Managing domains and DNS

VIP Go platform specific

This document is for sites running on VIP Go.

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Overview #

This document covers how domain mapping and DNS are managed on VIP Go.

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Domains #

Domain Mapping & Placeholder domains #

  • Each new VIP Go environment is provisioned with a placeholder domain for use during initial development and to facilitate pre-launch tasks. The placeholder domain will be a subdomain of .go-vip.net or .go-vip.co (e.g. example.go-vip.net).
  • To ensure your site is as secure as possible, we do not allow launched production sites to use this placeholder domain and you must procure a custom domain (eg: example.com), before your site launches.
  • Non-production environments are highly encouraged to also use a mapped domain (e.g. develop.example.com).
  • VIP Go supports www and non-www variants of domains. We’ll ask which variant you’d like to be the fully qualified domain name (FQDN). For single sites, the www domain will redirect to the non-www domain. In a multisite, these redirects will need to be handled specifically, e.g. in the vip-config.php file, as outlined below.
  • All mapped domains on VIP Go need an SSL certificate. The VIP team is happy to assist with the procurement, installation, and renewal of certificates.

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Domain mapping for multisite #

  • For multisite, domains can be mapped in the Network Admin using core WordPress functionality. This only allows one domain to be used per site.
  • If you’re using more than one domain per site, set up your vip-config.php file to handle redirecting secondary domains to the desired primary domain for each subsite. Note that for multisite, redirects between non-www domains and www variants need to be specified in vip-config.php.
  • For more advanced multisite domain mapping, you can use sunrise.php and, optionally, a domain mapping plugin.
  • See our documentation about Multisite on VIP Go.

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DNS #

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WordPress.com DNS #

We highly recommend hosting your DNS with our fast infrastructure. By taking this approach, it enables our skilled systems team to effectively route traffic to additional servers, mitigate attacks, or accommodate for a rare outage in one of our data centers.

If you plan on hosting your DNS with us, contact us via support ticket and we will set up domain management for you, where you can self-service create DNS entries to mirror your current setup. Once setup is complete, you can verify and switch to our nameservers. This should be done at least a week before launch.

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External DNS setup #

  • To use a domain on VIP Go (ie: example.com), its A record needs to point to our Anycast IP (currently 192.0.66.2, but subject to change).
  • To use a subdomain (ie: site.example.com), the CNAME should point to the Placeholder domain (e.g. site-example-com.go-vip.net).
  • To use both a domain and subdomain (ie: example.com and site.example.com), the subdomain’s CNAME can point to the domain instead.
  • To use a www subdomain (www.example.com or www.site.example.com), the CNAME should point to the domain (example.com) or subdomain (site.example.com). This assumes that the domain/subdomain are also pointing to VIP Go.

To check a DNS record, run dig example.com on the command line, or use a web-based service such as whatsmydns.net.

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Managing your hosts file #

Modifying your hosts file will allow you to test your website with a different domain before the global DNS system has been modified or updated. This modification only affects your own computer and will need to repeated on each device you wish to test from.

A hosts file consists of IP addresses listed against domains. For example:

192.0.66.2 example.com
192.0.66.2 wpvip.com

In the above example, example.com and wpvip.com are modified to point at the VIP Go Anycast IP.

All modern operating systems make use of a hosts file, but the process for modifying the file varies slightly for each system:

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Mac #

  1. Download the free Gas Mask hosts editor
  2. Launch Gas Mask and find your hosts file
  3. Make the necessary changes to the file
  4. Save those changes, you may be prompted for your user password

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Windows (8 & 10) #

  1. Press the Windows key
  2. Type Notepad in the search field
  3. In the search results, right-click Notepad and select Run as administrator
  4. From Notepad, open the following file: c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts
  5. Make the necessary changes to the file and save it

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Linux #

  1. Open a Terminal window
  2. Enter the following command to open the hosts file in a text editor: sudo nano /etc/hosts. You will be prompted for your root password
  3. Make the necessary changes to the file
  4. Press Control-X to save

If the changes are not reflected immediately, clear your browser cache and try visiting the site again. Remember to revert any changes you have made once you have finished testing.

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Drop us a note.

No matter where you are in the planning process, we’re happy to help, and we’re actual humans here on the other side of the form. 👋 We’re here to discuss your challenges and plans, evaluate your existing resources or a potential partner, or even make some initial recommendations. And, of course, we’re here to help any time you’re in the market for some robust WordPress awesomeness.