Understanding the CNAME record

The topic of our article today is the purpose of the CNAME record. We will discover today why it is essential and how to check it. So, don’t waste any more time, and start this adventure.

CNAME record – Definition

The name of the CNAME has two components. The letter C stands for canonical, and it indicates which domain name is the true one for the one you’re trying to resolve. The NAME is self-evident. Name, as in hostname, is what it stands for.

The CNAME record’s function is to point one hostname to another. So, you can use the domain name to point to different subdomains. You won’t need to create any other records for the subdomain as that will instantly refer to the domain name.


A canonical name record is a simple text file. It has a few lines inside:

  • Host – the current hostname. 
  • Type – CNAME record
  • Points to – Here is where the actual canonical name is set. You can point to numerous CNAME records from different subdomains if you like. They’re all pointing to the right one.
  • TTL – time-to-live value

Where can you use the CNAME record?

The CNAME record allows you to point many hosts (subdomains) to a single domain name (canonical). You can manage DNS records from the canonical host, and all other hosts that point to it will receive the most recent update.

It’s quick and straightforward!

Consider what would happen if the host’s IP address changes. You don’t want to fix each subdomain by hand. Instead, if CNAME records exist, they will point to the host; you will receive a result for the host, which will be an updated A or AAAA record, and you will be able to proceed without experiencing any delays or problems.

How to check it?

If you wish to check and see your CNAME records, we have a few commands that will assist you with this simple process.

  • Dig command

$ dig CNAME info.example.com

  • Nslookup command

$ nslookup -type=CNAME info.example.com

  • Host command

$ host info.example.com

CNAME Records and Redirects: Maximizing 301 and 302 Redirection

CNAME records and redirects are crucial for efficient website management. With CNAME records, you can redirect traffic from one domain to another, while 301 and 302 redirects offer different redirection options. A 301 redirect is permanent and commonly used for domain changes, while a 302 redirect is temporary and ideal for maintenance or temporary unavailability. Understanding and implementing these redirects optimize search rankings and enhance user experience.

Suggested article: What are 301 and 302 Redirects and how to use them?


Let’s review. Canonical Name Record is the full name of the CNAME record. It serves a particular purpose: to define one domain name as just another way to get the primary hostname. In addition, it’s really easy to check it dependent on the Operating System (Windows, Linux, macOS, etc.) that you are using. So, it’s worth giving it a chance. 

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