Frustrated - Need Help


#1

I have spent hours trying to figure out why I cannot receive emails. In short, here are the facts: I have a domain name (riverafirm.com) through GoDaddy. I created a website using Wix.com. My hosting is to be managed by DreamHost, as well as my emails. My website is up which means my name servers are correct. I can send emails out using Outlook or Windows Live, but I CANNOT receive any emails and I don’t know why. I have the IMAP and STMP settings at sub4.mail.dreamhost.com. I’ve tried to use my domain’s name but it never works. Can anyone tell me what I need to do? I need to get my email up and running by Monday. Thank you! -Vic


#2

Your DNS appears to be pointed to wix. Your mx record doesn’t look correct to me. See here for how to determine what your MX record should be. (the bottom section titled “Finding MX records for regular DreamHost mail service” is what’s pertinent to you, depending on screen size that may start in the middle of the page) It’s likely not sub4.mail.dreamhost.com which is the hostname you SHOULD be using to configure IMAP, it’s not what you should be using for an mx record tho.

Standard DNS Speel: TTL on your mx record is currently 4 hours. After you make your change your mail will take 4 to 8 hours to start rolling in and maybe a little longer from some parts of the world.


#3

Thanks but I’ve tried that. I have used the following MX values inside both GoDaddy and Wix:

sub4.mail.dreamhost.com;

mx1.sub4.homie.mail.dreamhost.com; and

mail.riverfirm.com.

I have found different DreamHost Wiki pages saying different things. I’m new to DreamHost and not happy so far. It shouldn’t be this hard.

Thanks for your help!

Vic


#4

Just remember this part:

The problem likely is that you are giving up too soon, and making a new “try” before the last try had a chance to start working.

You take the blame for making it difficult.

Consider these two alternatives:

  1. dreamhost as the registrar and host, all services pointing to dreamhost. DNS entries are all created for you, no chance of guessing wrong.
  2. Registrar services at go-daddy, mail hosting at dreamhost, and web hosting at wix, with DNS services provided by wix.

Option 1 makes it easy and fairly “plug-n-play”. Dreamhost does all the heavy lifting and generates all the DNS entries for you.

Option 2 is about as advanced as you can make it. Toss in that you don’t fully understand how things work… i.e. What each type of record does, and how DNS propagates and how long that takes. Add in that you don’t even know whose interface your MX record should be updated, “I have used the following MX values inside both GoDaddy and Wix”. Add in that you say “My hosting is to be managed by DreamHost, as well as my emails.” when we look up DNS records tho your “hosting” and “DNS” is actually managed by wix, in fact it appears you are ONLY using dreamhost for email.

So you sir are the one that’s making things difficult for yourself. I agree that dreamhost’s wiki is not the best, but are you sure you are reading conflicting information, or are you merely confused reading words were you don’t understand the full meaning? Then getting frustrating and making changes again before the last changes had time to “propagate” or take effect. After all how hard could this be?

To be honest I see more trouble ahead with the choices you’ve made. As one of the oldest internet services, email also has the most complicated DNS. You need entries to direct inbound email (mx), you need hostsnames to check mail both with a client and webmail (if you desire webmail), this is all before we even get to SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and domainkey records that help prevent spam (both inbound and outbound). The later 2 categories have complicated record structure where just one slip of a semicolon or space might make the record invalid. Contrary to a broken MX record you might not realize that the missing space in one record is effecting email SENT out to only a portion of the internet (meaning email sent to some hosts will be happily accepted, where email sent to others will be promptly forwarded to outer space and never seen again.) These things are NOT dreamhost issues, it’s the same story with any email host… i.e. complicated DNS for email.

How can you make it better? Use dreamhost to manage your DNS. Then dreamhost automatically can update the complicated mess of DNS records associated with email. The records you would need to add to dreamhost to point WEB services over to wix are much less complicated and simplier to manage yourself. If you wanted to make this change, you would first want to enter the wix specific A and/or CNAME records at dreamhost, then you would log in to godaddy and change the nameservers to ns1.dreamhost.com, ns2.dreamhost.com, ns3.dreamhost.com. Allow time to propagate and all systems should be go.


#5

Thanks LakeRat! I’m going to transfer the domain name to DreamHost, I just hate that it can take a week and worried that in the meantime, my website may go down since DreamHost wants me to point the Name Servers to DreamHost instead of Wix. You’ve been a great help!


#6

Actually that last sentence is a bit of trouble. I’m talking oranges and you’re talking limes.

Transferring the domain should be last on your list of priorities. That can be done anytime. That’s where you say to one registrar “I’m not going to pay you my annual fee anymore Mr. godaddy, transfer my domain over to dreamhost, I want to pay my yearly renewal to them instead of you”. Like I said above, this can be done anytime, and doesn’t cause an interruption along the way when it is done.

Changing the nameservers is what I said, and that’s what might cause a brief outage, if you do it backwards. To avoid that, first add A and/or CNAME records to the dreamhost panel for wix, THEN log into godaddy and change the nameservers to dreamhosts. Since you’ve already added the wix specifc records on the dreamhost side, when the nameserver change does take effect it shouldn’t make any difference.

What does changing the nameservers mean? The “nameservers” state who has the official addresses of record or “Authoritative Answers” for your domain. Right now you have told godaddy that wix is in charge. Why? because that’s what wix tells you to do to get your domain working over there. It’s fast and requires the least amount of headache for them to get you up and running. Problem is… now you have to manually manage (copy) all those (6-8) DNS records related to email from dreamhost to wix. (and some of those have ugly keys in them that could get messed up easily along the way).

You could instead tell godaddy that dreamhost is in charge. The DNS records to point web services over to wix are simpler and easier to maintain manually, so it would be better to put dreamhost in charge of the DNS (for the email records that will be automatically generated) and manually maintain the wix records at dreamhost.