A domain name is the URL or web address where visitors find your site.
By default, any site on Netlify is accessible from its Netlify subdomain, which has the form
[name-of-your-site].netlify.app. For example, you would access a site named
Custom domains allow you to make your sites accessible at your own, non-Netlify domain names (for example,
docs.example.dev). Netlify supports all top-level domains in custom domains.
- Domain name (or domain for short): full name used to access a site. For example,
- Top-level domain: last part of the domain name. For example, the
- Apex domain (also known as a root, bare, or naked domain): the
- Subdomain: domain that is part of a larger domain; the only domain that is not also a subdomain is the apex domain. For example,
app.yourcustomdomain.comare subdomains of
- Netlify subdomain: Netlify term for the default domain with the form
[name-of-your-site].netlify.appgiven to each site.
- Custom domain: non-Netlify domain assigned to a site.
- Primary domain: Netlify term for the main custom domain assigned to a site.
- Domain alias: Netlify term for additional custom domains assigned to a site.
- Domain registrar (or domain registration service): company that lets you register a domain name.
- DNS provider: company that maintains the DNS servers that translate a domain name to a destination.
- Netlify DNS: Netlify’s managed DNS service.
- Name server (or DNS server): specialized server that translates domain names into IP addresses.
- DNS zone: used to provide information about one or more domain names. Each zone contains a list of DNS records with mappings between domain names and IP addresses.
# Assign a domain to a site
To assign a custom domain or domain alias to a site, go to Site settings › Domain management.
The Custom domains panel lists all the domains linked to your site. By default, the only domain listed is the Netlify subdomain assigned to your site based on the site’s name.
You can change a site’s default Netlify subdomain by selecting the Options button next to the subdomain in the Custom domains panel, then selecting Edit site name in the menu.
To add a custom domain, select Add custom domain at the bottom of the Custom domains panel, and enter your domain name. Select Verify. Your next option depends on whether the domain has been registered.
If the domain is unregistered, you are given the option to register the domain on Netlify. If you choose this option, you can follow the instructions in the UI and your domain will be automatically configured using Netlify DNS. No further configuration is necessary, but you may want to learn more about your new domain:
- Visit the domain registration page for details about Netlify-registered domains.
- Under Netlify DNS, learn how to enable IPv6, and add DNS records.
- Find out about options for domain aliases, domain-level redirects, and branch subdomains in the page regarding multiple domains.
If the domain is registered (already has an owner), you will be asked to confirm that you are the owner of the domain. If you are not the owner, you’ll have to choose another domain. If you are the owner, select Yes, add domain to assign the custom domain to the site. The next step depends on how your domain is registered:
- If the domain was registered with Netlify, is using Netlify DNS, or both, configuration is automatic. Visit the multiple domains page to learn about options for domain aliases, domain-level redirects, and branch subdomains.
- If the domain was registered elsewhere, you can choose to use Netlify DNS for automatic configuration, branch subdomains, and automatic HTTPS on all subdomains with wildcard certificates. To get started, visit the doc about adding a domain to Netlify DNS.
- Alternatively, if the domain was registered elsewhere, and you want to continue using your current DNS provider, you will need to add DNS records on your provider to point your domain or subdomain to your site on Netlify. Visit the external DNS instructions to complete your configuration.
# More resources
Visit our Forums for a list of verified Support Guides that highlight best practices for using and configuring Netlify DNS and custom domains.
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