Ever been stuck in a situation where you cannot remember what your last DNS* information was? This may happen while migrating a site from one hosting provider to another, a domain from one registrar to another**, or any of the possible playing around you could find yourself doing with your DNS.
You may easily remember your CNAME records, but trying to find what your SOA, NS, A, AAA, MX, or TXT records*** were in the past can be a tricky exercise unless you are familiar with some really cool tools online like DNSTrails. I just used this tool a few minutes ago and it saved me from a lot of frustration as I wanted to temporarily revert my DNS records to what I just had deleted from my domain registrar.
I am sure there other tools out there, but this one just served me well, so I thought to share the insight with you!
Oh, also, if you ever want to temporarily make your computer point to a specific DNS setting for a specific domain, here are some useful resources:
- The Host File Trick on Mac and PC by WPEngine
- Editing the Host File on Mac OS X Leopard by WordPress
Finally, just for the sake of completion. Another site I really like is MX Toolbox, this online tool will help you check the propagation status of your DNS, MX, and other Records.
*DNS means Domain Name System
** Yep! That is actually possible! Just ask your current registrar how to migrate your domain
*** CNAME stands for canonical name and serves to make a domain an alias of another domain, MX stands for mail exchange and lists the mail servers that are to be used for a domain, NS stands for name server and tells which Name Server is authoritative for a given domain, SOA stands for State Of Authority and keeps up with when the domain was last updated and other similar information, A stands for address and is the IP of a given domain, AAAA is an IPv6 address records corresponding to a 128-bit IPv6 address while other addresses are mapped for 32-bit IPv4 addresses, TXT is a way for the domain administrator to enter any text into the DNS record. More on this at PCNames.