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Understanding MX Records: Importance and Best Practices for Email Delivery and Security

5/13/20242 min read

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a beach at sunset with people walking on it

Understanding MX Records

MX records, short for Mail Exchange records, are DNS (Domain Name System) records that specify which mail server is responsible for handling incoming emails for a particular domain. In simpler terms, MX records are like signposts that tell email senders where to deliver their messages.

When you send an email to someone, your email client or service uses the recipient's domain name to look up the MX records associated with that domain. These records contain the information needed to route the email to the correct mail server.

Each MX record has a priority value associated with it. The lower the priority value, the higher the preference for that mail server. If the highest priority mail server is unreachable, the email will be sent to the next available server with a higher priority value.

Why MX Records Are Important for Email Delivery

Properly configured MX records are crucial for ensuring reliable email delivery. When you run a website and have a domain associated with it, you also need to set up MX records to receive emails sent to that domain.

If you don't have the correct MX records in place, incoming emails may not reach your mail server, resulting in undelivered messages and communication issues. By setting up the appropriate MX records, you can ensure that emails sent to your domain are correctly routed and delivered to your mail server.

How to Keep Your Email Safe When Running a Website

When you run a website, it's important to take steps to keep your email safe and secure. Here are some best practices to follow:

1. Use a Secure Email Provider

Choose a reputable email provider that offers robust security features, such as encryption, spam filtering, and virus scanning. This will help protect your email communications from unauthorized access and malicious threats.

2. Implement Strong Passwords

Use strong, unique passwords for your email accounts. Avoid using easily guessable passwords and consider using a password manager to securely store and generate complex passwords.

3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your email accounts. It requires you to provide a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your password when logging in.

4. Regularly Update and Patch Your Software

Keep your email client and server software up to date with the latest security patches. Software updates often include important security fixes that help protect against known vulnerabilities.

5. Be Cautious of Phishing Attempts

Be wary of suspicious emails that ask for personal information or contain unexpected attachments or links. Phishing emails are a common method used by attackers to gain unauthorized access to your email accounts.

6. Use Email Encryption

If you handle sensitive information via email, consider using email encryption. Encryption scrambles the contents of your email so that only the intended recipient can read it, adding an extra layer of protection.

7. Regularly Backup Your Emails

Regularly backup your email data to prevent loss in case of accidental deletion, hardware failure, or other unforeseen events. This ensures that you have a copy of your important emails stored securely.


When running a website, it's important to understand MX records and how they affect email delivery. By properly configuring your MX records and following best practices for email security, you can ensure that your email communications are safe and reliable.

Remember to choose a secure email provider, use strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, keep your software up to date, be cautious of phishing attempts, consider email encryption for sensitive information, and regularly backup your emails.

By implementing these measures, you can protect your email and maintain a secure online presence for your website.