Emailing from your custom domain


To use your custom domain as the From email address with your WildApricot website, you'll need to set your custom domain as Primary in WildApricot, as well as configure certain settings within the DNS records of your DNS provider account. 

Pro Tip: Already have a custom domain but can't remember who the provider is? Check out the section below: How do I find my domain name provider?

The following 3 DNS records are required for emailing from custom domains and are defined and explained further within each subsection on this page:

  • SPF (a TXT record)
  • DKIM (a CNAME record)
  • DMARC (a TXT record)

DNS records are unique and must be configured within your DNS provider account. The way you access your account and its DNS record settings is different for each DNS provider. To help you learn how to access the DNS records for your account, we've provided links to relevant support information for common DNS providers below:

Need help with your DNS records or your custom domain?
Our Partner Network can assist you. Visit the WildApricot Partner Network directory, select Custom domain setup from the Services menu, and you'll see a list of consultants to contact directly for help.

Check your custom domain status

It's important to verify that your custom domain's DNS records have been configured correctly for use with your WildApricot website. If they are not, then you will not be able to use your custom domain's email address, and the From email for your account will default to:

To perform a domain status check in your WildApricot Domain name management screen, follow these steps:

1. In the admin view of your WildApricot account, select Website from the sidebar menu.

2. Select Settings.

3. Under Site settings, select Domain name.

4. In the Domain name management screen, you will see a series of buttons labeled Check. Click each one of the Check buttons.

Note: To use your custom domain as your From email address, your custom domain must be set as Primary.

5. The WildApricot system will perform checks to verify that your custom domain has each of the 3 required DNS records configured correctly. 

- A green check mark indicates that the system has succesfully performed the check and all required DNS records are verified. 

- A red X indicates that the system has detected incorrect or missing DNS records for your custom domain. 

For details about a failed check, click the Check button next to the error. An error message will pop up and explain what information is invalid or incomplete within your DNS records.

Important Note: Changes made to your DNS records may take up to 48 hours to take effect globally. Checking your domain status within WildApricot before the 2-day time period has passed can cause your domain status check to return an error message. Wait 48 hours to check your domain status in WildApricot after you make changes/updates to your DNS records.

If you receive an error message of Incomplete or Invalid, please follow the directions provided within the error message and make the required changes to your DNS records within your DNS provider account.

Pro Tip: For links to relevant support articles for common DNS providers, view the Overview section, above.

How do I update my DNS records?

Important Note: Because WildApricot does not have any control over your DNS settings for a custom domain, you will need to contact your domain provider (or registrar) directly if you need assistance updating your DNS records. You can also use our WildApricot Partner Network directory to contact a consultant for assistance.

1. Determine who your domain provider/registrar is
Use the Whois Lookup tool to find out who your domain provider/registrar is. View the section below for more detailed information about the free Whois Lookup tool from DomainTools. 

2. Contact your provider/registrar
Your provider/registar's contact information will be displayed in the Whois Lookup search results (see the section below for details). Tell them that you need assistance updating your DNS records

3. Update the DNS records in your domain provider/registrar account
It can take 24-48 hours for changes made to your DNS records to take effect. WildApricot Support is not able to change custom domain DNS records on your behalf.

4. Check your domain settings in your WildApricot website
After your DNS records have been updated in your domain provider account and the updates have taken effect -- which can take up to 48 hours after the changes are made -- follow the directions to Check your domain status (above).

Note: To use your custom domain as your From email address, your custom domain must be set as Primary in your WildApricot Domain name management settings.

How do I find my domain name provider?

If you have a custom domain name, but you cannot remember who the provider is, we recommend using the free Whois Lookup tool from DomainTools:

1. Navigate to

2. Paste or enter your custom domain (website address) in the search bar, then click Search.

3. Your domain Registrar (the company providing your custom domain name) will be displayed at the top of the Domain Profile results.

The SPF record

The SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record is a type of text (TXT) record that lists all the servers authorized to send emails from a particular domain.

As part of setting up your WildApricot account to use with a custom domain name, you create an SPF record for your domain that recognizes and allows WildApricot servers to send emails on your behalf. If you are also hosting emails from that domain, you must add an additional include statement to the SPF record.

Sample SPF record

Name: @
Value: v=spf1 ~all

The DKIM record

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is an email authentication method that uses a digital signature to let the receiver know that an email was sent and authorized by the owner of a domain. The DKIM is a CNAME record that associates your domain name with your messages and verifies its authenticity. 

To set up DKIM authentication for emailing from custom domains, you need to add a second CNAME record.

Sample DKIM record

Name: default._domainkey

The DMARC record

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) is a method of authenticating email messages. A DMARC policy is a TXT record that tells a receiving email server what to do after checking a domain's SPF and DKIM records.

For an in-depth explanation of DMARC, view Cloudflare's article

Your DMARC record can also include a rua tag with instructions about where to send reports of emails that pass or fail DKIM or SPF. 

Important Note: To view an example of a DMARC record with a rua tag, please see the DMARC rua tag section below.

Here is an example of what a basic DMARC record, without a rua tag, might look like for a custom domain of {yourdomainname}:

Name:  _dmarc.{yourdomainname}
Value:  v=DMARC1; p=none; adkim=r; aspf=r; 

What does this mean?

  • v=DMARC1 indicates that this TXT record contains a DMARC policy and should be interpreted as such by email servers.
  • p=none allows emails that fail to still go through, while p=quarantine indicates that email servers should "quarantine" emails that fail DKIM and SPF — considering them to be potentially spam. Another possible setting is p=reject, which instructs email servers to block emails that fail.
  • adkim=r means that DKIM checks are "relaxed." This can also be set to "strict" by changing the r to an s, like adkim=s.
  • aspf=r is the same as adkim=r, but for SPF.
  • Note:  aspf and adkim are optional settings. The p= attribute is required and indicates what email servers should do with emails that fail SPF and DKIM.

DMARC rua tag
The rua part of a DMARC policy indicates what email address your DMARC reports should be sent to.

The DMARC rua tag is used to designate an email address or addresses to send DMARC aggregate feedback reports to. These reports are incredibly valuable to any business that sends email, as a they provide a view into email delivery when reports are combined. 

Even if a business does not use the domain for sending email, setting up a DMARC record and receiving these DMARC reports can provide insight into domain spoofing or phishing attacks impersonating the domain, which may impact your business and reputation.

The rua tag is set as a comma-separated list of email addresses which you want DMARC aggregate reports sent to. Each email address you wish to send reports to should be formatted with a prefix of mailto: 

You can add an optional rua tag to the DMARC value in your DNS settings. A sample DMARC record with a rua tag for the custom domain {yourdomainname} might appear as follows:

Name:  _dmarc.{yourdomainname}
Value:  v=DMARC1; p=none; adkim=r; aspf=r; rua=mailto:something@{yourdomainname}; 

Important Note: The DMARC information provided in the examples above are only examples, and the specific Name and Value settings will be unique to your account. As long as you have a TXT record that provides a DMARC policy in your DNS settings, your domain will pass WildApricot's domain status check for DMARC.

Learn more

With a WildApricot account, your website receives a free domain name ending in A custom domain for a website can be obtained through a DNS (Domain Name System) provider, such as GoDaddy, Cloudflare, or Network Solutions.

Email hosting is a service that stores your email messages and files on a server, which manages the sending and receiving of your emails. With a WildApricot account, you have three options for email hosting:

- You can use the email address provided by your WildApricot website's domain

- You can set up an email address using your own custom domain via a DNS provider

- You can use free email providers, such as Gmail and Yahoo

Some organizations use the same host for both their website and email, while others use different hosting providers for each.

Examples of free email addresses

Google and Yahoo are two examples of free email providers. An email hosted by Google or Yahoo might look like this:

Example of a website domain and email address provided by WildApricot

Your WildApricot account includes website hosting with a domain name as well as a From email using the address. The default WildApricot website domain name and email address appear as follows:

Website domain name

Email address 

Example of a custom website domain and email address

A custom domain purchased by a DNS provider allows organizations to send and receive emails using their own custom domain name. For example, a custom website domain name and email address might look like this:

Website domain name

Email address

Note: To use your custom domain as your From email address with WildApricot, your custom domain must be set as Primary in your WildApricot Domain name management settings. See Check your custom domain status, above.

More information


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