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At the moment I have example.com that my colleague bought from GoDaddy which was first purchased via Google Work. The purchase did not include a hosting plan. We do not plan to host our website on GoDaddy since we have a less expensive option using another host.

We still want to keep the Google Work services, and the domain in GoDaddy. However, we are trying to point the address to the new hosting. I have minimal understanding of DNS & its records, so please correct me if I am wrong.

At the moment the A record for example.com has the following records:
1. 50.xx.xx.xx
2. 216.239.32-38.21 which is from Google.

These are the following actions that I have taken to address this:
1. Add the hosting's IP to the A record
2. Edit CNAME record for www to example.com (it was previously @)

Now, the changes do not seem to do anything, when I try to access example.com it still redirects to Google's 404 page (the same as before the changes). I realize DNS changes may take up to 12-48 hours, but since I am not 100% confident in what I am doing I might as well ask the community if this is correct.

Question:
1. Am I doing this right? What additional steps do I need to do? Is it okay to keep those Google A records? Do I need to remove anything?
2. Is @ the same thing as example.com?

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I think you probably have too many A records. I can see why you did that though, after reading Google's DNS example configuration which uses multiple 216.239.XX.XX addresses.

The simplest explanation is that DNS 'A' records are for pointing at your website only and DNS MX records are for pointing at email servers only. You'll probably want a CNAME too but one step at a time.

If you are certain you want your site hosted at GoDaddy then use whichever IP addresses GoDaddy has provided. Start at their help page here: https://www.godaddy.com/help/manage-dns-for-your-hosting-account-5178.

After that, delete all A records pointing at Google. You don't need them. You do need the MX records pointing at Google for email to continue working so leave those alone.

For the (optional) CNAME, decide if you want to use 'www.example.com' or just 'example.com'. If you prefer the shorter version without www then set a CNAME record for www pointing at example.com. You can't use CNAMEs for the base domain but if you want to redirect example.com to www.example.com you can set an A record for example.com and point it at 174.129.25.170, which is wwwizer's free redirect. Many hosts will have their own internal way of handling www and domain redirects for domains hosted with them so check with GoDaddy first as they may offer a much simpler solution.

Your last question "Is @ the same thing as mydomain.com" is most likely a yes. Different DNS hosts will sometimes use different characters to indicate the 'zone apex' (example.com) and for many the default is the '@' character.

You might also try checking your domain with http://www.intodns.com/ which can provide feedback, but it may just confuse you more. Post an update to your question if you get stuck.

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  • rather than relying on a 3rd party for the base domain redirect to www, you can do it in .htaccess, but that is for another question – Steve Jan 2 '16 at 22:21

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