Posted by scottplan on 21 Oct 2007 14:06, last edited by leiger on 25 Feb 2013 21:01
A step-by-step guide to setting up a custom domain
Paid DNS services
So I'm really happy with my wikidot site, ABC.wikidot.com1, but I'd really like it to appear on its own domain: XYZ.com. Although my site will still be located on Wikidot's servers and it will still be fully available at ABC.wikidot.com, I want my users to think of my site as XYZ.com and see its content there.
First, I have to acquire XYZ.com. There are many sites where I can register XYZ for a fee. I have no interest in promoting any one service here, but I decide to go with godaddy.com. I'll refer to them for the sake of clarity.
From godaddy, I reserve XYZ.com for a period of years. I also decide to reserve XYZ.org and XYZ.net… (because they're bound to be worth something someday…)
I receive my godaddy account number by e-mail and I log into my account.
Now here's some important information. Changes I'm about to make sometimes take awhile to show up on the internet. I really want to test the results of my new settings now, but results can take a long time to take hold. As a complete novice, my lack of faith and patience makes for a very frustrating day… but now I can recreate the experience minus the hassle.
First, I want to point XYZ.org and XYZ.net to XYZ.com – so that everything redirects to the main site.
In godaddy's Domain Control Center (home), I see all three of my new domains.
- I click on XYZ.org to access its details.
- I click on the link under "forwarding".
- I enable forwarding, and I insert the target site: http://XYZ.com.
- I select "301 moved permanently".
- I save the changes.
- I make my way back to the Domain Control Center (home), and go through the same steps to redirect XYZ.net.
Now I want to point XYZ.com to ABC.wikidot.com.
- I click "Total DNS Control", which opens up the control panel for the domain.
- Under A(host), I select "edit".
- I leave the @ under "host", but I change the IP number under "points to" to Wikidot's IP: 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52.
- (It's possible that Wikidot's IP has changed – I can verify by pinging wikidot.com).
- I save that record.
- Under CNAMES(aliases), I edit the www subdomain so that it points to "wikidot.com". To do this, I leave the "www" under Host and write "wikidot.com" under Points To.
- I save that record.
When I'm done, it should look something like this:
Note: The ARecord IP address in this image is incorrect. Yours should match one of the two listed above.
Wait at least 30 minutes for your changes to propagate over the Internet before continuing with the next step!
Next, I need to tell wikidot about my new XYZ domain.
- I log in to the site manager: ABC.wikidot.com/admin:manage.
- I click on the fifth link in the sidebar: "custom domain".
- In the custom domain field, I insert "XYZ.com".
- In the (optional) 301 redirect field, I insert "www.XYZ.com". This way, anyone who types the www subdomain in their web browser will end up at the same place.
- There's also an optional checkbox to "Use the custom domain as the only domain for this site." Leaving this box unchecked lets users access the site through either XYZ.com or ABC.wikidot.com. Especially until I'm sure my new domain works smoothly, I'll choose to leave this unchecked.
- I save changes.
- I wait… and have great faith… better yet, I go for a walk and am supremely content when I come back to find everything in perfect working order.
XYZ.com now looks and works exactly the same as ABC.wikidot.com. Even better, www.XYZ.com switches gracefully in my browser's address bar to XYZ.com, as do XYZ.org, XYZ.net, and all their subdomain variants.
Free DNS services
Disclaimer: I have absolutely no interest in dot.tk, if you know other free domain services…
Dot.tk offers free domain names under top level tk.
The basic service is a redirection for example from www.fivenations.tk to fivenations.wikidot.com.
Dot.tk offers also a free DNS service.
- Go to My Domains.
- Modify a domain.
- Use Dot TK Free DNS Service: Configuring one single CNAME record is enough as shown below.
- Wait for at least 30 minutes.
- Go to the Wikidot Site Manager.
- Custom domain.
- Enter www.yourdomain.tk as specified as CNAME's Host Name with dot.TK.
- Save your changes.