The last step to “go live” with your WP Engine managed WordPress website is to update your DNS. This will allow traffic to come through your new domain and find your WordPress website that is hosted here on our servers. This process takes place at your DNS host, which is typically where you bought the domain.
There are two methods for configuring your DNS records that work with WP Engine; CNAME flattening and A record. The preferred method is CNAME flattening because we find it be the easiest and the most scalable solution.
As a managed WordPress your site may be migrated to another server which will also change your site’s IP address. If you are pointed using an A record you will have limited days to update your DNS record before your site goes down. If you are pointed with CNAME flattening then no changes and no downtime due to DNS will occur.
NOTE: Before changing your DNS records complete the rest of the Going Live steps!
Locate the DNS Record Values
Before you can configure your DNS records you will need to know what IP or CNAME value to use.
- Login to the User Portal
- Click Sites at the top
- Click on the Environment name you wish to find the IP or CNAME for
- The values can be located within the DNS Details section
- A Record is your IP address
- CNAME Record is your CNAME, or your WP Engine “default domain”
NOTE: Additional methods to locate your IP address can be found here.
Configuring CNAME Flattening (Preferred)
Configuring CNAME flattening will make it so you never need to update DNS again! Cloudflare is a service that helps manage your DNS. It has the added benefit of configuring CDN, SSL, and even DDoS protection on some plans.
- Sign up for a Cloudflare account.
- Enter your domain name when prompted.
- Select Next and choose the plan you want (Free is sufficient but any plan will work).
- Your existing records will automatically fill in. Delete the existing A record.
- Add a CNAME record using your WP Engine default domain (EX: environment.wpengine.com).
- Check your “www” record:
- If your “www” record here is an alias of your domain, you can leave it as-is.
- If it points to an IP address, you will need to perform steps 4 & 5 for the “www” record as well.
- You will be prompted to change your nameservers. This step will be performed at your DNS host. Cloudflare will show you two different nameservers values. Leave this tab open so you can easily copy and paste them in the next step!
- At your DNS host find the area to edit your nameservers. Typically, this is in the same area where you manage DNS records. You may need to select an option to set “custom nameservers”.
- Change the nameservers to the ones shown in the Cloudflare pane.
- Back in Cloudflare, click Continue.
That’s it! The nameserver and DNS settings may take some time to change over on their own from here. You can track propagation of your DNS changes on a site like this.
NOTE: Updating the Nameservers for your domain will affect all records associated with it, including email addresses. Be sure to work with your email host to copy over any extra DNS records into Cloudflare.
Cloudflare offers many services and options so be sure to configure them properly. Learn more about Cloudflare in our Best Practices guide.
Configuring DNS Using an A Record (Alternate)
Pointing your A record to your static WP Engine IP will work just fine, but you will need to update your DNS records if your website is ever migrated to a new server while your website hosted with us.
Once you retrieve the IP address value, login to your DNS host. This is most often the Registrar where you purchased the domain. If you are not sure who your DNS host is search for your domain on WHOIs.
We’ve created separate guides for the most common DNS hosts:
- Google Domains
- Register.com (RCOM)
- Amazon Route53
If your DNS Host is not included above login to your DNS host’s dashboard and locate the area to manage DNS records. Your existing records will look similar to this:
- Edit the A record named “@” and change the “Value” to your WP Engine IP address.
- This is the value for your root domain, or non-www.
- If your DNS host lets you modify the TTL (Time To Live) value, set it as low as possible. This makes the update propagate more quickly.
- Now check the “www” record:
- If it points to “@” then no further changes are needed.
- If it points to a CNAME or IP address, make sure to edit them to the correct WP Engine DNS record value.