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How do I set up my DNS?

Updated on October 28th, 2020

The final step when taking your site live is to update your DNS records. This will route web traffic from your domain to your site hosted on Flywheel’s servers. Most of the time you will update these records at your domain registrar – where your domain was purchased.

Before continuing, we suggest completing the steps in this article: How do I go live on Flywheel?


Table of Contents

1. Add the domain to your Flywheel site and note the IP address
2. Log in to your registrar and edit your DNS records
3. Confirm your changes using Flywheel’s DNS checker
Note: DNS propagation times
Note: Custom nameservers


Add the domain to your Flywheel site and note the IP address

  1. On the Domains card in the Flywheel site’s Overview tab, click the + icon to add the domain you’d like to point to Flywheel.
  2. Enter the domain name in the URL field, and set the domain to primary. You can add the www version of the domain by ticking the box. If enabled, make sure to add a CNAME record for www in your DNS editor, see section below.

    Our system will automatically perform a series of searches for the old domain, replacing them with the new domain. Any additional, non-primary domains you add will be set up with a 301 redirect to the primary domain.
  3. Note the site’s IP address on the Domains card. In this example, the IP is 151.101.66.159. Your IP address may be a different set of numbers.

Log in to your registrar and edit your DNS records

A DNS editor allows you to configure the records that tell an incoming visitor’s browser where to go for things like web traffic and email. To get your domain connected to your Flywheel site, you’ll need to tell this system to start pointing your domain to your site’s IP address.

  1. In a separate tab, log in to your registrar’s admin panel and locate the DNS settings area.
  2. We recommend using the following settings for domains where both the root domain (example.com) and the www version of that domain are going to point at the same site on Flywheel.
    DomainDNS Record TypeValue
    example.com or @A recordYour Flywheel site IP address
    www.example.com or wwwCNAME recordexample.com
  3. Some registrars may use placeholder symbols or shorthand to represent parts of DNS.
    @This represents the root version of your domain. In our example above, @ would be a placeholder for example.com without any subdomain or www before it.
    wwwThis represents a subdomain. Some registrars do not require you to type in the entire domain for every field. For most, simply typing in www in the name field will mean you are creating a subdomain that is actually www.example.com.
    *This is a wildcard record. It means that it doesn’t matter what subdomain you type into your browser(www.example.com, shop.example.com, dolphins.example.com). All are going to be directed by this * value.
  4. While we recommending setting up a CNAME record for www, you can alternatively create the www.example.com domain as an A record pointed at your Flywheel site IP address alongside the root level domain A Record, like this:
    DomainDNS Record TypeValue
    www.example.comA RecordYour Flywheel site IP address
  5. If your website lives on a subdomain, such as blog.example.com or shop.example.com, adjusting the root and www records are not necessary. Only one subdomain record is needed to point a subdomain.
    DomainDNS Record TypeValue
    blog.example.comA RecordYour Flywheel site IP address

Warning

It is critical that you do not change other values within your DNS settings. Doing so can break things with your setup, most notably email.

Confirm your changes using Flywheel’s DNS checker

After a short propagation window, your site should be connected to Flywheel! You can use our built in DNS checker to confirm your settings.

  1. Go to your site’s Overview tab on the Flywheel dashboard.
  2. On the Domain card, find the domain you just added and click the ellipsis icon (•••), and choose Check DNS Status.
  3. If you see all green checkmarks, give yourself a hand – your domain is now pointed to Flywheel!

Note

DNS propagation times: DNS by nature can take 24-48 hours to fully propagate across the entire internet, though it’s generally much quicker. This depends on the record’s TTL (Time To Live) value. If your DNS host allows you to adjust TTL, it’s best to set it to the minimum value at least 24 hours before you plan to go live to ensure the fastest propagation. For more information, check out this help article: What is TTL?

Note

Custom nameservers: If you’ve made changes to your DNS records but nothing seems to be happening, your domain may be using custom nameservers instead of your registrar’s defaults. This means that your registrar’s settings will not have any effect. In this case, you will need to adjust your DNS settings at the nameserver’s admin panel. This situation is most likely when a proxy like Cloudflare or Sucuri is being used.


Still need help?

DNS can be confusing, and nobody wants to break their site. If you have questions about DNS, Flywheel support is more than happy to help. Just grab a screenshot of your current settings, have your registrar login handy, and get in touch with one of our Happiness Engineers.

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