A great way to automate your account creation if you use Google Apps (or equivalent) services would be to modify your WHM zone templates. If you manage your own hosting like Artform, it can save atleast 15 minutes in setup time. To access this section, you’ll need to have a reseller hosting account with Artform or your own WHM enabled account. Similar options are available with Plesk and Webmin, but we’ll still to WHM here.

To access the editor in the screenshot below, do the following:

  1. Log into your WHM account
  2. Either search for “Zone Templates” OR
    Select DNS Functions -> Edit Zone Templates from the left-hand menu
  3. Click on a template to edit (you should may have a couple so choose the standard one)
  4. Add the code to the end of the template (code is below the screenshot)

DNS Zone Template editor in WHM

; CNAME Entries
mail	%ttl%	IN	CNAME	ghs.google.com
pop	%ttl%	IN	CNAME	ghs.google.com
smtp	%ttl%	IN	CNAME	ghs.google.com
calander %ttl%	IN	CNAME	ghs.google.com
docs	%ttl%	IN	CNAME	ghs.google.com
sites	%ttl%	IN	CNAME	ghs.google.com

; MX Records
%domain%.	%ttl%	IN	MX	0	ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
%domain%.	%ttl%	IN	MX	10	ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
%domain%.	%ttl%	IN	MX	20	ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
%domain%.	%ttl%	IN	MX	30	ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM
%domain%.	%ttl%	IN	MX	40	ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM

; TXT Records
%domain%.	%ttl%	IN	TXT	"v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all"

So what do these entries mean?

  • CNAME entries allow you to access your services using easy URLS such as mail.domain.com – these must be specified when you are creating or managing your Google Apps account.
  • MX records are used to specify which mail server are to be used. Google provides you with several for added stability.
  • The TXT records we are adding are used to tell everyone that Google is allow to send email on your domains behalf and should not be marked as spam. If you use a email newsletter service, they often provide you with a TXT record to add to your domain’s DNS record.

Once you’ve completed all of the steps, you’re ready to have Google Apps integrated with all your future domains!

 

Go any other entries you use for automate your DNS templates? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!