Domains, Upgrades

Domains »Map an Existing Domain

If you have an existing domain name (not registered with WordPress.com), you can use the domain for your site here by “mapping” it.

Quick steps

  1. Add the domain in the Store My Domains section of your dashboard.
  2. If you have pre-existing email services that need to continue to work after this switch (for example, you are already receiving email at mail@yourgroovydomain.com), enter the Custom DNS records by clicking the Edit Domain button and going to the Edit DNS section.
  3. Update the name servers at your registrar. Enter these three separate entries:
    NS1.WORDPRESS.COM
    NS2.WORDPRESS.COM
    NS3.WORDPRESS.COM
  4. Switch the primary domain in the  Store  My Domains section of your dashboard.
  5. How quickly you see the change depends on your ISP and the “propagation”. Clear your browser’s cache if you have trouble seeing the change after 72 hours.

Introduction

When you start a WordPress.com blog, we create a free address for you, such as example.wordpress.com:

Site Address

You can register a new custom domain with us, such as yourgroovydomain.com. Then, when visitors arrive, they’ll see your custom domain in their browser’s address bar instead of the original example.wordpress.com site address:

Custom Domain

If you own an existing custom domain purchased somewhere else (for example, from GoDaddy or Namecheap), you can “map” that domain to your WordPress.com site.

Domain mapping is a paid upgrade that costs $13.00 per domain, per year. This fee is unrelated to the amount you pay your registrar for your domain itself. You will need to remember to continue renewing your domain with your existing registrar even after you have mapped it to WordPress.com.

NOTE: WordPress.com cannot accept incoming domain transfers. If you would like to use your domain with your WordPress.com blog, you must leave it registered with your current registrar and map it to WordPress.com as described below.

To map a domain to WordPress.com, you first have to make some changes at your domain registrar that will “tell” your domain where to point. Your registrar is whoever you purchased your domain from. It’s not possible for us to make these changes for you if your domain isn’t registered here with us, but if you find the following steps confusing, your registrar should be able to help you out.

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Instructions for Mapping an Existing Domain

This process may sound complicated and technical, but it is actually quite doable, we promise! It is not as hard as it sounds, and you only have to do it once.

Step 1: Visit the Store  My Domains page in your blog’s dashboard and click the button to “Map a Domain Name You Already Own”. Enter the domain into the form at the top of the page, and click the Go button.

addadomain

If you already own the domain because you registered it elsewhere, you can use that domain by clicking the “Yes, I already own this domain name. Map it to my WordPress.com blog.” button. Domain mapping is a paid upgrade that costs $13.00 per domain, per year. Complete the purchase to begin the mapping process.

Step 2: There is one other thing to consider at this part of the process: Do you have pre-existing email on your domain – for example, “mail@mygroovydomain.com”? If so, when you change the name servers, that email will stop working. Click the Edit DNS link near the mapped domain and enter the Custom DNS records needed to keep your email functioning.

We recommend you prepare the relevant information in advance, before you start the domain mapping. You can check your existing settings at your registrar or if you are unsure please include the following paragraph when you contact your registrar:

Could you please provide me with the complete MX and/or other DNS records I will need to enter on WordPress.com’s end, so that my email on this domain will continue to function after my name servers have been updated?

We can help you correctly format and enter the records they give you on our end or you can create the MX records yourself via the Custom DNS interface.

Alternatively, you can map a subdomain to your WordPress.com site, which doesn’t require changing the name servers and will not effect any custom DNS records at your registrar.

Step 3: Next, you will need to update your domain’s “name servers” to the following:

NS1.WORDPRESS.COM
NS2.WORDPRESS.COM
NS3.WORDPRESS.COM

You can usually change your domain’s name servers at your registrar’s website. The exact process for updating your domain’s name servers is different for each domain registrar. Instructions for popular registrars are available here. If your registrar isn’t listed, visit their website or contact their support team for assistance. If you cannot figure this out and you need to contact support at your registrar, here is a sample email you can send:

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

I do not want to transfer my domain, but want to leave it registered with you. WordPress.com does not permit mapping by setting an A record to point to an IP address. They require the name servers to be updated as described.

Once you’ve updated your name servers, it can take some time for the change to take full effect (up to 72 hours, but normally much less). If you notice that you still see your old holding page or an error message when you load your domain, don’t panic. Give it a few hours, and then try clearing your browser cache.

Step 4: Go to the Store  My Domains page, select the radio button next to the domain you just mapped to your blog, and click the Update Primary Domain button. This will make your example.wordpress.com domain automatically redirect to your new domain.
map_existing_domain_makeprimary

Step 5: If your domain still doesn’t load your site, clear your browser’s cache and try again. You might also need to close out of your browser and restart it entirely.

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How to Change Your Name Servers

You can usually change your name servers at your domain registrar’s website, but the process is different for each registrar. Instructions for popular registrars are available below — if your registrar isn’t listed, visit their website or contact their support team for assistance.

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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 mapping for IDNs, also known as Internationalized Domain Names, is not currently supported.

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