When it comes to managing a website or an online service, understanding the Domain Name System (DNS) is crucial. However, many people make common DNS mistakes that can lead to various issues, including downtime and misrouting of traffic. One such mistake involves adding double A records for both the www and non-www versions of a domain.


What Are A Records?

A records, or Address records, are DNS records that map a domain name to its corresponding IP address. They are used to point domain names to specific servers or IP addresses where the website or service is hosted.


Common Mistake: Adding Double A Records

One of the common mistakes people make is adding duplicate A records for both the www and non-www versions of their domain. For example, they might add an A record for "example.com" pointing to one IP address, and another A record for "www.example.com" pointing to a different IP address.


Why It's a Problem

Having double A records for www and non-www versions of a domain can lead to inconsistency and confusion in DNS resolution. When a user tries to access the website, the DNS resolver may return different IP addresses depending on whether they use the www prefix or not. This can result in erratic behavior, such as the website loading improperly or not loading at all.

How to Fix It

The recommended approach is to choose either the www or non-www version of your domain as the canonical version and then redirect traffic from the other version to the canonical one. This can be done using a simple DNS configuration or by setting up redirects at the web server level.

For example, if you decide to use the www version as the canonical version, you should have only one A record pointing to the IP address of your website. Then, set up a redirect from the non-www version to the www version using either DNS settings or web server configuration.


Conclusion

Understanding DNS and avoiding common mistakes like adding double A records can help ensure the smooth operation of your website or online service. By maintaining a clean and consistent DNS configuration, you can improve reliability and provide a better user experience for your visitors.

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