Website hosting only for a domain, and NOT dns or email?

0884094

Member
Nov 14, 2013
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Root Administrator
Hi friends, my customers use cPanel to run WordPress on subdomains of my main domain, so https://[bob].example.com. This works great. We don't need/use DNS or email.

Some customers want to take their own pre-existing domain "www.example.net" and map it onto the top of the cPanel/WordPress instance I've given them.

When I set this up in cPanel -- either as a Parked Domain, Addon Domain, or Alias -- cPanel decides that is the DNS authority for example.net (it's not!) and creates a full DNS zone file. For the most part we can all just ignore this *except* when WordPress wants to send an email to [email protected]... now cPanel's mail server locally delivers it to some unmonitored garbage account.

Is there really no way to configure cPanel to answer on a particular hostname without creating a bunch of unwanted DNS records? (It should be just one line in the httpd conf files right?) In an ideal world I would like that httpd conf file line but I'd also like to take advantage of the AutoSSL feature too.

If cPanel internally requires zone files to be created, then I guess I could park the remote domain on my cPanel and then lookup the real MX records and replicate them in cPanel's DNS, and even do a nightly job to keep these in sync... would that be the most practical way forward?

If there's some conf file of remote domains that will allow cPanel to mostly work but not actually create the DNS zone files, that would be really helpful. I only have about 10 of these customers and I'm ok setting things up manually for them, but right now the lack of email from their WordPress instances is a big problem & they may leave because of it.
 
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cPanelLauren

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Nov 14, 2017
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Hi @0884094

For the most part we can all just ignore this *except* when WordPress wants to send an email to [email protected]... now cPanel's mail server locally delivers it to some unmonitored garbage account.
Is there really no way to configure cPanel to answer on a particular hostname without creating a bunch of unwanted DNS records? (It should be just one line in the httpd conf files right?) In an ideal world I would like that httpd conf file line but I'd also like to take advantage of the AutoSSL feature too.
Yes! There is, while some DNS records are required you can modify the templates if you find that you ALWAYS create records that are the same by going to WHM>>DNS Functions>>Edit Zone Templates

You can also remove unwanted portions of DNS records through the DNS Zone Editor in either WHM or if the cPanel account has access through cPanel.

If cPanel internally requires zone files to be created, then I guess I could park the remote domain on my cPanel and then lookup the real MX records and replicate them in cPanel's DNS, and even do a nightly job to keep these in sync... would that be the most practical way forward?
There are some even if cPanel is not authoritative which need to be created, though I don't think this is necessary. If this is configured properly you shouldn't need to go through all that.

If there's some conf file of remote domains that will allow cPanel to mostly work but not actually create the DNS zone files, that would be really helpful. I only have about 10 of these customers and I'm ok setting things up manually for them, but right now the lack of email from their WordPress instances is a big problem & they may leave because of it.
Generally speaking when you create a domain a zone file is also created, we also set the mail routing. If you look at WHM>>DNS Functions>>Edit DNS Zone near the very bottom there is a section for this.

Email Routing for “yourdomain.com” (The domain is owned by “youruser”).
Automatically Detect Configuration: Local (recommended)
Local Mail Exchanger
Backup Mail Exchanger
Remote Mail Exchanger
The current setting is shown in bold.
This is also manageable through cPanel by going to cPanel>>Email>>Email Routing
 

0884094

Member
Nov 14, 2013
15
6
53
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Just as a follow-up on this... email is now working for this customer of ours. I edited their zone file to explicitly list the Google GSuite SMTP servers, and saved, confirming that "REMOTE" was auto-detected as the mail exchanger.

I've also advised that they email TO/FROM email addresses other than @example.com, since FROM @example.com can be blocked by SPF/DMARC and TO @example.com can be blocked by the cPanel MX confusion. However it seems that things are working for this customer just with the MX changes I made. (I'd already made those changes earlier and they didn't seem to kick in right away, but things started working later after I reset them again. I also disabled Default Address => delivery to system account on example.com.)
 
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