Pointing your DNS is one of the most vital and last steps in taking your site live. To perform a seamless DNS update, we recommend you follow this Best Practice article on changing your DNS. By using our tools, the User Portal and the WP Engine Automated Migration Plugin, you only need to change your DNS once as long as you’re on the WP Engine platform.
Before Configuring DNS
Before updating your DNS to WP Engine, you have a few steps to complete to ensure a seamless DNS change.
- Add your domain to the User Portal
- Migrate your site to WP Engine using our Automated Migration Plugin
- Add any redirects to the User Portal (if applicable)
- Migrate your SSL to our platform (if applicable)
Changing Your DNS
Not all DNS Provider’s dashboards are setup in the same configuration, but they do contain the same parameters. We’ve created the following video to help you understand the standard information you’ll be expected to update when making changes to your DNS.
Note: Domain changes can take up to 24 hours to take effect.
DNS Providers Recommendations
We want to ensure you have the right information when changing your DNS record while on WP Engine. Below you’ll find a list of the various methods and providers for updating your DNS.
- CloudFlare with CNAME Flattening (free)
- DNS Made Easy using ANAME (pricing)
- DNSimple Using Alias (pricing)
CloudFlare with CNAME Flattening (highest recommendation)
We recommend Cloudflare’s CNAME service for DNS configuration, which is free and configured from within their own dashboard. In a nutshell, this allows your domain’s DNS to automatically update with any changes we do with our platform, like upgrading your hardware or migrating your site away from a DDOS attack.
- Getting started – https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/categories/200275218-Getting-Started
- CNAME Flattening – https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/200169056-CNAME-Flattening-RFC-compliant-support-for-CNAME-at-the-root
Configuration is very similar to setting up a record on your host:
- Record: CNAME
- Host: Your domain (mydomain.com)
- Location: Your WP Engine domain (yourinstall.wpengine.com)
After reviewing CloudFlare, you may decide that CNAME Flattening is not the best fit for your site. If that is the case for you, below we’ve provided two other alternatives that use the same method. Both services create a dynamic record that points to the correct IP address in the event the IP changes due to a migration or DDoS.
DNS Made Easy using ANAME
ANAME records are very similar to CNAME records and operate the same way as CloudFlare’s CNAME Flattening. This offers you the same capability of setting your DNS records once and never having to worry about them again while you’re on WP Engine.
- Full instructions on how to create the ANAME: http://help.dnsmadeeasy.com/managed-dns/records/aname-records/
- You will have to go through initial setup before creating the ANAME
- You will need both your domain name and the WP Engine temporary domain
DNSimple Using Alias (secondary DNS)
Alias records are very similar to CNAME records and operate the same way as CloudFlare’s CNAME Flattening. This offers you the same capability of setting your DNS records once and never having to worry about them again while you’re on WP Engine.
- A quick primer on the different types of records that they provide: https://support.dnsimple.com/articles/differences-between-a-cname-alias-url/
- Full instructions on setting up Secondary DNS: https://support.dnsimple.com/articles/secondary-dns/
Traditional A record configuration:
You can also create a static A Record with your DNS host. We no longer recommend static A records because you will have to update your DNS every time your WP Engine install is moved which may result in an interruption of your service. WP Engine, as your Managed Provider, is constantly ensuring your site is running to it’s fullest potential. One way we do this is by ensuring you are on the right server, which means we may migrate your site at any time, which will require a DNS update if you use an A record. In order to avoid the inconvenience of updating your DNS, please utilize one of our recommendations above, and not an A record.
If you need assistance with setting up your DNS record in this manner, please contact your DNS host. The most popular are listed below:
- Godaddy – https://www.godaddy.com/help/manage-dns-for-your-domain-names-680
- NameCheap –https://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/article.aspx/319/78
- Dreamhost – https://help.dreamhost.com/hc/en-us/articles/215414867-How-do-I-add-custom-DNS-records
- 1&1 – https://help.1and1.com/domains-c36931/manage-domains-c79822/dns-c37586/change-your-domain-s-ip-address-a-record-a599296.html
- Bluehost – https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/help/559