For many people, DNS, or Domain Name System, is something way too technical to work on themselves but we are here to explain and guide you through the process of updating your DNS. Think of DNS as a phone book that serves as a resource to contact your business. If the number is not correct, you will not receive calls. DNS is no different.
Think of the phone number as what your visitor types in their browser (www.yoursite.com). The DNS (phone network in our example) then accepts the call and redirects it to the right server that your site is hosted on. Because DNS is the system that connects your visitors to your site you need to ensure it is configured correctly!
Because WP Engine does not host DNS you will need to update your DNS directly with your DNS provider. In most cases, your DNS Provider is whomever you purchased your domain name from.
If you’re unsure of who your DNS Provider is, you can utilize a third party website such as whois.net to help make this determination. The output under NAME SERVER or REGISTRAR is what you’ll be looking for. Both will not be affiliated with WP Engine and will require you to reach out to their support teams should you have questions accessing your account.
CHANGING YOUR DNS
Not all DNS Provider’s dashboards are setup in the same configuration, but they do contain the same parameters.
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 – WP Engine Recommended (free)
- DNS Made Easy using ANAME (pricing)
- DNSimple Using Alias (pricing)
1.) 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.
CloudFlare provided a full (and entertaining) explanation here.
Configuration is very similar to setting up a record on your host:
- Record: CNAME
- Host: Your domain (“mydomain.com” or “www” – you will need to add CNAME records for both)
- 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.
2.) 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
- 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
3.) 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
- Full instructions on setting up 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 using the A Record method, please contact your DNS host. The most popular are listed below: