves to the IP number that your account is hosted on. For example, you may want to create a ‘mail’ A-record that points to your Rochen account IP (a CNAME pointing to your ‘@’ record will work just as well). You can then point your ‘@’ MX record to “mail.your-rochen-domain.com.” with any priority/preference value. You should only have 1 MX record, any other records should be deleted.

If you are hosted on a shared plan which includes SpamExperts Spam Filtering and you wish to use that service, you’ll instead need to create two MX records:

your-rochen-domain.com. 300 IN MX 10 mx-dfw.smtp.directrouter.com.
your-rochen-domain.com. 300 IN MX 20 mx-lon.smtp.directrouter.com.

(If you are hosted on a UK-based plan, reverse the MX priorities to ensure mail is delivered to the UK MX first instead.)


A handy tool to use while troubleshooting DNS issues is the “ShowIP” Add-on/Extension for Firefox. This will show you the exact IP(s) that the page content was loaded from when viewing your site, which won’t always match the IP you get when pinging a domain from your command prompt/terminal/shell due to local DNS caching issues under some OS’s.

I’m only seeing an Apache success page when visiting my site.

If you’re seeing a page that says “Great Success! Apache is working on your cPanel and WHM Server” the most likely issue is that you have pointed your ‘@’ or ‘www’ A-record to the wrong IP number.

Double check the IP number that your site is hosted on in your Rochen cPanel and fix your external A-record as appropriate. Note that you’ll need to clear your local DNS cache or wait for the old cached record to expire before the site will begin working. All new traffic (outside of your own network) will start hitting the proper IP immediately after you update the A-record though since A-records do not need to ‘propagate’.

I’m only seeing a blank/white page when visiting my site.

The solution to this problem is often the same as the above. There are also cases where you may inadvertently have an empty/placeholder index.html file in your document root (normally /home/username/public_html) that is causing this. Renaming or removing this file will then allow your index.php file to be served as the default directory index file.

Updated on April 28, 2021

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Need Support?
24/7 support is available through the My Rochen portal.