Domains, Upgrades

Domains

A domain name is a custom address for your website or blog hosted with WordPress.com. You can register, map, or transfer a custom domain name to your WordPress.com site so that people have a memorable and unique address they can visit.

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Domain Name Overview

A domain name is an address people use to visit your site. It tells the web browser where to look for your site. Just like a street address, a domain is how people visit your website online. And, like having a sign in front of your store, a custom domain name helps give your site a professional look.

Your WordPress.com site comes with a free address using a WordPress.com subdomain, for example: yourgroovysite.wordpress.com.

You can get rid of the .wordpress.com part and use a custom domain name instead, for example: yourgroovydomain.com.

A custom domain name is different from web hosting. The domain name is your website’s address, while hosting is where your website content is stored. In many cases, the domain name and the web hosting are purchased through the same provider. However, it is also possible to have a domain name registered (purchased) through a different provider and have it mapped to your web hosting.


 

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Important Notes

  • Adding a custom domain to your site requires a WordPress.com plan.
  • When you register a domain, the exact name itself (e.g. my.blog) is what you are purchasing. Domain names are unique, and can only point to one website at a time.
  •  Our WordAds program allows you to share revenue from ads shown on your blog. A custom domain is required to participate in WordAds. Note that advertising outside of the WordAds program is not supported except for sites with the Business or higher plan.
  • With a custom domain, your blog will still be hosted on WordPress.com, and will still be required to abide by our Terms of Service.
  • Uploading custom themes or plugins is only supported on the WordPress Business or higher plan. Some HTML codes and scripts are not supported. FTP access to your files is not available.
  • Adding a domain will change the URL (the links) to all your posts and pages. We will automatically redirect any visitors, but note that third-party services such as Facebook rely on the URL to measure activity. This may cause existing share counts to be reset to 0. Future posts will not be affected.

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Add a Domain Name

There are four ways to add a custom domain to your site.

  1. Register a new domain name through WordPress.com.
    • Your new domain will automatically be connected to your site/blog.
    • Renewals for the domain name will be handled directly through your WordPress.com account.
  2. Transfer an existing domain (that you already own) to WordPress.com.
    • If you have a domain name registered through another provider, but would like to move the registration of the domain name to WordPress.com.
    • Once the transfer of the domain name is successful, you will manage the renewals for the domain name directly through your WordPress.com account.
  3. Map an existing domain (that you already own) to your WordPress.com site.
    • If you already have a domain registered through another provider, and want to use WordPress.com to host your site without transferring the registration.
    • You will continue to pay your existing domain registrar for the renewal of the domain name, and WordPress.com for hosting and domain mapping.
  4. Map a subdomain (for a domain with an existing website) to your WordPress.com site.
    • If you want to create a sub-address on your domain name without impacting the content on your website. For example: blog.yourgroovydomain.com where “blog” is the subdomain.

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Set a Primary Address

  • Your site can have multiple custom domains pointing to the same 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 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 check which domain is currently set as primary, go to My Site ManageDomains. You’ll see which domain is currently labeled as primary:

Setting Primary Domain

To change the primary domain, click on Change Primary in the top right:

Change Primary Domain

After, select the domain you wish to be primary:

Changing Primary Domain

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


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Move a Domain Name

If you registered your domain with WordPress.com, you don’t have to use WordPress.com as your host. The domain you registered is yours, and you can use it with any host you want.

If you registered your domain elsewhere, you should contact your registrar for information on moving it away from WordPress.com. Use our Domain Helper to check where your domain is registered.

If you would like to use a domain name you originally purchased and registered through WordPress.com for a site that is not on WordPress.com, you have a few options:

All of these options achieve the same result – your domain will point to another site, with another host. If your new host supports incoming domain transfers, it may be easier to have both your domain and your hosting managed in the same place.

You also have the option to move a domain to another WordPress.com user or to another site you own.


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Renew a Domain Name

Domain names are renewed independent of the subscription to a hosting plan (ex: Blogger, Personal, Premium, Business, etc).

Managing your domain name renewal is handled through the same location in your account as all of your other purchases.

Head to our support document Manage Purchases for more information on how you can manage the renewal of your domain and any other WordPress.com Purchases.

There you will also find information about our refund policy and when your domain renewal will be charged as well as some answers to frequently asked questions.

Billing - Manage Purchases

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Expired Domain Name

If you want to keep a domain, never let it expire. The expiration process of a domain is long and complicated, and you can incur an additional late renewal fee ($80) or lose the domain entirely if you allow it to expire.

You can avoid losing a domain by ensuring that it is set to automatically renew. Go to Me→ Purchases, click the domain, and check the automatic renewal status:

Domain Renews on...
In this example, automatic renewal for the domain name is on. If this section shows “Domain expires on” as the title, automatic renewal is off.

If you see “Domain expires on” instead of “Domain renews on” above the date your domain will not automatically renew.

You can enable automatic renewal by clicking Add Payment Method and saving your payment information.

Domain set to expire
“Domain expires on” means the domain will not automatically renew.

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Cancel a Domain Name

Canceling a domain registration means:

  • You are giving up the right to use that domain.
  • Your site may stop working.
  • The domain can be lost permanently.

You can cancel a domain and receive a refund within 96 hours of purchase. See this page for instructions on how to cancel and request a refund.

It can be difficult to get a domain back after you have cancelled. You should only cancel a domain if you are sure you no longer want it and are okay with the potential of someone else registering and using it.

Do not cancel a domain if you wish to transfer it to a different owner, site, or registrar, or if you’re only trying to make changes to your site or account.

If you want to continue to use your domain name, click here for your options on how to move a domain name to another hosting provider.


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Domain Name Refunds

Domain name registrations and renewals are refundable for 96 hours from when the domain was registered or renewed. Redemption fees for expired domains are non-refundable unless the redemption process fails to redeem the domain.


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Change a Domain Name

  • Domain names can’t be changed once they’re registered.
  • If you misspelled or otherwise need to change a domain, you can cancel it within the 96-hour cancellation window. From there, you can register a new, correct domain name for your site through your domains page.
  • If you purchased domain mapping and misspelled your domain during this process, you can cancel and refund within 30 days.
  • Outside of that window, please contact support.

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Custom Email

On WordPress.com we provide e-mail forwarding, but if you’d rather have full email hosting, you can connect another provider to your custom domain. To have email addresses on your domain (like you@my.blog), check out these email options.


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Name Servers & DNS

The WordPress.com name servers are:

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

Domain names registered through WordPress.com will have these name servers set up automatically.

Editing DNS Records

Custom DNS entries could include A, AAAA, MX, CNAME, TXT, and SRV records. You may need to modify DNS records if you’re trying to add a subdomain, set up email, or verify your domain name ownership for different services, like webmaster tools.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my site offline?

There are a few reasons why your site might be offline.

If you recently registered your domain name, or changed the contact information, an email is sent to the domain contact email address with a link to verify your contact information. If you do not receive the email, or click on the link to verify the contact information within 14 days ICANN suspends the domain name.

Once the contact information is verified your domain name will come back online. You can check where the email was sent (and update the information to trigger a new email) through Domains → Contacts Edit Contact Info.

If your domain name has expired, your site will no longer work through the domain name. If the domain is registered (purchased) through WordPress.com you can renew the domain name through Purchases. If the domain name is registered through another provider and mapped to your WordPress.com account, check with your domain registration provider to make sure the domain name is still active.

Your domain’s name servers or DNS records may not be properly set up. Verify through the Domains section of your account that the name servers are properly set to WordPress.com.

I have a domain name set up, why do I still see WordPress.com in my site address?

Check to make sure you have set your domain name as your Primary site address through the Domains section of your account.

Can I have more than one domain name?

You can have multiple domain names pointing to the same WordPress.com site. You can also have multiple sites through your WordPress.com account with different domain names.

If you want to have multiple domain names pointing to the same WordPress.com site (meaning all of those domains will show the exact same content), you can register or map additional domain names through the Domains section of your site.

If you want the domain names to show different content they should be set up on different sites within your account. Don’t worry if you have already registered the domain name on your existing site, you can transfer the domain to another site once you’ve created it.

Go to https://wordpress.com/start to create a new site on your account. You will want to select a hosting plan for the site. If you have already registered a new domain name, select the default free WordPress.com address. Then, click here for instructions on moving the domain name to the new site.

Will my domain have SSL?

Yes. Domain names attached (both registered, and mapped through name servers) to WordPress.com sites include SSL from Let’s Encrypt.

More information on SSL.

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