What is DNS?
Domain Name System (DNS) is a database system that translates a domain name into an IP address. In the early days of the Internet all websites were accessible by typing in the IP address for that site. DNS takes care of translating the domain name into its corresponding IP address so that we don’t have to memorize IP addresses, its cool stuff.
Where do I set up my DNS?
You will want to set up your DNS wherever your nameservers are pointed. WP Engine does not have nameservers and cannot host the DNS records for your domain name. Generally you will set your DNS with your registrar (unless you have pointed the nameservers elsewhere). Your registrar is the company that you purchased the domain name from. When you first register a domain name the nameservers will usually be pointed directly to your registrar. Either way, your registrar will know where your nameservers are and how to set up the DNS records. If you are not sure how to configure DNS records, then you would need to visit your registrars help area or contact them for support.
Configuring your DNS
You will not want to configure your DNS until you’re ready to move your site to WP Engine. You can always use account_name.wpengine.com to test your site, and if you would like to test a DNS change you can “fake out” DNS to make your personal computer see your site as if it were already hosted at WP Engine.
If your site is not working completely at [yourname].wpengine.com first, do not follow the instructions below yet! Instead, contact our support team by creating a ticket in your Zendesk account for help troubleshooting.
In order to go live on a custom domain name you will need to configure the DNS for that domain name. You will need to either create an A record that points to the IP address of your WP Engine site or a CNAME record that points to the hostname of your site. We have articles for finding this information:
We do have a couple of articles that outline how to configure your DNS if you are hosting your DNS with the following companies:
these instructions may not be accurate if the corresponding companies have recently updated their site.
Setting up a subdomain
If your site is going to be on a subdomain, you should set up a CNAME Record, which points the subdomain to your WP Engine hostname. So for example you might point the “shop” or “blog” subdomain back to “account_name.wpengine.com”. This method — not using the IP address — is recommended because it allows us to change your IP address without having to coordinate with you to change your DNS.
Also remember that changes to DNS can take 24 to 72 hours to propagate around the entire Internet. This unfortunate state of affairs is due to the DNS system and not anything related to WP Engine.
*After pointing your DNS there are a couple more steps to ensure that you are live on your domain name. Please follow the instructions on this article to complete the process: Going Live
Side Note: There is a very rare bug where you may have some email deliverability issues if you point your root domain via a CNAME to your site. While we prefer pointing your domain using a CNAME, the resolution is simply to point your domain to an A Record instead.