Domains & HTTPS /Custom domains /

Custom domains

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] For example, you would access a site named brave-curie-12345 at

Custom domains allow you to make your sites accessible at your own domain names, such as or All top-level domains are supported for your custom domain.

Netlify supports custom domains for your production site, Deploy Previews, and branch deploys.

For more example custom domains, check out this chart.

# Definitions

  • Domain name (or domain for short): full name used to access a site. For example, or
  • Top-level domain: last part of the domain name. For example, the .com part in
  • Apex domain (also known as a root, bare, or naked domain): the part in
  • Subdomain: domain that is part of a larger domain; the only domain that is not also a subdomain is the apex domain. For example, and are subdomains of
  • Netlify subdomain: Netlify term for the default domain with the form [name-of-your-site] given to each site.
  • Custom domain: domain you assign to a site.
  • Primary domain: Netlify term for the main custom domain assigned to a production site.
  • Domain alias: an additional custom domain assigned to a production site.
  • Automatic deploy subdomain: a subdomain that you can customize for all Deploy Previews and/or for all branch deploys. Can use your production site’s primary domain or a different custom domain with additional subdomains. Requires Netlify DNS.
  • Branch subdomain: a subdomain for a branch deploy that applies your production site’s primary domain to specified branch deploys. Can apply to an individual branch deploy or to all branches besides your production branch. Requires Netlify DNS.
  • 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.

# Example domains for your site deploys

Your site deploys can have different domain patterns based on the type of site deploy.

# Custom domain examples

Site deploy type Custom domain Use case
Production deploy Can set a primary domain for your production site.
Deploy Preview Can set a custom domain for Deploy Previews with an automatic deploy subdomain.
Branch deploy for a branch named staging Branch subdomain:

Automatic deploy subdomain: or
Can set a custom domain for your branch deploys with an automatic deploy subdomain or branch subdomains.

# Netlify subdomain examples

By default, your site deploys are available at a URL using the Netlify subdomain The Netlify subdomain URLs will always work even if you set up a custom domain for your site.

Site deploy type Netlify subdomain Use case
Production deploy Typically a placeholder URL, ideal for internal development before assigning a custom domain for site visitors.
Deploy Preview Unique URL for previewing and collaborating on each pull/merge request.
Branch deploy for a branch named staging

Note: With a branch subdomain set up, the URL can be
Long-standing URL ideal for internal testing, QA teams, and ongoing development. To set up branch deploys, check out branch deploy controls.
Atomic deploy Unique URL for a specific successful deploy. Also called deploy permalinks or just permalinks. Unlike the other site deploys, the web content at this URL never changes. A new deploy permalink is generated for each successful deploy of your site.

# Assign a domain to a production site

To assign a custom domain or domain alias to a production site, go to



You can change a site’s default Netlify subdomain by selecting the Options button next to the subdomain in the Production domains panel, then selecting Edit site name in the menu.

To add a custom domain, select Add a domain at the bottom of the Production 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:

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.