Website hosted on Digital Ocean but mail using Hostgator. How to configure Email?

Posted January 29, 2019 4.3k views
EmailDNSUbuntu 18.04


I have a website,, which uses a Hostgator domain but it’s hosted here on Digital Ocean (i successfully redirected the DNS and finished propagation).
I want to keep using the Hostgator email server to process emails but I am finding difficulties in doing so.
How should I configure the email server?
Everything I did was creating the email on Hostgator Cpanel ( and (based on Hostgator support indications) then create a MX record that points to my Hostgator IP on Digital Ocean dashboard.
Should I something else on top of it?
e-mails are generally working (sending and receiving) but, for example:

  • The form on my website does not notify my e-mail when somebody sends a request
  • I am not able to configure Windows Mail and I do not know what servers (incoming and outcoming) to choose in order to connect to the account.

Also, would you recommend to completely cut off any link with Hostgator and set up my own email on Digital Ocean? I read right here on the website that is not recommended .

Apologies in advance if this may seem confusing but it’s the first time I deal with this kind of issue. I am available for questions and clarifications.


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2 answers

Hey friend,

The shortest path to resolution is to leave your DNS with HostGator and merely change your domain’s A record, in their cPanel, to point to your droplet IP. Otherwise you need to get the correct DNS information from them and set it in our panel, same for your email client. Both ways work, one way just has a single step.

I do not recommend running a mail server. I run a lot of them, I wish it on no one.


  • Hi Jarland. As usual, many thanks for the reply.
    Please take a look at the following screen. Is my record configuration for Digital Ocean. Do you think it’s right?
    It was suggested by the hostgator support team, who told me which records to set up in order to send and receive e-mails with their server while hosting the website on Digital Ocean.
    I did not change anything so far on the Hostgator Cpanel, should I do it?
    Finally, do you know if I need to open some ports with Ubuntu in order to enable SMTP and in general to enable email sending within the server?
    Thanks in advance,

Hello friend, I have the same problem. Did you get this resolved?