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How Do I Take My Website Live from Cloudways?
How Do I Take My Website Live from Cloudways?

On Cloudways but don’t know how to make your site Live? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can do this.

Emmad avatar
Written by Emmad
Updated this week

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Table of Contents

How Do I Take My Website Live from Cloudways

First of all, please select your platform:

Cloudways Flexible

1. Register Your Domain

If this is your first time building a website, you'll need a domain. You can skip to the next item on the checklist if you already have a domain. A domain name is your website name, e.g., cloudways.icu. It is the address of your website that people type in the browser to visit your website.

How to Buy a Domain?

You can use any domain registrar to register your domain. The popular domain registrars are GoDaddy, NameCheap, and DreamHost.

2. Launch Your Application and Server

Next, you must launch your application and a server at Cloudways Platform if you haven't yet. You can launch an application and host it either on a new server or on an existing server. You can learn which web applications you can host at Cloudways.

Tip

After you launch your application, you can test your site and explore its functionality. Once you're ready to take your site live with your domain, you can go ahead and proceed to the next item.

3. Map Your Domain & Manage DNS Records

Now, it's time to take your site live with your domain. This involves simple steps, such as adding your domain(s) to the Cloudways Platform and pointing those domains to Cloudways using the DNS records.

  1. From the top menu bar, open Servers.

  2. Next, choose the server where your desired application is deployed.

    Classic Interface

    New Interface

  3. Click www.

  4. Next, choose your application name.

    Classic Interface

    New Interface

  5. Under Application Management, select Domain Management.

    Classic Interface

    New Interface

  6. Next, click Add Domain.

    Classic Interface

    New Interface

  7. Now, add your domain. You can add a root domain, e.g., cloudways.icu or a subdomain, e.g., support.cloudways.icu. Alternatively, you can add a WildCard domain, e.g., *.cloudways.icu, which covers all the subdomains simultaneously instead of adding each domain individually.

    Once done, click Add Domain.

    Tip

    Adding a root domain, e.g., cloudways.icu, will automatically cover the domain with a www alias.

    Classic Interface

    New Interface

  8. If you have any additional domains associated with the same application, e.g., cloudways.co.uk or app.cloudways.icu, you can add them here by clicking Add Domain. These additional domains will be added as an alias.

    Classic Interface

    New Interface

  9. Next, you need to make one of your domains a primary domain. Then, all the other domains will be added as an alias. You can learn about the differences between primary and alias domains.

    You navigate to your desired domain and click ⋮ More Options. Next, select Make Primary to make your domain a primary domain.

    Classic Interface

    New Interface

    Next, click Set as Primary to confirm the selection.

    Classic Interface

    New Interface

  10. Next, you need to add your DNS records in your DNS registrar panel. We have also created a guide about creating A records to point your domain to your Cloudways server, as this step is crucial to take your website live.

    In this tutorial, we have used Namecheap to add and manage our DNS records. Of course, you can also use any DNS registrar of your choice, but the process should be identical.

    Please note that the domain registrar is the company from where you purchased your domain, while the DNS records can be hosted at the same domain registrar or any third-party service.

Tip

If you are looking for a seamless way to add and manage these DNS records on Cloudways, you can consider the DNS Made Easy add-on, a powerful tool designed to simplify DNS management. With DNS Made Easy, you can easily manage your domain's DNS records directly on the Cloudways Platform.

For detailed steps and information, please take a look at our dedicated article on how to use DNS Made Easy and learn to create A records to point your domain to your Cloudways application.

4. Secure Your Site Using HTTPS

This is an essential step in your journey to build your website; an unsecured website is very vulnerable and risky for your customers and online activity. Learn what SSL/TLS is and why you should use it.

Cloudways Platform offers an out-of-the-box Free Let's Encrypt SSL Certificate for all your applications, so you are secured from day one. Let's Encrypt Certificates are free and get automatically renewed upon expiry. Alternatively, you can also use your Custom SSL certificate, which must be bought from any Certificate Authority (CA) or certificate vendor.

We have created video tutorials on enabling HTTPS on single and multiple domains.

Once your SSL certificate is configured, you must ensure HTTPS redirection is in place. Cloudways Platform will prompt you to do this right after installing the SSL certificate, or you can manually force HTTPS redirection through application settings later.

5. Configure Email Add-ons

Transactional emails refer to automated emails triggered by your application, including shipping confirmation, password reset links, notifications, and updates. These emails require a gateway from where to be sent; else, they will be sent directly from your server, which is not a recommended method and primarily risks being tagged as spam.

If you send emails from your server (1-3000 emails/month), you can use free services like Gmail SMTP; however, if you continuously need to send numerous emails per month, we recommend you use our inexpensive ElasticEmail add-on or other alternate services like Sendgrid, Mailgun, or any Custom SMTP Add-on.

How to Set up a Personal Mailbox

If you need a mailbox for your domain (e.g., [email protected]) to send and receive emails, we have partnered with Rackspace to offer you their reliable mailboxes at great discounts. You can configure your Rackspace Email Add-on using the Cloudways Platform. The best part about the Rackspace mailbox is that you can easily configure it to send and receive emails with your favorite mail clients.

6. Set up Cloudflare Enterprise

Cloudflare Enterprise is for mission-critical applications critical to your business. Integrating the Cloudflare Enterprise with your application allows you to access 200+ unique locations for the Global Content Delivery Network, an intelligent website firewall, and many performance and security features. Whether you are a small, medium, or large-sized business, the Enterprise plan is the right choice.

You can learn more about Cloudflare and why you should use Cloudflare Enterprise.

Cloudways Autonomous

1. Register Your Domain

If this is your first time building a website, you'll need a domain. You can skip to the next item on the checklist if you already have a domain. A domain name is your website name, e.g., cloudways.icu. It is the address of your website that people type in the browser to visit your website.

How to Buy a Domain?

You can use any domain registrar to register your domain. The popular domain registrars are GoDaddy, NameCheap, and DreamHost.

2. Subscribe to Your Plan

Next, you need to subscribe to your Cloudways Autonomous plan to kick off your journey.

3. Launch Your Application

Next, you must launch your application on the Cloudways Platform. Cloudways Autonomous currently supports WordPress and WooCommerce applications.

Tip

If you are going to migrate your website to Cloudways, you can request managed application migration, where our cloud experts do the heavy lifting and move your website in one piece. You can also migrate your WordPress website using a free migrator plugin.

After you launch your application, you can test your site and explore its functionality. Once you're ready to take your site live with your domain, you can go ahead and proceed to the next item.

4. Map Your Domain & Manage DNS Records

Now, it's time to take your site live with your domain. This involves simple steps, such as adding your domain(s) to the Cloudways Platform and pointing those domains to Cloudways using the DNS records. Cloudways Autonomous uses Cloudflare Enterprise, which means the application you launch leverages Cloudflare Enterprise by default and has an enterprise-grade Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Content Delivery Network (CDN) activated by default, along with edge caching.

Log in to your Cloudways Platform using your email address and password.

  1. From the left menu bar, select Cloudways Autonomous.

  2. Next, click Plan Overview.

  3. In the Quick Settings bar, select Domain Management.

  4. Next, add your domain. Cloudflare Enterprise supports root domains and subdomains. You can enter a root domain (example.com) or a subdomain (support.example.com).

    Entering the root domain also covers the wildcard domain (*.example.com), which means all the subdomains, including the www domain, will be automatically supported and protected by Cloudflare Enterprise.

  5. Next, click Add Domain.

  6. Next, your domain ownership will be verified automatically. Once done, you need to point the CNAME records to point the domain to the Cloudflare Enterprise Network using your DNS registrar panel. Click View CNAME Records to view more information.

    The process of adding DNS records varies across different DNS managers. We are using Namecheap and Cloudflare for demonstration purposes.

  7. First, copy both of your CNAME Records (Name/Host and Hostname) by clicking the copy icon.

    Important

    If your DNS service provider doesn't accept CNAME records for the root domain, we recommend switching to A records by expanding the blue-colored box. The integration can be successfully configured using either A record provided. However, we highly recommend configuring your DNS with both A records to fully leverage our Cloudflare load-balancing network.

    Tip

    If handling DNS records at your domain registrar seems like a hassle, and you'd prefer centralizing everything on Cloudways, using the DNS Made Easy add-on is your solution. This robust tool simplifies DNS management, allowing you to handle your domain's DNS records directly on the Cloudways Platform.

    For step-by-step guidance and more details, see our dedicated article on how to use DNS Made Easy.

  8. Visit your DNS registrar panel, select your domain, and add the CNAME records in the DNS management section of your DNS register:

    Important

    • To avoid conflicts, remove any existing A, AAAA, and CNAME records for your domain before adding the CNAME records.

    • If you are using Cloudflare as your DNS service manager, you must use the DNS-only proxy mode. This can be done by changing the orange cloud icon to grey.

    Type: CNAME

    Name/Host: @

    In the case of the subdomain, specify that subdomain as name/host as shown on the Cloudways Platform.

    Target/Value/Hostname: secure.cloudwayssites.com

    TTL: Automatic/Default

    Type: CNAME

    Name/Host: www

    Target/Value/Hostname: secure.cloudwayssites.com

    TTL: Automatic/Default

    Alternatively, if you use Cloudflare, you can add the same DNS records as shown below in the snapshot. You must use the DNS-only proxy mode. This can be done by changing the orange cloud icon to grey.

    Once you have added the DNS records, it may take up to 24 hours for your DNS changes to propagate and be effective. Therefore, Cloudways will periodically check to verify if the required DNS records are added or not for Cloudflare integration.

  9. Switch back to the Cloudways Platform; you will notice the current status as 'Domain is not Live,' which means Cloudways is still verifying the DNS records.

    Tip

    To reiterate, the time required to complete Cloudflare integration depends on DNS propagation. We will notify you via email once the Cloudflare integration is successful, and the status will change to 'Domain is live'. If the status doesn't update after receiving the email, you can click the ⟳ Refresh button.

  10. Once Cloudflare is integrated with your domain, the status will change to 'Domain is Live'.

That's it! We hope this article was helpful. If you need any help, then feel free to search your query on Cloudways Support Center or contact us via chat (Need a Hand > Send us a Message). Alternatively, you can also create a support ticket.


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