Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
All the answers to questions about domain mapping.
A mapped domain in WordPress is a domain that has a specific page or group of pages associated with it. A mapped domain is usually not the website’s primary domain, but is usually an Alias or Addon Domain that is mapped to the primary site domain.
The mapping then takes place at the website level, as the website should be configured to serve content for both the mapped domain and primary domain.
There are a few steps to map multiple domains to your WordPress website, including:
- Configure your DNS Records.
- Setup your server with an Alias or Addon Domain.
The next step would be mapping content properly for your mapped domains.
Read more in our documentation.
There are 3 steps to mapping a domain in WordPress:
- Configure your DNS settings.
- Set up your server properly for an Alias or Addon domain.
- Install a plugin like Domain Mapping System or a enable a service like WordPress Multisite to serve content for your mapped domain.
Once you’ve followed these steps, you should then be able to navigate your website with the content being served for your mapped domain.
Read more in our documentation.
Yes! Domain mapping is free in WordPress. You can map unlimited domains to your WordPress website depending on your server configuration.
There are 5 parts of a URL, and their specific explanations can be found on our Definitions page. The bolded and underlined parts of the URLs below indicate the different parts:
- Scheme (https://domainmappingsystem.com/)
- Subdomain (https://subdomain.domainmappingsystem.com/)
- Second Level Domain (https://domainmappingsystem.com/)
- Top Level Domain (TLD) (https://domainmappingsystem.com/)
- Subdirectory (https://domainmappingsystem.com/features/)
DNS stands for Domain Name System. The purpose of DNS is translate your server’s IP address into a friendly, easily-legible name that humans can remember. It’s much easier for humans to remember a name than it is a string of numbers.
DNS Records direct the different types of traffic for a domain name to the proper server(s). Each DNS Record corresponds to a different type of service or traffic your domain might receive.
- A records are set for “hosts” and standard website traffic
- CNAME records are set as “Aliases” or Canonical records
- MX records direct email traffic
- TXT records provide many useful options, like domain ownership verification and enhanced security options
This is not a complete list. You can review all the different DNS Record Types.
Your DNS is hosted where your Name Servers are pointing. Your Name Servers are specified with your Domain Name Registrar.
If you’ve just purchased your domain, your DNS host will be your Domain Registrar. If you need to configure website or email for your domain, you will need to change your DNS settings with your DNS host.
A DNS Zone is where your DNS is managed. A DNS Zone is specified by your Name Server records.
Your DNS zone is where you should manage DNS records to publicly identify different services for your domain on the internet. E.g. – If you need to set up a website or email for your domain, you can set up A Records, CNAME Records, or MX Records within your DNS Zone.
If you are unsure where your DNS zone is set, contact your Domain Name Registrar or run a test of your Name Server records on a website like https://whatsmydns.net/.
To set up DNS for your WordPress website, you must point your DNS A record to your website hosting server. For example, if your website hosting server has IP address 123.456.789.0, go to your DNS Zone (specified by where your Name Servers are pointing), and modify the A Record.
The A Record is commonly denoted by an “@” symbol or by typing in the full URL in your DNS settings. You should also configure an A Record or CNAME record for the WWW version of your site, with CNAME being the preferred option if you want all website visitors to navigate to your site without WWW in the URL.
When you change your DNS settings, it takes up to 24-48 hours for those changes to propagate across the internet. This is called propagation time, and it’s a standard delay that Internet Service Providers around the world need in order to detect DNS changes. Frequently, DNS changes can propagate within a few hours to most locations.
If you already have a website, it’s recommended to clear your browser cache after making DNS changes, as sometimes browsers will cache an old copy of a website from the previous server.
Caching is a mechanism by which a browser stores data temporarily in order to serve it more quickly in the future.
There is usually a limited timeframe associated with a caching script, which determines when the cache should be refreshed automatically. E.g. – Every 4 hours or 8 hours.
You can force the browser cache to be cleared manually, and the process is slightly different depending on your browser and the version of the browser. To find the latest process, run a Google search for “How to clear browser cache for” and then enter your browser type.
Caching is a mechanism by which a server stores data temporarily in order to serve it more quickly in the future. Server caching is managed by Apache or NGINX, depending on your server configuration.
There is usually a limited time frame associated with a caching script, which determines when the cache should be refreshed automatically. E.g. – Every 4 hours or 8 hours.
You can force the server cache to be cleared manually, and the process is slightly different depending on your server access rights, server interface (cPanel, managed hosting, etc), and tools available to you (Command Line Interface access – CLI, etc).
For the latest process based on your hosting or server configuration, contact your hosting company or try running a Google search for “How to clear server cache on” and then enter your hosting company and/or the brand of your server interface (cPanel, etc).
An Alias Domain is a domain name that can be used as an alternate name for another domain.
For example, if you have two domain names pointing to your website, you can “map” the second domain as an “Alias” of the primary domain. Website visitors will see the Alias in their URL bar when navigating the site.
Relevance to WordPress
When you have a WordPress website (or website of any kind), you can assign Aliases to your website. However, not all servers are ready “out-of-the-box” to map domains to a single website and require additional configuration.
Furthermore, your WordPress website needs some extra configuration to “map” each alias to a specific “post” in WordPress (or group of posts).
Posts can include any default post type that comes out of the box with WordPress, like Pages, Posts, Products, etc, or any Custom Post Type created by other plugins or themes.
End Goal: Multiple domains on a single WordPress site
At the end of the day, the purpose of creating an Alias domain on your server is to map multiple domains to a single WordPress installation.
Domain Mapping System let’s you handle the mapping of domains to specific posts after you’ve set up your server properly.
Many hosting companies don’t support mapping multiple domains to your WordPress website. This is usually because managed hosts prefer to have control over how many domains are pointing to their servers.
Please see our documentation for a list of hosting companies we’ve found that are compatible with domain mapping and Alias Domains.
This error means that your website does not have an SSL certificate properly configured. When you point a domain to a website hosting server, the server needs to have some kind of SSL certificate installed on it in order for the website to be secure. If the server doesn’t have an SSL certificate properly configured for your website, it will give an insecure website error on your browser.
By default, hosting servers will generally support securing the primary domain registered on a server with an SSL certificate out-of-the-box.
Once you’ve added an Alias domain to your server, you should be able to add an SSL certificate for that domain, which is necessary to secure each domain.
For more information about securing multiple domains on a single hosting server, see our documentation.