Configuring Your DNS Settings for easyPress

NOTE: If you’ve chosen the option to put your new website into development mode then you only need to follow these instructions once you are ready to go live. Your unique CNAME has already been added to our DNS zone. The welcome email contains all the information you need to get started right away!

Quick Instructions

Create a CNAME record for all the names you want to point at your easyPress site. For example, if your domain is example.com then create a CNAME for www.example.com as follows:

Alias              CNAME
----------------------------------------------
www.example.com    example.com.wp.easypress.ca

As you can see the CNAME is your domain’s apex (the apex of the domain above is example.com, without the www) with .wp.easypress.ca appended to it. Here are a few more examples:

Alias              CNAME
----------------------------------------------
www.domain.com    domain.com.wp.easypress.ca
domain.com        domain.com.wp.easypress.ca

Most sites use either the apex or www for their canonical website address. Either of those records or both of them should point to the same CNAME as you can see from the example above for domain.com. Both www.domain.com and domain.com point to domain.com.wp.easypress.ca.

There are more examples at the end of this article. And over here you’ll find step by step instructions on how to create these records in your easyDNS control panel.

Time To Live (TTL)

In addition to adding the CNAMEs you should also make sure that the time to live (TTL) for your domain is set to 5 minutes. This will ensure a quick switchover if the time comes to make updates to our records.

The Apex Problem

The apex domain (also know as the root or naked domain) above, is example.com and domain.com. The DNS system doesn’t want you to point your apex to a CNAME and you’ll find that many DNS hosting providers don’t allow this. If you are hosting your domain with one of those providers we recommend that you transfer your domain to easyDNS. EasyDNS enables apex pointing with the use of ANAME records. Click here for the instructions. There are several other DNS hosting companies that support pointing the apex to a CNAME. The 2 that we know of for sure are CloudFlare and DNS Made Easy.

If you can’t transfer your domain to easyDNS and your DNS hosting provider cannot point your apex to a CNAME then you should use “www” in front of your apex and make that your canonical website address. In addition you can also redirect your apex using URL forwarding. Almost all DNS hosting providers support some form of URL forwarding which will let you create a rule to forward your apex to your www address. For example:

http://example.com/ -> http://www.example.com/

You can read more about URL forwarding here.

Why Using CNAMEs Is Important

We highly recommend the use of CNAMEs to point your domain name at your WordPress website hosted with easyPress. Using IP addresses will exclude your site from our automated failover system. When there is an outage that lasts longer than 5 minutes we automatically update our CNAMEs to point to redundant servers located in separate data centres that are usually in a different city. So even city wide power outages will not bring your website down.

There are typically 2 ways to point your domain name to a web server. One way is using address (A) records and the other way is using alias (CNAME) records. When you use A records you are pointing directly at an IP address. IP addresses are hard to move around from server to server which makes it hard to create a highly resilient service since servers and networks will fail. By using CNAMEs you will be pointing to a unique alias that we control so in the event of a server failure we can automatically update the alias to point to another IP address.

Let’s say your domain is example.com. Here’s what your settings will look like when using CNAMEs:

Alias              CNAME
----------------------------------------------
example.com        example.com.wp.easypress.ca
www.example.com    example.com.wp.easypress.ca


Here’s what A records look like:

Name               Address
---------------------------------
example.com        192.168.10.200
www.example.com    192.168.10.200

If the server with the IP address 192.168.10.200 fails your website will not be viewable. But, if instead you are pointing your domain names to our CNAMEs then if the server that your website is running on becomes unavailable for any reason (network outage, server crash, etc) our DNS and host monitoring system will detect this failure and automatically update the CNAME that you point to and within 5 minutes your domain will now begin telling the world via the DNS that your website is located on a redundant server in another data centre and most likely another city altogether. Instead of having to wait for the primary server to be fixed or the network to clear itself, your visitors will see your website as usual and most likely never even know there was an outage.

More Examples


If you plan to use a subdomain to point to your website then the CNAME would contain the subdomain:

Alias              CNAME
----------------------------------------------
blogs.mysite.ca   blogs.mysite.ca.wp.easypress.ca
portal.mysite.ca  portal.mysite.ca.wp.easypress.ca

If you plan to use WordPress multisite in subdomain mode then you would create a wildcard record which points to the CNAME containing the subdomain:

Alias              CNAME
----------------------------------------------
*.blogs.mysite.ca   blogs.mysite.ca.wp.easypress.ca
*.portal.mysite.ca  portal.mysite.ca.wp.easypress.ca
*.mysite.ca         mysite.ca.wp.easypress.ca

It’s important to remember that a wildcard record does not include the subdomain in front of the asterisk so if you needed the naked subdomain to work, which is usually the case, then you would need to create 2 records:

Alias              CNAME
----------------------------------------------
*.mysite.ca         mysite.ca.wp.easypress.ca
mysite.ca           mysite.ca.wp.easypress.ca

Alias              CNAME
----------------------------------------------
*.blogs.mysite.ca        blogs.mysite.ca.wp.easypress.ca
blogs.mysite.ca          blogs.mysite.ca.wp.easypress.ca

If you didn’t create the second record in the examples above then if you entered blogs.mysite.ca in your browser you would not reach your website because the DNS lookup would say the record does not exist.

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