The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up MX Records for Subdomains



Understanding MX Records

MX records play a crucial role in email delivery, especially for subdomains. Understanding how MX records work is essential for effectively managing email communication within your organization. In this section, we will explore the definition and function of MX records, as well as the differences between MX records for subdomains and root domains.

Definition and Function of MX Records

MX records, also known as Mail Exchange records, are DNS records that specify the mail servers responsible for accepting email messages for a domain. When someone sends an email to an address within a specific domain, the MX records associated with that domain determine the destination mail server where the email should be delivered.

MX records contain information such as the server hostname, priority, and weight. The priority value determines the order in which the mail servers will be tried for delivery, with a lower number indicating a higher priority. In case the highest priority server is unavailable, the next server with a lower priority will be attempted.

Differences between MX Records for Subdomains and Root Domains

MX records for subdomains serve the same purpose as those for root domains but operate on a more granular level. While root domains typically have a single set of MX records to handle all incoming emails, subdomains can have their own unique set of MX records.

This distinction allows organizations to delegate email management for different subdomains to specific mail servers. For example, you can have separate MX records for and, specifying different mail servers responsible for handling mail traffic related to sales and support activities.

Role of MX Records in Email Delivery Process

MX records are crucial for the proper routing of email messages. When you send an email, your email client or mail server communicates with a DNS server to resolve the MX records for the recipient’s domain. Once the appropriate mail server is determined, the sending server establishes a connection and delivers the message to the recipient’s mail server using the information provided by the MX records.

Without properly configured MX records, email delivery can fail or be delayed. Each email communication relies on the accurate and up-to-date configuration of MX records to ensure efficient and reliable delivery.

Preparing to Set Up MX Records for Subdomains

Before you can set up MX records for your subdomains, there are a few essential steps to complete. This section will guide you through the preparation process to ensure a smooth configuration process.

Choosing a DNS Provider

The first step in preparing to set up MX records for subdomains is selecting a reliable DNS provider. Your DNS provider is responsible for hosting your DNS records, including MX records. It’s crucial to choose a provider that offers a user-friendly interface and reliable infrastructure to ensure smooth DNS management.

When selecting a DNS provider, consider factors such as DNS propagation time, security features, and customer support. Evaluate different providers and choose one that meets your specific requirements.

Verifying Domain Ownership

Before configuring MX records for your subdomains, you need to verify domain ownership. This step ensures that you have the necessary permissions to manage DNS records for your domain.

The method for verifying domain ownership may vary depending on your DNS provider. Typically, you will need to follow their instructions for verifying ownership, such as adding a specific TXT record to your domain’s DNS configuration or updating the Whois information.

Identifying Subdomains to Set Up MX Records For

Once you have chosen a DNS provider and verified domain ownership, you need to identify the subdomains for which you want to set up MX records. Determine the subdomains that require separate email management or have different email routing requirements.

For example, if your organization has subdomains for different departments, such as sales and marketing, you might want to set up separate MX records for each subdomain to ensure efficient email delivery to department-specific mail servers.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up MX Records for Subdomains

Configuring MX records for subdomains requires access to your DNS management interface. This section provides a step-by-step guide to help you set up MX records for your subdomains effectively.

Accessing DNS Management Interface

1. Log in to your DNS provider’s website using your credentials. 2. Navigate to the DNS management section or similar area where you can edit DNS records.

Locating the Subdomain DNS Settings

Once you are in the DNS management interface, locate the DNS settings for the specific subdomain that you want to configure MX records for. This may require expanding the domain hierarchy and finding the relevant subdomain.

Adding MX Records for Subdomains

1. Click on the “Add Record” or similar button within the subdomain’s DNS settings. 2. Select the “MX” record type from the available options.

Priority and Weight Considerations

Specify the priority value for the MX record. The priority value determines the order in which the mail servers will be tried for delivery. A lower number indicates a higher priority. Ensure that you adjust the priority according to your email routing requirements and preferences.

Setting the Destination Server

Provide the destination server’s hostname or IP address in the MX record’s destination field. This should be the mail server responsible for handling email traffic for the specific subdomain.

Specifying TTL (Time-to-Live) Value

TTL represents the amount of time for which other DNS servers can cache the MX record. Set an appropriate TTL value based on your organization’s requirements and your DNS provider’s recommendations.

Verifying MX Record Configuration

Once you have added the MX records for your subdomains, it’s crucial to verify the configuration. Check that the MX records are accurately reflecting the desired routing and email management setup.

Testing and Troubleshooting MX Records for Subdomains

After setting up MX records for your subdomains, it’s essential to thoroughly test the email delivery process and promptly address any identified issues. This section covers testing procedures and common troubleshooting steps for MX records.

Testing Email Delivery on Subdomains

1. Send test emails to addresses within the subdomains you have configured MX records for. 2. Monitor delivery logs or use tools to check the email delivery to ensure it reaches the intended mail servers. 3. Verify that the emails are being routed to the correct subdomain mail servers.

Troubleshooting Common MX Record Issues

1. Invalid or Missing MX Records: Double-check that the MX records are correctly configured and have not been accidentally deleted or modified. Invalid or missing MX records can result in email delivery failures or delays. 2. Incorrect Priority or Weight Values: Ensure that the priority values of MX records are set appropriately to match your desired routing order. Incorrect priority values can lead to email delivery to the wrong mail servers. 3. Name Resolution Problems: If email delivery issues persist, check for any name resolution problems. Ensure that the DNS servers assigned to your domain are resolving correctly and that there are no conflicts or misconfigurations.

Best Practices for Managing MX Records for Subdomains

Managing MX records for subdomains requires ongoing attention to ensure optimal email delivery performance. Follow these best practices to improve your MX record management:

Regularly Reviewing and Updating MX Records

Periodically review your MX records to ensure they align with your organization’s email management requirements. Update MX records whenever there are changes in your email infrastructure or routing preferences.

Monitoring and Analyzing Email Delivery Performance

Implement monitoring and analytics tools to track email delivery performance. Regularly analyze the data to identify any delivery issues or patterns that may require attention. Monitoring enables you to address any configuration or routing problems before they significantly impact email communication.

Implementing Redundancy and Backup Options

To minimize the risk of email delivery disruptions, consider implementing redundancy and backup options for your MX records. Configure backup mail servers that can handle incoming emails in case the primary servers become temporarily unavailable.


In summary, setting up and managing MX records for subdomains is crucial for efficient email delivery within your organization. Understanding the role of MX records, following proper setup procedures, and regularly reviewing the configuration are essential for reliable email communication. By implementing best practices and promptly addressing any issues, you can ensure seamless email delivery and enhance overall productivity.

Properly configured MX records for subdomains provide the foundation for a robust email infrastructure, enabling smooth communication and collaboration across various departments and tasks. Stay informed about potential future developments and updates in MX record management to continually improve your email delivery processes.


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