Domains and Email

Domains » Use a Domain You Already Own (Domain Connection)

You may prefer to keep your domain registered with your current provider, but use it to show your WordPress.com site. In that case, you can connect your domain for free with any WordPress.com paid plan.

This guide will walk you through the three steps to connecting your domain to your WordPress.com site:

  1. First, attach your domain to your WordPress.com site. Jump to steps.
  2. Update your domain’s “name servers” to point to WordPress.com. Jump to steps.
  3. Set your connected domain as the primary site address. Visit the steps.

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Domain Connection Overview

Domain connection (also known as domain mapping) means that instead of your site address being a WordPress.com subdomain (like yourgroovysite.wordpress.com), you can make your site’s address something like yourgroovydomain.com without the WordPress name in the address.

Connecting a domain to your WordPress.com site means:

  • You continue to manage the domain name renewal through the company you purchased it from, also known as your domain registrar.
  • Your domain will use specific DNS records (described in this guide) to display the website you built on WordPress.com.
  • Suppose you have an existing custom email service through your domain registrar or another company. In that case, you will want to set up additional DNS records on WordPress.com to continue using that email service.
  • The domain connection feature is free with any paid WordPress.com plan.

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If you would like to manage your site and domain all in one place, you can follow the steps to transfer the domain registration instead of connecting.

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Steps to Connect a Domain

  1. Go to Upgrades → Domains.
  2. Click Add a domain and select Use a domain I own from the drop-down menu.
An arrow pointing to othe Add a domain button and a drop-down with Use a domain I own highlighted.
  1. Enter the domain name you own and click the Next button.
  2. On the next screen, you will have two options. Click the Select button next to Connect your domain. It may take a couple moments to be redirected to the next screen.
The transfer or connect screen with a highlight around the Connect your domain option.
  1. Click the Start setup button that will guide you through the process of changing your domain’s name servers, also explained in the next section of this guide.

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Change Your Domain's Name Servers

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If you already have a custom email with your domain, add the necessary DNS records from your mail provider to the DNS in WordPress.com before changing the name servers.

Name servers tell the domain where to look to display the website’s content. Without getting too complicated, name servers are DNS records that need to be changed with your registrar (where you registered your domain) to point to WordPress.com.

You have two options for updating your name servers to point to your WordPress.com site.

Option 1: Update Name Servers Yourself

You can log into your account at your domain registrar and replace any existing domain name server (DNS) addresses with the name servers for WordPress.com. These are:

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

Remember to remove your old name servers when adding the WordPress.com name servers.

You can find your domain provider in this list of common providers for further instructions.

Option 2: Contact Your Domain Registrar

You can contact the support department at your domain registrar to make the DNS changes or help you make them. Here is a sample email you can send them:

I would like to use my domain with a WordPress.com site. In order to do this, I need to point my domain’s name servers to the following:

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

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Instructions for Common Domain Providers

The process for changing your name servers is different for each registrar.

For convenience, we have included links to instructions for common registrars below. If your provider is not listed here, consult their help center or contact them for assistance.

Click here for links to common providers:

1&1

123-reg

AWS

BigRock

Bluehost

Crazy Domains

Domain.com

DreamHost

easyDNS

eNom

FastDomain

GoDaddy

Google Domains

HostGator

Hover

iPage

MelbourneIT

Names.co.uk

Namecheap

Network Solutions

Register.com

SiteGround

TierraNet

Wix – In addition to this linked guide, Wix also requires you to add a CNAME record for www pointing to @.

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Alternatives to Using Name Servers

While we strongly recommend using name servers to connect your domain name to WordPress.com, there are alternative ways to connect your existing domain to WordPress.com.

If Your Domain is Registered Through GoDaddy or 1&1

If your domain is registered with GoDaddy or 1&1, you may see an option to Connect Your Domain which can configure the DNS changes.

  1. Go to UpgradesDomains. Choose the domain you connected.
  2. Click on Connect Your Domain.
If your domain is mapped from specific registrars, there is a Connect your domain tab in the Manage Domains section, in the list of options.
  1. Next, click the Configure Your Domain Settings button.
  2. Log into your account at your domain registrar (or DNS provider) when you see the prompt.
  3. Confirm that you want to set your domain to point to WordPress.com
  4. This will create the necessary DNS changes at your registrar/DNS provider to use your domain here.
Connect with A Records

We strongly recommend that you use name servers to point to WordPress.com. In some cases, the domain registrar will only accept IP addresses. In those cases, you can find the IP addresses (A records) with the following steps:

  1. Go to UpgradesDomains.
  2. Click the connected domain and look for “complete setup” or “review setup instructions.”
An arrow pointing to the hyperlink in the text below the domain for "Setup Instructions"
  1. Click Advanced Setup as seen in the following screenshot:
On the suggested setup screen, an arrow pointing to the text at the bottom that links to Advanced Setup.
  1. Click Start Setup.
  2. You will be asked to log into your domain provider on the next screen.
    • On your domain’s provider site, go to the domain’s management settings.
    • If you are unsure how to find this section, we suggest contacting your domain provider’s customer support.
  3. Click the button I found the domain’s settings page to see the records for your site.
The conect domain screen for advanced setup with instructions on locating your domain provider.
  1. We provide records you’ll want to add to your domain’s DNS on the next screen.
    • There will be two A Records (IP Addresses); you will replace your existing root A records with the ones we provide.
    • There will be one CNAME record you will replace or add to make sure the www part of your site address correctly redirects to your WordPress.com site.
  2. Once you have made these changes, click Verify Connection.

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Bear in mind, IP addresses can change without notice, which is why name servers is the preferred method.

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After Changing Name Servers

  • The domain might not load right away. It can take up to 72 hours for the DNS to update across global servers and internet service providers. You may also need to clear your browser’s cache.
  • Once you confirm that your site loads when visiting your domain, you can follow a few steps to set the primary domain.
  • Important: If you had other services connected to your domain, such as email or subdomains, you might have to add the necessary DNS records to your WordPress.com DNS records.
  • If you decide you no longer want to point your domain to WordPress.com, you can log into your registrar/DNS provider to remove the DNS records and point the domain elsewhere.

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Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)

Your domain name is an IDN if it contains language-specific characters such as ä, û, ע, ж, 字, मा. Domain registration, transfers-in, and connecting for IDNs, also known as Internationalized Domain Names, are not currently supported.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions and Troubleshooting Tips:

I changed name servers, but my domain isn’t loading or pointing to my WordPress.com site.

  • Name server changes can take up to 72 hours to fully propagate, during which time the domain might not load properly.
  • Try clearing your browser’s cache to ensure your browser is loading the most up-to-date information.
  • Contact your domain registrar to ensure the name servers were correctly changed (and the old ones were removed entirely).

Can I connect a domain to a specific page on my site?

Domains cannot be connected to specific directories or pages on your site, for example, yourgroovydomain.com/about-us.

Can I have “www” before my domain name?

Visitors can still reach your site at “www,” but it will always redirect to the non-www version. Search engines prefer one version of the site address set as the canonical URL for SEO reasons. Otherwise, they will see duplicate content. Therefore, WordPress.com has chosen the non-www version of your site as the canonical URL.

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