I am working on configuring the Mail Exchange settings for PacificyearlyMeeting.org, and am tracking things like DNS reverse lookup, and other necessary configuration steps. The number of considerations is quite confusing, but I have found a great tool that checks for multiple problems and explains what each test means. The tool is called the MX Toolbox Super Tool, and it has been really informative.
To use the MX ToolBox Super Tool, simply enter the IP address or domain name of the server in question and let the tool scan for mis-configurations, blacklisting, etc. When something seems confusing or unknown, click the link next to the error or warning for an explanation. This tool has been educational!
We recently migrated the Pacific Yearly Meeting hosting to a Virtual Private Server. Among the challenges encountered, we have to learn how to properly configure the server to send outgoing mail. This involves many moving parts, including verifying to other servers that email originating from our domain is legit, i.e. notSPAM.
Each domain name can contain a text field that indicates whether other email servers expect email to originate from specific servers related to the domain name. I.e. pacificyearlymeeting.org can tell other providers that it is a legitimate email source, and that emails sent from the domain should emenate from a specific server address, or IP. Thcan be done by adding a specific text field to the domain record.
To generate the text field, Microsoft has provided a useful tool that asks several questions regarding the server address, and expected behavior. This wizard will provide the text file so that the domain administrator can insert it into the DNS settings for the domain name.
If you would like to configure your domain name to legitimately serve email, go ahead and check out the Microsoft Sender ID Framework SPF Record Wizard.
Also, the SPF Wizard offers a one-page SPF generator. This may be worth using as well.