Domains, Upgrades

Domains »Register a New Domain

Every WordPress.com site comes with a free address with .wordpress.com in the URL. You can add a custom domain name, and set it as the primary domain — the domain your visitors will see in their browser’s address bar when they visit your site—  address if you have purchased a WordPress.com plan.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Before Registering a Custom Domain
Instructions For Registering a New Domain
Set your Primary Domain
Waiting for Domain Changes
Email Validation and Verification
Public Versus Private Registration and GDPR
Internationalized Domain Names (IDN)
Data Processing, Privacy, and Consent

Introduction

On WordPress.com, you can register a custom domain (for example, yourgroovydomain.com) and use it instead of your site’s WordPress.com sub-domain address (such as yourgroovysite.wordpress.com). The WordPress.com sub-domain still works, but we will automatically redirect the WordPress.com address to your custom domain.

  • The annual and two-year WordPress.com plans come with a free domain name credit for one year of registration. When your plan and domain are up for renewal, they will renew independently of each other. Review the Purchases page of your account for renewal dates and costs.
  • You can register a custom domain to your site but can set it as the primary site address only if you have purchased a WordPress.com plan.
  • You can register as many additional domains as you want on the same site at an extra cost for each additional domain registration.
  • You can find a full list of supported domains here.
  • Domain registrations can be refunded within 96 hours.
  • For more information, check all about domains here.

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If you already have a domain registered somewhere else, you can map your existing domain to your site or transfer it to WordPress.com. You can also map a subdomain to your site, if you already have a website up and you want your blog as a subdomain of that site.

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Before Registering a Custom Domain

  • WordPress.com supports registering domains with the extensions (TLDs) listed here
  • You can still use domains with other extensions with your WordPress.com site — you just have to register them with a different registrar and then map them to your site.
  • Please note that WordPress.com automatically removes the “www” from all URLs.

Why does WordPress.com remove the “www” version of the domain name?

Your site address can still be reached at “www”, but it will always redirect to the non-www version. This is for SEO reasons; search engines prefer one version of the site address is set as the canonical URL, otherwise, they will see duplicate content. WordPress.com has chosen the non-www version of your site as the canonical URL.

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Instructions For Registering a New Domain

1. Go to the Site Domains page by selecting My Sites → Upgrades → Domains.

2. Click the Add a domain button at the top right, and select the relevant option from the dropdown.

"Add a domain" button on the Site Domains screen.
Add a domain to the site

3. Enter the domain you wish to register in the search box.

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If you don’t have a particular domain in mind, you can also search for keywords, and we will suggest different options that match your keywords. You can also click on the More Extensions filter if you want to search for domains matching your keywords using a specific extension we offer.

4. If the domain is available it will show up below the search box. Click Select to choose the available domain.

Select button to select a domain from the search results.
Select domain from the search results.

5. In the next screen, choose if you’d like to add Google Workspace email to your domain, or you can skip this step with the Skip for now button. You can always add email to your domain later.

For more information about how email is setup for a new domain, see our Add Email support guide.

Add Google Workspace email screen while registering a new domain.
Add or skip Google Workspace email.

6. Fill in the Domain Registration Information for the domain. This information must be correct, and you’ll need to verify that you own the email address.

7. Make a payment to complete the registration and purchase a WordPress.com plan if you don’t have one already. If you have credits on your account, you will see a message about how your domain is being purchased with credits.

9. Optional: set your domain as primary so all other domains attached to your site will point to your newly registered domain. Your site will need to have a paid plan if you want to set your custom domain as primary. See the steps below for more information.

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Set your Primary Domain

Your site can have multiple custom domains connected and pointing to it. With a paid plan, you can set one of the custom domains as the primary domain of your site. The primary domain is what your visitors will see in their browser’s address bar when they visit your site.

For example, you can add multiple domains to cover common misspellings of your primary domain, so that visitors who make a typo will still get to the right place.

One of those domains will be the Primary Domain: all your other domains will redirect to the primary one.

Visitors can get to your site or blog using any of the domains you added, but the address they see in their browser’s address bar will always be the primary domain.

To change your primary domain:

1. Go to My Sites Upgrades Domains.

2. Click the Change primary domain button at the top right.

Change primary domain button on the Manage Site Domains screen from where we can manage the domains connected to the site.
Change primary domain.

3. Select the domain you want to be the primary.

4. The change is applied immediately. Note that when adding a new domain, there might be a short delay before it becomes active.

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Waiting for Domain Changes

Some domain changes, including registering new domains, changing name servers, and other DNS changes, may take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to complete.

  • This is often referred to as “propagation time.”
  • During this time, the domain may not load at all, only load sometimes, or load only in specific locations.
  • This is because servers worldwide are updating information. Everything from ICANN servers (the governing body that regulates domain registrations) to local internet service provider servers need to be updated.
  • Some servers only update once or twice a day.
  • We have no control over domain propagation and have no way of speeding the process up.
  • You can check on the propagation status of the domain by using a service such as whatsmydns.net

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Email Validation and Verification

When you are registering a domain name, make sure you are using a valid email address in the Domain Registration Information. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires your contact information to be valid.

If the email you use to register your domain is the same as the email associated with your WordPress.com account, your domain will be automatically verified.

If you’ve used a different email address, please make sure to keep an eye on your email after you have registered the domain name. You will receive this email notification for all domain purchases, both publicly and privately registered. The email will be sent from the address, domains-help@wordpress.com.

An example of the email notification is posted below:

email verification wordpress

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It may take up to fifteen minutes for the domain to be shown as verified once the Verify Now button has been selected.

If you do not receive this email notification, please do not hesitate to contact support.

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If you do not verify your email, ICANN will suspend the domain name and your site will be offline until you verify the email address.

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Public Versus Private Registration and GDPR

  • Privacy protection is enabled by default on all the registered domains.
  • GDPR has resulted in changes to WHOIS that, in many cases, will prevent your contact information from being publicly published.
  • Please see the Domain Registrations and Privacy page for more details.

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Internationalized Domain Names (IDN)

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

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We are required by ICANN to collect valid contact information for each domain registered at WordPress.com. Generally, this data is considered required in order for you to contract with us for domain registration services. We will send an email to the registrant contact email address when consent for optional data elements is needed. You will not have to consent share optional data in order to have your domain registered here. You can read more about domain registrations and privacy and managing consent here.

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