EasyDNS Verification Tips

by Tim Isbell

If you are using EasyDNS you may find my own experience somewhat helpful.  I'll document it here as best I can.

Set up your MX records

(If you choose a Google partner (GoDaddy) for your DNS host during the Google Apps setup process your MX records are set up automatically).

You need to set up some tables in your EasyDNS account.  So, open the EasyDNS website and click on Manage>Domains, which takes you to Domain Administration.  Browse around and select the domain you want to activate, click Manage.  Now look in the left hand column and click on DNS Settings, go to Zone Information.  There are several subsections of this screen.  The screen shot shows the top few subsections from my account.

In order to set up emails for you and your group members you must set up MX records.  A mail exchanger record (MX record) identifies which Google mail servers are responsible for processing email messages directed there from EasyDNS.  It includes a prioritization number to tell which server the system tries first, second, third, etc.  You can find the Google servers at Configure email delivery - Google Apps mail servers.  The screen shot below is from my table at EasyDNS.

The Zone Information screen is a dashboard, not an input screen.  Click on the little wrench icon to the right to go to the Edit MX Records screen.  Insert the in the data you got from Google.

The screen-shot below shows the form where you input data.  Your HOST column will probably be very similar to mine.  Your MAIL SERVER column might be a little different, depending on what servers Google makes available to you.

After you fill in the MX Records, be sure to go to the bottom of that page and click Next.  Then on the following page click Confirm.  You may have to do these one at a time, cycling around this little loop until you get all the MX records inputted.

Your MX Records are complete, so let's... 

Set up the CNAME records

Here are 2 helpful descriptions of how to map your site to your domain name.  One is the Google Sites Help file: Mapping your site to your own URL.  The other is from Steegle: How Do I Change My Site's Address (URL) to My Domain Name?  It's currently the third item on this FAQ list.  Steegle's site also points to a link by Cloud, which is helpful.

Earlier in this web page I wrote about CNAME and TXT verification.  A key part of connecting your site's domain name with your Google App account is getting a verification code from Google Apps to put into the EasyDNS website.  You can do this at the same time you set up your CNAME records.

Go back to the EasyDNS Zone Information dashboard.  Scroll down to the section labeled something like "aliases CNAME records" (highlighted in yellow in the screen-shot below).  Once you set these CNAME records up any person in your group can go to any browser and just type in mail@<yourdomainname>.xxx and access their email.  Ditto with the other applications.  It's much easier than remembering the underlying URL.

Notice that one entry in the ADDRESS column is different from the others (it does not have the "ghs." at the front).  This is the one holding the CNAME verification code you got back in the Google Apps account setup process.  I've blurred mine out, but you can see enough to get the idea.  Once your site is verified you can remove this CNAME record (obviously I haven't done this yet).

Just as before, you have to click the wrench icon to go to the Edit CNAME screen.

In the Edit CNAME Records screen-shot below, take a close look in the ADDRESS column.  Notice what you might think is an erroneous extra dot at the end of each line. It's not extraneous, you need to add that dot your form, too. The yellow highlighted box in the HOST column is where you insert the CNAME verification code that you got from Google Apps setup process.

Once you fill in this chart, Continue to the next page and Confirm it there. It may take a few hours (maybe as long as 48 hours, but for me it has only really taken 2-3 hours) for verification to complete between your DNS Server subscription at EasyDNS and your Google Apps account.

You'll edit this CNAME Records form again if you ever decide to set up sub-domains. For example, in my domain: isbellonline.org I wanted to set up a second site for Math Coaching (a sideline of mine). I decided that a suitable domain name for this site was: mathcoaching.isbellonline.org. So I inserted "mathcoaching" into the left hand column on the Easy DNS form so that when anyone typed mathcoaching.isbellonline.org into their browser, EasyDNS would sent it over to my Google Apps account. Then in my Google Apps Administrator Dashboard (> Settings > Sites > Web Address Mapping> I added the information to direct this query to my Math Coaching website.

Later on I decided I'd also like a simpler url to go to my math coaching, so I repeated the process by adding another entry to my CNAME Record file of: mc. The, of course, I needed to update my Google Apps Admin Dashboard with the same info.

Here's a tip for only those readers using EasyDNS. In order to use TXT verification method with EasyDNS you may need change a preference (otherwise this option is hidden) in the EasyDNS website. Go to the EasyDNS site's left column, select Preferences, then scroll down until you see Show Advanced DNS records option, and click Yes. You should now see how to insert your TXT verification code into your EasyDNS screen.

You'll know you have connection when you can open up a fresh browser window, type "www.<yourdomainname>.xxx " (or .com, .net, etc.) and see your site!