Email server + virtual hosting on same domain - different servers

Posted on 2004-09-08
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Is it possible to register a domain name (i.e. and then have a company virtual host our website ( AND host an email server IN HOUSE with that same domain name (i.e.  Before I go messing with MX records and resolving IP addresses I'd like to get a handle on whether this is feasible or not.  Currently we are running SBS 2003 Premium Edition hosting our own site and email server as well as file and print sharing.  I'd like to get the website hosted off site for better security (and less of the headache), but would like to retain email serving capabilities.  I don't really know what sort of setting would be correct to accomplish this.  Here's our current domain settings for reference.

DNS:  Currently on's DNS servers but would change to hosting company's when I make the switch.
IP Address:  Currently resolves to our static IP  here at the office (say for use here).  Not sure how this will figure into the mix when the switch happens.
MX:  Host Name =       Mail Server =

If you guys/ladies need any other info just let me know.
Question by:rbarrowc
  • 2

Accepted Solution

ynaught earned 250 total points
ID: 12008639
Hi rbarrowc,
   We have the same setup that you are looking for at one of our companies.  The web site hosted externaly.  DNS points to website and points to our external IP, then we port forward at the firewall port 25 to our mail server.  Works like a charm.

Expert Comment

ID: 12008653
The company that hosts your web site as you recomended forwards the MX records to your external IP address.

Expert Comment

ID: 12008695
Depending on your Internet connection, you may also want to have a backup MX. See if the hosting company will act as a backup mail handler for you. This way if your Internet connection is down or 100% utilized for some reason, the E-mail will not just bounce back to the sender. It will sit at the backup mail server until your's is available to finish the delivery.


Expert Comment

ID: 12009976
ynaught and carock are correct, and one of my clients has web and email hosted in different's pretty commonly done.  Only reason I'm posting is to remind you that DNS changes like that typically take 24-48 hours to propogate, and I've often run into places that take substantially longer.  Changeovers are usually best done on Fridays (for typical M-F businesses) so that you can still continue to use the old mail server on Friday, then check mail one last time Monday morning before swapping to the new mailserver for your incoming mail.  I've personally witnessed my own ISP's nameservers lagging 3 weeks before the changes propogated to it.  Even a year after our office changed ISP's, we still had the occasional email get delivered to the old mailserver.  This was due to a client claiming to run a "default Win2K DNS server" that apparently never flushed it's cache so it just kept sending to the old, now incorrect IP address.  Assuming your email is currently hosted elsewhere and you will be taking it in house, you may want to set up the old mail server to forward all messages to another address after you make the changes.  Most 3rd party email providers offer a web interface where you can control options like forwarding all mail to another address.  For our small, friendly company where everyone knows everyone and we all have the same client base, I just had all the old email accounts forward to a generic account on another domain.  If anything comes in on that account, I'll manually forward the messages to the right people.  Another option is to create separate accounts to forward to on another domain for each user (freebie web-based accounts could work for this as long as they offer POP access), and have their email client check it as well as the "normal" account.

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