When you host your WordPress website with Kinsta you will need to point your domain and/or DNS to us so that our servers can deliver your site to visitors.

Pointing Your Domain to Kinsta (Cloudflare vs. Non-Cloudflare)

The process for how to point your domain to Kinsta depends on whether your site is proxied by Cloudflare. Since all Kinsta plans come with free Cloudflare integration, users with active Cloudflare proxies of their own will need to follow a special set of instructions to maintain compatibility between the two Cloudflare zones.

Info

If you’re only using Cloudflare for DNS (orange cloud is not enabled), it is not a “Cloudflare domain”. In the context of this article, “Cloudflare domains” refer to domains that have the orange cloud enabled.

  • Pointing a non-Cloudflare domain to Kinsta is done via an A record.
  • Pointing a Cloudflare domain to Kinsta is done via a CNAME record.

If your site is proxied by Cloudflare, click here for instructions on how to add and point your domain to Kinsta. If you don’t already use Cloudflare, proceed with the instructions below to point your domain to Kinsta.

How to Configure Kinsta DNS (Optional)

Before we dive into how to point your domain to Kinsta, let’s first take a look at Kinsta DNS. Kinsta DNS is a premium DNS service that’s included for free on all of our hosting plans. With Kinsta DNS, you’ll have access to a high-performance DNS service that can be managed right in the MyKinsta dashboard.

While Kinsta DNS isn’t required for hosting your site on Kinsta, we highly recommend it if you’re not already using a premium DNS service. If you are using a premium DNS service already (e.g. Cloudflare, 1984, Google Cloud DNS, etc.), feel free to skip to the “How to Point Your Domain to Kinsta (Non-Cloudflare Domain)” section below.

Step 1 – Add a New Domain in Kinsta DNS

To add a new domain to Kinsta DNS, click on “Kinsta DNS” in the MyKinsta sidebar and click Add Domain in the upper right corner of the page. Input your domain name and specify whether you want to add Gmail MX records automatically.

Add Kinsta DNS domain

Add Kinsta DNS domain.

Click the Add Domain button to complete the process. After the domain has been added, you’ll see four name server domains for your Kinsta DNS zone.

Kinsta DNS nameservers.

Kinsta DNS nameservers.

Step 2 – Update Name Servers at Your Domain Registrar

Next, you’ll need to update your domain’s name servers at your domain registrar. The process of updating name servers is specific to each registrar, so be sure to consult your registrar’s documentation or support team if you are unsure about how to update your name servers.

In this example, we’ll be updating name servers at Google Domains with the Kinsta DNS name server addresses below. Note that these name server addresses are specific to our example domain, so make sure you copy the correct name server addresses for your domain.

  • ns-1896.awsdns-45.co.uk
  • ns-1489.awsdns-58.org
  • ns-476.awsdns-59.com
  • ns-992.awsdns-60.net

In Google Domains, click on your domain’s “DNS” tab and select the “Use Custom Name Servers” option. Add the four Kinsta DNS name server addresses and click “Save”.

Update name servers in Google Domains

Update name servers in Google Domains.

 

After updating the name servers at your domain registrar, it may take 24-48 hours for the changes to propagate across the Internet. After the nameservers have propagated, proceed with the “How to Add and Verify a Domain in MyKinsta” section below.

How to Point Your Domain to Kinsta (Non-Cloudflare Domain)

Now let’s take a look at how to add a domain in MyKinsta and point your DNS to your site hosted on Kinsta.

For this section, we’ll be using Kinsta DNS, a premium DNS service that’s included with all Kinsta plans. If you’re using another DNS provider, you can refer to the articles below or your provider’s documentation for more information on how to add DNS records.

These instructions are for domains that are not already using Cloudflare. If your domain is already using Cloudflare, click here.

Step 1 – Add a New Domain in MyKinsta

In MyKinsta, go to Sites > Domains, and click the Add Domain button.

Add a new domain in MyKinsta

Add a new domain in MyKinsta.

Specify your domain, and click Add Domain and Continue. MyKinsta supports both root domains and subdomains. If you add a root domain, an additional wildcard domain (*.domain.com) will be added, which means subdomains will be automatically supported.

Add your custom domain in MyKinsta

Add your custom domain in MyKinsta.

Step 2 – Verify Your New Domain in MyKinsta

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 two TXT records at your DNS provider.

Verify your domain in MyKinsta

Verify your domain in MyKinsta.

TXT Record 1

  • Name: _cf-custom-hostname
  • Value: Unique UUID value from MyKinsta (xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx)

TXT Record 2

  • Name: @ (if your DNS provider does not support “@”, you can leave it blank).
  • Value: Unique UUID value from MyKinsta (xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx)

Here’s how you can add the TXT verification records if you’re using Kinsta DNS. Open MyKinsta in a new tab, navigate to Kinsta DNS, click Add a DNS Record, and select the “TXT” option.

Select “TXT” in Kinsta DNS.

For the first TXT record, use _cf-custom-hostname for the “Hostname” field, and your unique UUID value for the “Content” field. After you’ve verified the TXT record details, click Add DNS Record.

Add the first TXT record for domain verification

Add the first TXT record for domain verification.

For the second TXT record, leave the “Hostname” field blank, and use your unique UUID value for the “Content” field. After you’ve verified the TXT record details, click Add DNS Record.

Add the second TXT record for domain verification

Add the second TXT record for domain verification.

After you’ve added the TXT records at your DNS provider, click OK, I’ve Done It.

Custom domain verification TXT records

Custom domain verification TXT records.

Depending on your DNS provider, the TXT records may take up to 24 hours to propagate. After a successful domain verification you’ll receive a notification email like this:

Domain verification email from Kinsta

Domain verification email from Kinsta.

Step 3 – Point Your Domain to Kinsta

After your domain has been successfully verified, you’ll see a Point Domain button next to your custom domain in MyKinsta. Click this button to start the domain pointing process.

Point your domain to Kinsta

Point your domain to Kinsta.

Point Your Root Domain to Kinsta

In the “Point Your Domain to Kinsta” modal, you’ll see your “Site IP Address”. This is the IP address for your domain’s A record.

“Site IP Address” in MyKinsta

“Site IP Address” in MyKinsta.

Next, go to your DNS provider and update your A record to point to your “Site IP Address”. If you’re using Kinsta DNS, here’s how you can update your A record:

  1. Open MyKinsta in a new tab, navigate to Kinsta DNS.
  2. Click Add a DNS Record, and select the “A” option.
  3. 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.
  4. Input your “Site IP Address” in the “IPV4 Address” field.
  5. Click Add DNS Record.

Create an A record in Kinsta DNS

Create an A record in Kinsta DNS.

After adding the DNS record, go back to the “Point Your Domain to Kinsta” modal, and click OK, I’ve Done It.

Click “OK, I’ve Done It” after pointing your domain to Kinsta

Click “OK, I’ve Done It” after pointing your domain to Kinsta.

Point Your WWW Domain to Kinsta

In addition to configuring a CNAME record for your root domain, we also recommend pointing the www version of your domain to Kinsta as well. To do this, add a CNAME record for your www domain pointing to your root domain.

Create a CNAME record for your www domain

Create a CNAME record for your www domain.

If you’re using Kinsta DNS, click on Add a DNS Record, and select the CNAME option. Use the settings below to add the CNAME record:

  • Type: CNAME
  • Hostname: www
  • Points To: Your root domain (e.g. brianwp.com).
  • 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:

  1. A record for sub.domain.com pointing to 123.123.123.123.
  2. A record for sub2.domain.com pointing to 456.456.456.456.
  3. A record for *.domain.com pointing to 789.789.789.789.

Any request to a subdomain that is not sub.domain.com or 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, you can do so by creating an additional A record with the settings below:

  • Type: A
  • Hostname: *
  • Points To: Your Site IP Address from MyKinsta
  • TTL:1 hour

Add a wildcard A record for your domain

Add a wildcard A record for your domain.

After adding a wildcard A record, accessing any subdomain that isn’t pointed elsewhere will result in the request being routed to Kinsta.

How to Point Your Domain to Kinsta (Cloudflare Domain)

These instructions are for new domains that are already using Cloudflare. If your domain is not already using Cloudflare, click here for the correct instructions.

Step 1 – Add a New Cloudflare Domain in MyKinsta

In MyKinsta, go to Sites > Domains, and click the Add Domain button.

Add a new domain in MyKinsta

Add a new domain in MyKinsta.

Specify your domain, and click Add Domain and Continue. MyKinsta supports both root domains and subdomains. If you add a root domain, an additional wildcard domain (*.domain.com) will be added, which means subdomains will be automatically supported.

Add your custom domain in MyKinsta

Add your custom domain in MyKinsta.

Step 2 – Verify and Point Your Domain to Kinsta

Next, you’ll see a “Verify and Point Domain to Kinsta” modal containing a single CNAME record pointing to your site’s kinsta.cloud domain.

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Point Your Root Domain to Kinsta

You’ll need to add this CNAME record to your Cloudflare DNS settings to enable our Cloudflare integration.

  • Type: CNAME
  • Name: @
  • Target: Your site’s “kinsta.cloud” domain.
  • TTL: Auto

Verify and point domain to Kinsta with CNAME record

Verify and point domain to Kinsta with CNAME record.

Next, go to your Cloudflare dashboard and click on the “DNS” tab. Before adding the CNAME record for your root domain, you’ll need to delete any conflicting DNS records. In most cases, the conflicting record will be an A record for your root domain.

Delete conflicting A record at Cloudflare

Delete conflicting A record at Cloudflare.

After deleting the A record, click the Add Record button and create a new CNAME record with the details below:

  • Type: CNAME
  • Name: @
  • Target: Your site’s “kinsta.cloud” domain.
  • TTL: Auto
Create a new CNAME record at Cloudflare.

Create a new CNAME record at Cloudflare.

After adding the CNAME record, you’ll see a checkmark next to your root domain in MyKinsta. This indicates that the root domain has been pointed to Kinsta correctly. Keep in mind that DNS records can take up to 24 hours to propagate around the world, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see the checkmark right after adding the CNAME record in Cloudflare.

Pointed root domain in MyKinsta

Pointed root domain in MyKinsta.

Point Your WWW Domain to Kinsta

In addition to configuring a CNAME record for your root domain, we also recommend pointing the www version of your domain to Kinsta as well. To do this, click Add Record and create a CNAME record with the settings below:

  • Type: CNAME
  • Name: www
  • Target: Your site’s “kinsta.cloud” domain.
  • TTL: Auto

Create a CNAME record for your www domain

Create a CNAME record for your www domain.

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:

  1. A record for sub.domain.com pointing to 123.123.123.123.
  2. A record for sub2.domain.com pointing to 456.456.456.456.
  3. A record for *.domain.com pointing to 789.789.789.789.

Any request to a subdomain that is not sub.domain.com or 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, you can do so by creating an additional CNAME record in Cloudflare with the settings below:

  • Type: CNAME
  • Name: *
  • Target: Your site’s “kinsta.cloud” domain.
  • TTL: Auto

Add a wildcard CNAME for your Cloudflare domain

Add a wildcard CNAME for your Cloudflare domain.

If you’re using a free Cloudflare plan, you may see a message that reads, “Some of your DNS only records are exposing IPs that are proxied through Cloudflare. Make sure to proxy all A, AAAA, and CNAME records pointing to proxied records to avoid exposing your origin IP.”

This notification message is normal, and not an issue in this case because the target kinsta.cloud domain is proxied behind Cloudflare as well.

Once the wildcard CNAME record has propagated, accessing any subdomain that isn’t pointed elsewhere will result in the request being routed to Kinsta.

How to Change Your Primary Domain

Every site hosted on Kinsta is assigned a primary domain. The primary domain is the “main domain” of the site, and is automatically assigned when a site is created. If you don’t add a custom domain during site creation, your site’s primary domain will be set to a kinsta.cloud domain. If you’ve recently set up a custom domain and enabled our free Cloudflare integration, you’ll want to make sure it’s set up correctly as your site’s primary domain.

To view your site’s primary domain, navigate to Sites > Domains > Primary Domain. In the screenshot below, our kinstalife site is configured with kinstalife.kinsta.cloud as the primary domain.

Primary domain in MyKinsta.

Primary domain in MyKinsta.

To update your primary domain, scroll down to the “Domains List” section, click on the dropdown menu next to a domain, and click “Make Primary Domain”.

Update custom domain in MyKinsta.

Update custom domain in MyKinsta.

On the “Make Domain Primary” modal, you have the option of choosing to run a search and replace. This search and replace will automatically update instances of your old domain to your new domain in your WordPress database. We recommend checking this option to prevent unexpected redirects caused by old URLs in your database. If you don’t perform the search and replace here, you can always do it manually with our search and replace tool later on.

Search and replace primary domain.

Search and replace primary domain.

After clicking the “Make Primary” button, it’ll take a few minutes for the primary domain to be updated. Once it’s finished, you should see your new domain listed under “Primary Domain”.

Updated primary domain in MyKinsta.

Updated primary domain in MyKinsta.

Summary

Configuring your domain correctly and pointing the necessary DNS records to Kinsta is a crucial part of going live with your site. In this article, we discussed how to set up the proper DNS records for both Cloudflare and non-Cloudflare domains.

After pointing your DNS to Kinsta, we recommend enabling Kinsta CDN to boost your site performance even further. Once done, make sure to check out our checklist to get your your new Kinsta site live.


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