Documentation Mapping Your Domain and Managing DNS

Mapping Your Domain and Managing DNS

Overview #

You love your shiny new WordPress.com site and you probably want to put your own domain on it.

To proceed forward, you’ll need to have first registered your domain with a domain registrar. If you haven’t yet, you can register your domain through WordPress.com or another domain registrar. To map a domain you already own, simply follow these instructions. Domain mappings are included for free on WordPress.com VIP and Enterprise.

Since mapping a domain can take up to 72 hours, you will want to begin this process at least a week before your planned launch date.

Once you point your nameservers to WordPress, you can continue to manage your domain with our Domain Management tools. If you map a 2nd-level domain (e.g. example.com), you can easily add a subdomain (e.g. vip.wordpress.com) or add email. You can also map a subdomain to WordPress.com, but you will be unable to add email.

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Mapping to WordPress.com #

If your site will live on a 2nd-level domain (example.com), we highly recommend hosting it with our DNS servers. In order to smoothly handle any volume of traffic and weather any malicious attack, our load balancing and high availability solutions are dependent on us being the name server for 2nd-level domains. By taking this approach, it enables our skilled systems team to effectively route traffic to additional servers, mitigate attacks, or accommodate for an outage in one of our data centers.

If you have an existing website that you are migrating to WordPress.com, the following steps should be taken to set up the domain least a week before the launch:

  1. Send us the ZONE file for your domain including any subdomains or MX records for email.
  2. We will set up the domain mapping on the WordPress.com site
  3. We will set up the DNS entries to mirror your current setup (so your existing site continues to work when you point your domain to our nameservers).
  4. Once setup is complete, you can verify and switch to our nameservers.
  5. When your site is ready to launch, we will update your website’s entry to point to your new WordPress.com site.

This provides the most fluid migration and means we’re around to pull the actual trigger and assist with any post-launch tasks.

Using WordPress.com Nameservers #

The nameservers to use are:

ns1.wordpress.com
ns2.wordpress.com
ns3.wordpress.com

We provide a handy DNS management tool for you to create A, MX, CNAME, and TXT records.

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Using 3rd-party Nameservers #

If, for some reason, you would like to host the DNS elsewhere, you can create A records pointing to two or more of our IPs. To get this information, please contact us using the contact form inside your Dashboard.

At least a couple of days before the migration you will want to change the TTL to 300, or if that is not allowed by your current DNS hosting, the lowest value allowed to allow for the smoothest transition possible.

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Subdomain (sub.example.com) #

If your site will live on a subdomain (sub.example.com, all that is required is a CNAME. When the site is ready to launch, you can create a CNAME entry pointing to your registered WordPress.com site:

sub.example.com IN CNAME subexample.wordpress.com.

Note that you will want to change the TTL for the subdomain to 300 or the next lowest value allowed to make the transition as smooth as possible.

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Primary Domains #

Every WordPress.com site can have multiple mapped domains but only one Primary Domain. This the canonical domain name for your site and all other domains registered against the site will redirect accordingly. The Primary Domain can be set from the Domains page in the WordPress.com Dashboard; just head to Settings > Domains and select the domain you would like to be primary.

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www subdomain #

Note that on WordPress.com, we do not support the www subdomain. The www is CNAMEd to the root and gets redirected.