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How to point your domain to Flywheel from BlueHost

Updated on November 20th, 2020

Note

This article is for customers who have purchased domains that are managed by Bluehost. We have a general help tutorial as well as instructions for other domain providers here.

Flywheel provides each site with an IP address to which domains can be pointed. This is useful if you own, for example, thisfinedomain.com, and would like it to resolve to a Flywheel site.


Table of Contents

1. Add the domain to your Flywheel site and note the IP address
2. Log in to Bluehost
3. Remove the current A Record
4. Add a new A Record
5. Optional: Configure CNAME Record for www
6. Double-check your work
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 at Bluehost, 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 Bluehost

  1. In a separate tab, log in to the Bluehost administration panel.
  2. Make sure you’re on the My Domains page.
  3. Find the domain you’re pointing to Flywheel, then click the triangle next to Manage and select DNS.

Remove the current A Record

There’s a good chance you’ll see several records on the DNS page, especially if your domain was pointed to a different host previously. For now, we’re just going to be concerned with the A Record, since it’s the record responsible for pointing your domain to your website.

Be careful about modifying or deleting any other records – especially MX records, which are responsible for email. Also, it never hurts to take a screenshot before you start making changes.

  1. Locate the A (Host) section.
  2. Click the 3 dot icon and choose Remove. If there isn’t already an A record, go ahead to the next step.

Add a new A Record

  1. In the A (Host) section, click Add Record.
  2. Set Host Record to @
     
    Note: The @ symbol serves as a placeholder for the root level domain. In this case, it stands for thisfinedomain.com.
  3. Enter your IP address under Points To. In this example, the IP is 151.101.66.159.
  4. Usually, there’s no need to adjust TTL, which stands for Time To Live. For more information on TTL, check out this help article: DNS: What is TTL?
  5. Click Save to apply the changes.

Unless you have a subdomain setup, for example shop.thisfinedomain.com, you should only need one A Record value. At the very least, make sure that you have one A record with @ set as the host which is pointing to your Flywheel IP address.

For more information, visit Bluehost’s help article on adding/updating A Records.


Optional: Configure CNAME record for www

We recommend you also set a CNAME record in your zone file to allow use of the www prefix. A CNAME (aka canonical name) points a subdomain to another domain name.

For example, with a CNAME in place, visitors entering www.thisfinedomain.com in their browser will be re-routed to thisfinedomain.com. Without a CNAME record, visitors will instead reach an error page.

  1. In the CNAME (Alias) section, click Add Record.
  2. Set Host Record to www. You do not need to enter the full URL (for example, do not enter www.thisfinedomain.com)
  3. Enter your root level domain under Points To. In this example, the root level domain is thisfinedomain.com.
  4. Click Save to apply the changes.

For more information, visit Bluehost’s help article on adding/updating CNAME Records.


Double-check your work

  1. Check Bluehost’s DNS page to make sure the record changes have been updated.

    Your records should look like this (with your domain’s information instead of the example domain here):

  2. After propagation, you can also verify your domain is successfully pointed to Flywheel by using our DNS Checker, located on the Domains card.
  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 we generally see much quicker propagation. By default, Bluehost sets the Time to Live setting for each record to 4 hours, which is the minimum. Depending on when that last hourly check was, you should see your changes go live in an hour or less.

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 Bluehost’s defaults. This means that Bluehost’s settings will not have any effect. In this case, you will need to adjust your DNS settings at the nameserver’s admin panel instead. This situation is most likely when a proxy like Cloudflare or Sucuri is being used.


Still need help?

If you get stuck, or have any questions along the way, we’d love to help! Reach out to our support team with a screenshot of your current DNS records or provide us with your current registrar login for assistance.

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