In this KB:
- Prerequisites to taking your website live
- How to map your domain
- How to create an A Record entry at your DNS provider
- Domain / Subdomain Examples
- DNS Propagation
Before you begin
Before you point your domains to your web applications, we assume that:
- you have already deployed your website on top of a Cloudways server and that you have already tested that everything is fine
- you have setup transactional email add-on for outgoing emails (if applicable) otherwise, your application may not be able to send emails
We are dealing here with the last step of migrating your website to Cloudways; that is to point the necessary DNS records to the new Cloudways server.
Remember that each Cloudways account comes with one free managed migration (and you can buy as many as you want), so if you have any problems during the transition just get a managed migration!
We have divided our KB into two parts. Part A deals with the changes required on your Cloudways account for adding the domain to your web application(s). Part B covers how you can add records at your domain registrar to point the domain. It is essential for you to complete both parts of this guide.
Part A (Domain Settings at Cloudways)
Step 1: Get Your Server IP And Select Application
After log into your Cloudways account, note the IP address of the server where your desired web application is deployed.
Now, click on the “www” option located on the right side of the screen and next to the server name, and then select your target application from the list.
Step 2: Mapping Your Domain
Under “Application Management” page, click on “Domain Management” option located on the left side of the screen.
There are two ways to point your domain for which details are mentioned below.
Primary Domain (Recommended)
To enable your deployed Cloudways application knows which website name (i.e. www.mysite.com) it should respond to, i.e., map a primary domain to your application.
Now enter your website name in the domain field. It should be an FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) like www.mysite.com, blog.mysite.com, shop.mysite.com etc. Click on “Save Changes” button.
Additional Domains (Optional/When needed)
Additional Domains refer to alias website names that you want your application to respond to (i.e. www.myalternatesitename.com). You would not need it, and you can set them anytime.
Or, if you have a multisite website, for example, WordPress MU and you want to map different domains to subsites of your multisite network, you can use this additional domains feature. But keep your main domain added under “Primary Domain” section.
You will have to follow the same DNS-related steps listed below for primary domain and/or additional domains that you add to your application.
Part B (Settings at Domain Registrar)
Step 3: Create an A Record Entry in Your DNS Provider Panel
Now you need to access your DNS provider panel and create the proper DNS record ( A Record). We provide here more specific instructions for three well-known registrars:
For other registrars / DNS providers, the high level process is mentioned below:
- Log into your DNS provider panel or console.
- Navigate to your DNS Management page. The location and name of this page vary by provider, but it can be found under Domain Management or Advanced Settings and then select the domain name that you want to update.
- Locate the Records section. Choose to create an A Record from the drop-down list and then complete the below fields:
- Host / Name (subdomain i.e. first part of your domain before the first dot)
- Value (the IP address of your server)
- TTL (‘Time To Live’ is a propagation time. The value should be lowest i.e. 1 minute or leave this option default as per your registrar).
- Click the Save Changes button to apply the changes.
Examples (Record Type, Host, Value)
Below are some examples which can give you a hint of how you can point your domain or subdomain to your application hosted on the server at Cloudways.
www – use it when you want to point a domain (ex: www.mysite.com) to the IP address.
A Record | www | 188.166.XXX.31
@ – use it when you want to point a root domain (ex: mysite.com) to the IP address. Some providers (like DreamHost) accept blank Host/Name field for root domain.
A Record | @ | 188.166.XXX.31
[any subdomain] – you can use any name of a subdomain (ex: dev.mysite.com) that you want to point to the IP address.
A Record | dev| 188.166.XXX.31
As explained, the process can vary significantly from one provider to another. In case of any trouble contact our Live Chat agents or open a support ticket and we will assist you accordingly.
Check If DNS Propagation Has Completed
Once you are done with adding/updating DNS records, it will take time up to 24 hours (depending on your domain registrar) for the changes take effective across the internet.
You can check the status of your domain(s) propagation by using some online available tool such as https://www.whatsmydns.net