How to Change Mail Exchange (MX) Records in WordPress

Email is still a critical part of doing business, whether you’re sending welcome messages to customers or internal memos to employees. For that reason, you may have considered moving to a more reliable email provider, such as Google Workspace or Microsoft Office 365. However, simply signing up for these services isn’t enough. 

To make full use of them, you’ll need to update your Mail Exchange (MX) records. These records are part of the Domain Name System (DNS), and tell devices on the internet where to route your email messages. Changing them is a fairly simple process, but it can seem complex if you’ve never done it before.

In this article, we’ll explore what MX records are and why you might need to change them. Then we’ll walk you through the process step by step. Let’s dive in!

Why Change MX Records?

The MX records for your site tell your email client where to route your messages. In most cases, you won’t need to worry about them too much. However, there are some specific situations when you might need to change or update them.

These scenarios include:

  • Switching email providers to a solution such as Google Workspace or Office 365 (instead of maintaining email hosting through your web host provider)
  • Changing to an SMTP or other type of email provider

In other words, you should only need to access or edit your MX records if you are changing email providers or rerouting your mail to another server. These situations do happen, however, and knowing how to change your records can make them go much more quickly and smoothly.

How to Change MX Records With Domain.com (In 3 Steps)

There are many different domain registrars, web hosts, and email providers on the market. The process of changing your MX records and the specific steps involved will vary based on who is handling your email hosting.

To give you an example of what this process generally looks like, however, we’re going to focus on Domain.com. This is one of the most popular domain registrars on the market, and is representative of how changing your MX records will work with most providers. Let’s take a look!

Step 1: Select Your Domain Name

The first thing you’ll need to do is log in to your Domain.com account. Then you can click on DNS & Nameservers in the sidebar.

If you have multiple domains registered, you’ll want to double-check that the correct one is selected at the top of the screen. Then you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Enter the New MX Record

Once you’re on the DNS & Nameservers screen, scroll down the page until you locate the MX records for your domain. These will be marked with an “MX” next to them. Click on the ‘more options’ symbol (three dots) next to the first record, and select the Edit option. 

In the window that pops up next, enter your new MX record into the Content box. You can also fill out the other fields as needed, using the information specified by your email provider.

Step 3: Update Your DNS Records

When you’ve entered all the information requested by your new provider, click on the Update DNS button. Then you can repeat the above process for any other MX records on your domain.

What to Expect After Changing Your MX Records

Keep in mind that once you’ve updated your MX records (or made any other tweaks to your DNS records), it can take up to 48 hours for those changes to take effect. During this time, you may experience some issues sending or receiving email. 

This is normal, and you shouldn’t worry about it until after those 48 hours have passed. If you’re still having problems after that, you can contact your hosting provider. This also means it’s a good idea to schedule your MX records update for a time when your email can safely be unavailable (such as during a weekend).

Create Your Best Site With WP Engine

Using a dedicated, secure, and powerful email provider can make operating your website or business much more pleasant and efficient. However, getting this service set up does require a few steps.

One of these steps is to update your MX records. These DNS records can be updated from most web hosts’ control panels, and the process is fairly straightforward:

  1. Select your domain name.
  2. Enter the new MX records, and any other fields required by your email provider.
  3. Update the DNS with your changes (this process can take up to 48 hours).

That takes care of email, but if you want to kick your entire site up a notch, WP Engine can help. We offer the best-dedicated WordPress hosting in the business, along with resources for users and developers of all levels!

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