Domains

Domain names are labels that identify networks and the systems attached to them. In hosting, you'll most often see domain names used in website URLs and email addresses.

Opalstack is not a domain registrar. Before you can use a domain with your Opalstack service you must first purchase and register the domain with an accredited registrar.

Pointing your domain at Opalstack

You can point your domain at Opalstack either by using Opalstack's name servers or by creating DNS records manually at your domain registrar.

Using Opalstack name servers

If you want your domain to be managed by Opalstack then you must configure it to use Opalstack's name servers. This is done by setting the NS records for the domain, usually via your domain registrar or by whoever currently manages the NS records for the domain.

ℹ️ Note

You can create DNS records for your domain at Opalstack prior to changing your NS records - however, they will not be live DNS records until the NS is changed.

At the time of this writing Opalstack provides 3 regional sets of name servers:

  • US
    • ns1.us.opalstack.com
    • ns2.us.opalstack.com
    • ns3.us.opalstack.com
  • Europe
    • ns1.de.opalstack.com
    • ns2.de.opalstack.com
    • ns3.de.opalstack.com
  • Singapore
    • ns1.sg.opalstack.com
    • ns2.sg.opalstack.com
    • ns3.sg.opalstack.com

To set the NS for your domain:

  1. Add your domain to your Opalstack dashboard.

  2. Choose the NS region that is closest to the majority of your site visitors. Do not mix regions.

  3. Log in to your domain registrar or NS provider website and follow their instructions to set the NS for your domain.

Using External Name Servers

If your domain uses external name servers then you'll need to create several DNS records to use the domain with your Opalstack service. The records you'll need to create are detailed below. Please consult your external service's documentation for instructions on how to create the records.

Records for your website

If you want Opalstack to serve the website for your external domain then you must create an A record to point your domain and subdomains to your Opalstack server IP address. The IP addresses for your Opalstack servers can be found on the dashboard.

Records for your email

If you want Opalstack to manage the email for your external domain then you must create several different DNS records:

  1. You must create 2 MX records to point mail delivery at Opalstack. Opalstack's MX servers are:

    • US
      • mx1.us.opalstack.com
      • mx2.us.opalstack.com
    • Europe
      • mx1.de.opalstack.com
      • mx2.de.opalstack.com

    Choose the region closest to you. Do not mix regions.

  2. If you are sending mail for your external domain via Opalstack SMTP or webmail then you must create 3 TXT records to ensure that your mail is trusted by other mail servers:

    • TXT record for DKIM:

      • Host: dkim._domainkey.domain.com (replace domain.com with your domain name)
      • Type: TXT
      • Content: your domain's public DKIM key. You can get the key value by clicking the key icon for your domain in the domain list.
      • Priority: your provider's default
      • TTL: your provider's default
    • TXT record for SPF:

      • Host: domain.com (replace domain.com with your domain name)
      • Type: TXT
      • Content: v=spf1 include:spf.opalstack.com ~all
      • Priority: your provider's default
      • TTL: your provider's default
    • TXT record for DMARC:

      • Host: _dmarc.domain.com (replace domain.com with your domain name)
      • Type: TXT
      • Content: v=DMARC1; p=none
      • Priority: your provider's default
      • TTL: your provider's default

Adding Domains

  1. Click on Domains in the dashboard sidebar.

  2. Click the button labeled "Add Your Domain" in the upper-right corner of the content area. A form will appear.

  3. Click the purple "Add Domain or Sub-Domain" button in the form.

  4. Enter the full domain name (eg "domain.com") or subdomain (eg "www.domain.com") name that you want to add.

  5. If you want to add more domains or subdomains, click the purple "Add Domain or Sub-Domain" button in the form.

    ℹ️ Note

    Be sure to add all of the subdomains that you plan to use! For example, if you want to serve your site from a "www" subdomain, then be sure to add that as it is not generated automatically.

  6. When you are finished adding domains, click the green "Add Your Domain" button on the form. A new entry for the domain will appear in orange in the top half of the page while the domain is being added. When the domain is ready its color will change to dark blue.

Deleting Domains

  1. Click on Domains in the dashboard sidebar.

  2. Click the checkbox next to the domain (or domains) that you want to delete.

  3. Once a domain is selected, a red delete button will appear. Click the red button.

  4. A confirmation prompt will appear. Click the red button to confirm the operation, or click the cancel button to cancel it.

  5. After you delete the domain it wil turn red while the operation is pending, and will disappear a few seconds later when the operation is complete.

DNS Records

Opalstack provides name servers and a managed DNS system that allows you to manage the various DNS records for your domain.

Adding DNS Records Automatically

Opalstack generates the following types of DNS records automatically for every domain or subdomain that you add to your account:

  • Local NS records pointing to Opalstack's name servers.
  • An A record pointing to your Opalstack web server IP.
  • MX records pointing to Opalstack's MX servers.
  • TXT records for DKIM verification.
  • TXT records for domain verification by the Let's Encrypt service (for domains attached to sites that use Opalstack's managed Let's Encrypt SSL certificates).

These automatically-generated records do not appear in the dashboard. You can override them by creating manual DNS records as described below.

Adding DNS Records Manually

  1. Click on Domains in the dashboard sidebar.

  2. Add your domain if you've not done so already.

    ℹ️ Note

    The domain you add here should match the DNS host name for the DNS record that you need to create.

    For example, if you need to create a TXT record for "google._domainkey.domain.com" then you would add "google._domainkey.domain.com" as a new domain.

  3. Click the edit icon (a pencil) which appears to the right of your domain's name.

  4. Click the button labeled "Add DNS Record" in the upper-right corner of the content area.

  5. From the Type list, select the record type that you want to create. The record types that we currently support are:

    • A records: A records are used to point a domain or subdomain at an IPv4 address.
    • AAAA records: AAAA records are used to point a domain or subdomain at an IPv6 address.
    • CNAME records: CNAME records are used to make a subdomain an alias of another domain or subdomain. Please note that CNAME records have the following restrictions:
      • CNAME records can only be created for subdomains, and not for bare domains.
      • A subdomain for which a CNAME has been created cannot have other DNS records.
    • MX records: MX records are used to specify the mail exchanger servers that receive mail sent to your domain or subdomain.
    • SRV records: SRV records are used to define ports used by your domain for certain network services. Please note:
      • SRV records can be created only for subdomains in the form of _service._protocol.domain.com so be sure to add that subdomain before you attempt to create the SRV record.
      • For example, if you wanted to create a SRV record for the XMPP (Jabber) server for your domain, you would need to create the subdomain _xmpp-server._tcp.yourdomain.com.
    • TXT records: TXT records are used to publish arbitrary information about your domain. They are commonly used for verifying email senders (SPF) and for verifying domain ownership.
  6. In the Content field, enter the record content.

    • For A and AAAA records, use the IPv4 or IPv6 address to which you are pointing your domain.
    • For CNAME records, enter the target hostname.
    • For MX records, enter the MX server hostname.
    • For SRV records, enter the record weight, port, and service host, separated by spaces. For example: 10 5222 xmpp.somedomain.com
    • For TXT records, enter the desired content for the TXT record.
  7. In the Priority field (if visible), enter the priority for the DNS record. The priority is used to determine the order in which records are applied in cases when there are multiple records of the same type (common with MX records).

  8. In the TTL (time-to-live) field (if visible), enter the TTL for the record. TTL is the length of time in seconds that DNS resolvers should cache their DNS lookups for that record.

  9. Click the green "Add DNS Record" to save the new record, or click Cancel to discard it.

Deleting manual DNS records

  1. Click on Domains in the dashboard sidebar.

  2. Click the edit icon (a pencil) which appears to the right of your domain's name.

  3. Click the checkbox next to the DNS record (or DNS record) that you want to delete.

  4. Once the DNS record is selected, a red delete button will appear. Click the red button.

  5. A confirmation prompt will appear. Click the red button to complete the operation, or click the cancel button to cancel it.

Editing manual DNS records

At this time manual DNS records cannot be edited via the dashboard. If you need to change an existing manual DNS record then either delete the record and recreate it, or contact Opalstack Support for assistance.

Free opalstacked.com Subdomains

Every Opalstack hosting account includes a free subdomain that you can use to test the service or even to host your own sites.

The free subdomains use your Opalstack account name as the subdomain of the domain "opalstacked.com". For example, if your account name is "mycompany" then your free subdomain is "mycompany.opalstacked.com".

You cannot create additional opalstacked.com subdomains, like "mycompany2.opalstacked.com - however, you can create multiple levels of subdomains of your free subdomain, like "sub1.mycompany.opalstacked.com".

You cannot delete your free opalstacked.com subdomain.