When you host your WordPress website with Kinsta, you will need to add and point your domain to us so that our servers can deliver your site to visitors. For an overview of the process of making your site live at Kinsta, be sure to check out our go-live checklist
Cloudflare vs. Non-Cloudflare Domains
In the context of this article:
- If your domain is already connected to Cloudflare through your own active Cloudflare account, then it is considered a “Cloudflare domain.”
- If your domain has no connection to Cloudflare (proxy or DNS), then it is considered a “non-Cloudflare domain.”
Users with active Cloudflare accounts of their own will need to follow a special set of instructions to maintain compatibility between the two Cloudflare zones (their Cloudflare account and our free Cloudflare integration).
If your site doesn’t use a Cloudflare domain, continue reading here for instructions on how to add and point your domain to Kinsta. If you already use Cloudflare, see our How To Add a Cloudflare Domain guide for instructions on how to add and point your non-Cloudflare domain to Kinsta.
How To Add and Verify Your Domain in MyKinsta
Step 1 – Add a New Domain in MyKinsta
In MyKinsta, go to WordPress Sites > sitename > Domains, and click the Add domain button.
In the Add domain modal/pop-up, enter your domain name in the Domain field. If you want to add your domain without the wildcard subdomain (*.example.com) or if you want to add a custom SSL certificate, click on the Advanced Options link to see those options and make your selections.
If you want to add a custom SSL certificate while adding the domain, select Use my own SSL certificate with this domain and enter your SSL certificate and key in the corresponding fields.
When you’ve entered the details for your domain and made your selections under Advanced Options (if applicable), click the Add domain button.
Step 2 – Verify Your New Domain
Next, you’ll need to verify ownership of your domain in order to use Kinsta’s free Cloudflare integration. To verify a new domain, you’ll need to add a TXT record and CNAME record to your domain’s DNS. Your DNS provider is where your domain’s name servers are pointed to. This may be your domain’s registrar but could be another DNS provider.
If you’re using Kinsta’s DNS, the DNS records for domain verification will be automatically added for you, so you can skip down to How To Point Your Domain to Kinsta below.
If you’re using a different DNS provider, log in to your DNS provider’s management panel and add the new DNS records.
- Value: Unique UUID value from MyKinsta (xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx)
- Domain name:
Log in to your DNS provider’s management panel and add a new TXT record.
For the TXT record, use
_cf-custom-hostname for the Hostname field and your unique UUID value for the Content/Text field. After you’ve added the TXT record details, save your new TXT record.
For the CNAME record, use
_acme-challenge for the Hostname field and your unique Domain name value in the Points to/Target hostname field. After you’ve added the CNAME record details, save your new CNAME record.
Once you’ve added the DNS records at your DNS provider, click OK, I’ve Done It in the Verify domain modal window in MyKinsta.
Depending on your DNS provider, the DNS records may take up to 24 hours to propagate. After a successful domain verification, you’ll receive a notification email like this:
How To Point Your Domain to Kinsta
After your domain has been successfully verified, click the Point domain button in the email or the Point domain button next to your custom domain in MyKinsta.
Point Your Root Domain to Kinsta
In the Point Your Domain to Kinsta modal/pop-up, you’ll see your Site IP Address. This is the IP address for your domain’s A record.
Next, go to your DNS provider and update your A record to point to your Site IP Address. For more detailed information on updating DNS at some popular registrars and DNS managers, check out these articles:
- How to Add A Record with GoDaddy
- How to Add an A Record and CNAME at Bluehost
- How to Add A Record with Namecheap
If you’re using Kinsta’s DNS, here’s how you can update your A record:
- Open MyKinsta in a new tab, navigate to DNS and click on your domain.
- If you already have an A, AAAA, or CNAME record for your domain, you should remove that before adding the new A record by clicking the Delete (trash can) icon under the Actions column.
- Click Add a DNS Record button, and select the A option.
- If you’re pointing your root domain, leave the Hostname field blank. If you’re pointing a subdomain, specify your subdomain in the Hostname field.
- Input your Site IP Address in the IPV4 Address field.
- Click Add DNS Record.
After adding the DNS record, go back to the Point Your Domain to Kinsta modal, and click OK, I’ve Done It.
Point Your WWW Domain to Kinsta
In addition to configuring an A record for your root domain, we also recommend pointing the www version of your domain to Kinsta (if you haven’t already). Note: If you’re using Kinsta’s DNS and selected the option to Add DNS record with and without www, your www CNAME is already pointed.
To do this, add or edit a CNAME record for your www domain and point it to your root domain.
If you’re using Kinsta’s DNS, click on Add a DNS Record, and select the CNAME option. Use the settings below for the CNAME record:
- Type: CNAME
- Hostname: www
- Points To: Your root domain (e.g. example.com or @)
- TTL:1 hour
Point Your Wildcard Domain to Kinsta (Optional)
We also support wildcard subdomains. A wildcard subdomain is a “catch-all” subdomain. For example, if you have three DNS records set up like this:
- A record for sub.domain.com pointing to 188.8.131.52.
- A record for sub2.domain.com pointing to 456.456.456.456.
- A record for *.domain.com pointing to 789.789.789.789.
Any request to a subdomain that is not
sub2.domain.com will be automatically handled by the
*.domain.com A record and routed to 789.789.789.789.
If you would like to use the wildcard domain functionality on Kinsta first check the following:
- Make sure you added your wildcard domain in the steps above. If not, you’ll need to remove the domain, add it again, and make sure Add domain with wildcard is selected.
- If you added a custom SSL, make sure it supports your wildcard subdomain (*.example.com).
Then, you can create an additional A record with the settings below:
- Type: A
- Hostname: *
- Points To: Your Site IP Address from MyKinsta
- TTL:1 hour
After adding a wildcard A record, accessing any subdomain that isn’t pointed elsewhere will result in the request being routed to Kinsta.
Force HTTPS (Optional)
While technically optional, forcing your site to load over HTTPS is recommended. With our Cloudflare integration, once your domain is verified, a free SSL certificate (with wildcard support) is automatically added to your site. The only thing you’ll need to do is head over to your site in MyKinsta, then go to Tools and click on the Enable button under Force HTTPS.
Troubleshooting the Fix Domain Error
During the domain verification process, if a Fix domain error button appears next to the domain, this means a CAA record conflict is occurring.
A CAA record is an optional DNS record that lets you specify which certificate authorities (CAs) are allowed to issue SSL certificates for your domain. If a domain has no CAA records, any CA can generate an SSL certificate for it if requested. If a domain has a CAA record, only the CA(s) specified in the CA record can generate an SSL certificate for the domain.
To resolve this error, click the Fix domain error button and update the CAA record as indicated in the modal/pop-up. Alternatively, if you do not need a CAA record on your domain, you can remove the CAA record.