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Adding an SPF Record to a Domain

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SPF, or "Sender Policy Framework," is a DNS record that can help fend off spam and keep your email address from being used as a cover for spam. Spammers sometimes try to fake the from and reply addresses on emails to make it look like it comes from a reputable address. You can discourage this practice by adding an SPF record. Your SPF record lists all servers that might validly send mail for your domain name. This allows email recipients to verify that a message came from a valid server. 

There are two methods for adding SPF records in your Account Control Center. There is an easy method that uses a pre-configured SPF record and a more advanced method that allows you to create your own customized SPF record. You can find both tutorials below: 

Adding an SPF Record to Your Domain (Beginner)

If you want to use the power of SPF, but aren't very familiar with the aspects of an SPF record, you can use our pre-configured SPF record. 

The pre-configured SPF record is designed based on your account type and our email server configuration. The majority of customers will be able to use this pre-configured SPF record with no problem. However, if you have third-party software installed on your account, you may want to opt for a customized SPF record to ensure compatibility. 

Pre-configured SPF records may change without notice due to account or email server changes. 

Turning On the Pre-configured SPF Record

To turn on the pre-configured SPF record on your domain, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Account Control Center (ACC)
  2. In the left sidebar, click Domains, then select Manage Your Domain Names from the drop-downmanaged domain names image
  3. Click the name of the domain you want the SPF record added todomains image
  4. On the Manage Domain page, find the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) section and click Change SPF Settingschange spf button image
    The next page will display the pre-configured SPF record. 
  5. To activate it, click the Activate SPF buttonactivate image

This will turn the SPF record on. 

Turning Off the Pre-configured SPF Record

To turn off the pre-configured SPF record on your domain, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Account Control Center (ACC)
  2. In the left sidebar, click Domains, then select Manage Your Domain Names from the drop-downmanaged domain names image
  3. Click the name of the domain you want the SPF record added todomains image
  4. On the Manage Domain page, find the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) section and click Change SPF Settingschange spf button image
  5. Click the Deactivate SPF buttondeactivate button image

SPF Failure Option: Hard Fail or Soft Fail

On the Configure Default SPF Record page, there is a button to change the SPF record to use hard fail or soft fail. These two options are called "qualifiers" and determine how strict your SPF record is on emails that fail to pass the SPF check. Here's the difference: 

Hard Fail

If an SPF record uses a hard fail, the recipients will reject any email from hosts that aren't listed in the SPF record. This means that the email will never be fully delivered and cannot be retrieved by the recipient.

Soft Fail

If an SPF record uses soft fail, then failing emails will still be delivered, but could be considered junk mail by the recipient.

Generally, soft fail is the preferred option because it is more lenient, while still defending against spam and email spoofing.

Adding a Customized SPF Record to a Domain (Advanced)

  1.  Log in to the Account Control Center (ACC)
  2.  Click Domains
  3. Click Manage Your Domain Names managed domain names image
  4.  Click the domain name that you want to put an SPF record ondomains image
  5.  Click Manage Custom DNS Recordsmanage custom dns image
  6.  Click Add DNS Recordsadd dns record button image
  7.  Next to Type Of Record, click the drop-down and select TXTtx record image
  8. Click Proceed
  9.  Next to Hostname, you may either enter a specific hostname or leave the field empty to create the SPF for the entire domain

    The hostname will be a subdomain of the main domain, such as ns1.example.com.

    create record image
  10. Next to Text Record, enter the SPF record. See an example of what this might look like below
  11. Click Create Record
SPF syntax breakdown image
SPF Syntax Breakdown. See What is an SPF Record? for more details.

 

Updated on May 21, 2020

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