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How to Setup a Custom Domain on WordPress.com


By Nikola Krajacic, May 24, 2012

You’ve built a strong blog on WordPress.com and now you want to have a more personalized domain name, rather than a subdomain? YourAwesomeBlog.Me sounds much better than YourAwesomeBlog.wordpress.com, right? But can you – and how – make that change?

Another scenario – you’re just starting with your blogging and you don’t want to get bugged by your hosting provider. You’ll decide to leave all the back end to WordPress.com and their servers, but you still want your domain name. The solution to both problems is called domain mapping and here’s how you’ll do it!

Get a Domain

To use a custom domain name on your WordPress.com blog, you’ll have to pay some reasonable fees. There are some options for you:

  • You can register a domain name with your domain registrar and map it – this will cost you $13 per year or;
  • You can register a .com, .org or .net domain through WordPress.com and map it for $18 per domain per year or;
  • You can register a .Me domain name through WordPress.com and map it to your blog for $25 per domain per year.

Several Domains?

Since getting a domain name through WordPress.com is pretty easy and straight-forward, so we’ll focus on mapping a domain name you already own. If you own several domains, you can map all of them to a single blog as well, but, you’ll have to choose one to be your primary domain name. When a user enters one of your domain names associated with the blog, he will be redirected to it, however, the URL in their browser will change to your primary domain name.

Mapping several domains to your blog

Be careful when choosing your primary domain name. Although you can change it with a click, changing domain names often is not recommended because it is not that practical for your readers.

Let’s Map!

Before going into domain mapping, you’ll have to understand that you’ll be required to change your domain’s name servers. You do remember how DNS system works, don’t you? The process itself is pretty easy, however, make sure you have your domain name provider on stand-by to help you if you get stuck.

First, you’ll have to login into your domain name control panel and find domain name server controls. If you can’t find them or you’re not sure what you’re looking for, ask your registrar for some support.

Change the name servers of the domain to:

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

Some registrars might need IP addresses instead of name servers. For the latest set  IP addresses used by WP load balancer, feel free to contact the WordPress team.

If you own some non-US domain names, your registrar may require WordPress.com to add a record on the WordPress.com servers called the Zone Record. However, if you have to this, you’ll find some help on WordPress.com.

Sit and Wait

In the domain world, you’ll find out that changes aren’t instantaneous. It usually takes a couple of hours before the change is visible all across the web. So, after changing the nameservers, wait some time (or leave it through the night). Now, log in into your WordPress.com account.

Go to Store > Domains, enter the domain name into the box and click Add domain to blog. You’ll be redirected to payment gateway to pay for the upgrade and that will be the end of the process — your domain is now mapped to your blog.

There’s only one thing left to do – update your primary domain name. Head over to Settings > Domains, select your newly added domain name and click the Update Primary Domain button.

Updating your domain info

Your blog’s new domain is now complete!


Author:

Nikola Krajacic


More posts by this author

5 Responses to “How to Setup a Custom Domain on WordPress.com”

  1. avatar sreedev says:

    using wordpress seems soo easy now. Thanks a ton!

  2. Is it possible to set up using NNAME or A records as well?

    Oliver

  3. Howdy,

    I’m on staff over at WordPress.com. Could you kindly remove the IP addresses mentioned in this article? Using the nameservers is our preferred way to point a domain to WordPress.com as we change the IP addresses fairly often as we add new servers and datacenters.

    Currently, those three IPs aren’t correct. If folks need to use IP addresses instead, we’d rather folks contact us to get the latest set of IP addresses used by our load balancer and so we can be sure they know how to reach us again if a change negatively impacts them.

    Thanks for the tutorial and for your help!

    • avatar Tena Šojer says:

      Thank you for this information. We changed this bit in the article to let the readers know they can contact you to get the IP adressess should they need them. Cheers!

  4. Excellent post. I will be facing a few of these issues as
    well..

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