Domains, Upgrades

Domains »Register a New Domain

Every site comes with a free address with .wordpress.com in the URL. You can hide the .wordpress.com part by registering a new domain 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 current address (such as yourgroovysite.wordpress.com). Your old address will still work, but we will automatically redirect traffic from your old address to your new one.

  • Domain Registrations are offered as part of our WordPress.com plans. You will need to have an active plan on your site in order to register a domain.
  • Each plan comes with a free domain name credit for one year of registration. When you’re plan and domain are up for renewal, they will renew independently of each other. Review the Manage Purchases section of your account for renewal dates and cost.
  • You can register as many additional domains as you want on the same site, but you have to pay for additional registrations separately.
  • You can find a full list of supported domains here.
  • For more information about domains, see All About Domains here.

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 your site to a subdomain, 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 to your 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 be 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.

Having just a custom domain does not give you permission to use advertising, any kind of prohibited code, or upload additional themes or plugins. With the upgrade, your site will still be hosted here at WordPress.com, which means that you will not have FTP access to your files and you will still be required to abide by our Terms of Service.

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Instructions For Registering a New Domain

If you have more than one site, go to My Site Switch Site and make sure to choose the site you want to add the domain to before following these steps.

1. Go to the Domains page by selecting My Site Domains.

2. Click the Add Domain button on the right.

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

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 key words. You can also click on the More Extensions filter if you want to search for domains matching your key words 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.

Register Domain - Select Option

5. Choose if you’d like to add email to your domain by clicking Add email or Skip. You can also add email to your domain later. For more information about how email is setup for a new domain, see our Add Email page.

Register Domain - Add Email

6. Choose if you’d like your contact information to be public (Register publicly) or private (Register privately with Privacy Protection). There’s more information about this on our Domain Registrations and Privacy page here.

7. 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.

8. 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. If you want, set your domain as primary so all other domains attached to your site will point to your newly registered domain. See the steps below for more information.

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Set your 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 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 Site → Domains.

2. Select Change Primary in the top right.

3. Select the domain you wish to be 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, can 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. An email notification will be sent asking you to verify your 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, help@wordpress.sawbuck.com.

An example of the email notification is posted below:

Example of verification email

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

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

  • When you register a domain name, you have two options: public or private registration.
  • Previously, registrant contact information for domains without private registration meant that this information was published publicly in WHOIS. 
  • Privacy Protection is optional and free to add for all domains registered at WordPress.com when available.
  • GDPR has resulted in changes to WHOIS that, in many cases, will prevent your contact information from being publicly published regardless of whether or not you add private registration to your domain.
  • Adding private registration even with GDPR protection does have some additional benefits. 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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