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I have a few domains where I plan to take the VPS server that hosts the content offline.
I will be keeping the domains.
What is the general best practice regarding the DNS A records?
I'm assuming once I delete the VPS the hosting company will reassign the IP address of the VPS to another server, and if my domains DNS records are still pointing back to My old server, it might look like I am "hotlinking" My domains back to that old server!
Also out of consideration to the person taking over the IP address server I dont want them to have to deal with the constant bots probing My domains (although much of that traffic probably is directed straight at the IP address itself and not the domains - which I dont control).
Is there some kind of "proper" DNS entry you can assign for an A record when the domain doesnt have a webserver?

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I think that generally depends on how much you care about any value you have built up over the years.

If you want to preserve any value of the sites, then you do want to at least put up a place-holder website and handle incoming links. Keep in mind that removing your content will cost you a down-grade in future performance, but at least having the domain name resolve to a website and handling the inbound links should preserve some value.

I would especially recommend this if you intend to resurrect these domains or sell them.

Otherwise, it would be okay to delete the A record or have your registrar park the domain which may be better than no website at all. If you are just going to let the domain names expire, I would simply delete the A record and be done with it. Do not forget MX records and any PTR records. I have done this with the thought that the domains would just expire in time.

  • thanks, youve addressed some great points, yes I need to keep mx records on one domain, and one domain has a website that I considered keeping, but its a wordpress site subject to regular brute force attacks etc, and I think the effort to secure it and manage links outweighs any monetization value. At the time you posted your answer I had decided myself to delete the A records and see what happens. I just thought there may have been some official "proper" setting. e.g. I thought when I first purchased the domains, the A records pointed to the IP address of the company I purchased domain from – the_velour_fog May 16 '15 at 1:44
  • @user4668401 There are plenty of e-mail only domains. As well, I understand about WP. It is the most hacked software ever. But that is mostly because of popularity as well as plug-ins and themes from third parties. There may be another solution for your site. I have no idea about these software. As far as monetizing, it is really really hard to make money on the net, but it can be done. It takes more time than people realize to get established. As well, the topic has to be one that bidders are looking for and willing to pay to play. The site has to have good traffic too. – closetnoc May 16 '15 at 1:49
  • Im getting a bit off topic here, so will keep brief, I dont use wordpress anymore, one reason is, I have come to believe that -as a general philosophy - regarding security, you really need to think about and understand the general as well as the technical nature of the interactions with your site/server and wordpress obfuscates that process with complexity. the user 'Tim X' made a comment on the stackexchange security site that 70% of security problems are caused by misconfiguration, and Often it is better to have less sophisticated and correct than very sophisticated and wrong & I agree – the_velour_fog May 16 '15 at 3:22
  • @user4668401 Perfectly said! I wrote my own sorta CMS (not really). It is somewhat like a CMS in that it can do most of the same stuff, but that is actually by default. It is actually a relational HTML short-hand which can get pretty wild in what it can do. I recreated DMOZ with just one content file and 11 characters. The rest was all relationships between hierarchy and defined elements including HTML elements, content and content snippets. I did this with a flat file index database I wrote. I ran it on a RAQ3. Worked perfectly. It complements but does not replace the web as we know it. – closetnoc May 16 '15 at 3:32
  • wow, that's cool. so its kind of a language that defines relationships between the elements and then gets compiled back in to HTML? very creative and original. – the_velour_fog May 16 '15 at 4:18

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