Domains, Upgrades

Domains

Your site’s domain lets people know where to find your site! There are multiple ways of adding custom domains and managing domains attached to your site.


Table of Contents

What is a Domain?
Important Notes About Adding a Custom Domain
Ways to Add a Custom Domain
Cancellations
Move Your Domain
Refunds & Renewals
Domain Expiration
Typos & Changing Your Domain
Setting the Primary Domain
Email
Name servers & DNS Records

What is a Domain?

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


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Important Notes About Adding a Custom Domain

  • 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. Domains are unique, and there can only be one site at any given domain 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 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.com Business 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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Ways to Add a Custom Domain

There are 4 ways to add a custom domain to your site.

  1. Register a new domain through WordPress.com and have it connect automatically.
  2. Transfer an existing domain (that you already own) to WordPress.com – if you already have a domain that you have purchased elsewhere, but want to manage it and your site in one place.
  3. Map an existing domain (that you already own) to your WordPress.com site – if you already have a domain that you registered and purchased elsewhere, but want to keep managing it via your current provider (note, you’ll still need to pay them for the renewal each year.)
  4. Map a subdomain (for a domain with an existing website) to your WordPress.com site – if you already have a website you don’t want to affect, and you want to add a blog to it under a subdomain (for example, blog.yourgroovydomain.com).

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Cancellations

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 48 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 canceled. 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.

Read the next section for more information on ways to point your domain to another host, or transfer it away completely.


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Move Your Domain

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 pointing it away from WordPress.com. Use our Domain Helper to check where your domain is registered.

If you would like to use your domain (originally purchased and registered through WordPress.com) for a site that is not on WordPress.com, you have a couple of 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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Refunds & Renewals

Domain registrations and renewals are refundable for 48 hours. Redemption fees for expired domains are non-refundable unless the redemption process fails to redeem the domain.

Domains are renewed independent of the plans and billing information (as well as automatic renewal settings) can be managed through the same place your plans are managed.

Please 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.


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Domain Expiration

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. Visit Purchases, click the domain, and check the automatic renewal status:

Domain auto renew on

If you see “DOMAIN EXPIRES ON” your domain is not set to renew automatically. You can enable automatic renewal by clicking Add Payment Method and saving your payment information.


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Typos & Changing Your Domain

  • 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 48-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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Setting the Primary Domain

  • 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 toMy Site → Domains. 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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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 Records

If you need to add a subdomain (subdomain.example.com) or set up email, for example, you need to edit the DNS records for your domain.

If your domain is registered through WordPress.com or the nameservers for your mapped domain are pointing at those for WordPress.com, the DNS records need to be added by entering Custom DNS here. DNS entries could include A, AAAA, MX, CNAME, TXT, and SRV records.

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