Configure external DNS for a custom domain

If you’ve assigned an externally registered domain to your site, and you don’t want to use Netlify DNS, you need to configure your external DNS provider to point your domain to Netlify.

To access customized details about the DNS records you need to configure, go to Site settings > Domain management > Custom domains and select Check DNS configuration next to the custom domain.

The link is between the domain name and the options menu.

The next steps vary depending on the type of domain or subdomain.

Special handling for apex and www

If you assign an apex domain or a www subdomain to your site, Netlify will automatically add both the apex domain and the www subdomain. For more information, visit the section on apex domains and www subdomains.

# Configure a subdomain

To point a subdomain such as blog.petsofnetlify.com or www.petsofnetlify.com to your site on Netlify, you must create a CNAME record with your DNS provider.

For example, if your site’s domain is blog.petsofnetlify.com and your Netlify subdomain is brave-curie-12345.netlify.app:

  1. Find your DNS provider’s DNS record settings for your apex domain, petsofnetlify.com.
  2. Add a CNAME record with your subdomain, blog, as the host.
  3. Point the record to your Netlify subdomain, brave-curie-12345.netlify.app.

    High-Performance Edge uses a different subdomain

    If your site is on the High-Performance Edge, point the record to the dedicated subdomain in your High-Performance Edge onboarding PDF.

  4. Save your settings. It may take a full day for the settings to propagate across the global Domain Name System.

If your site uses the www subdomain, as in www.petsofnetlify.com, you will use the same procedure described above. However, you should also read about our special handling for www subdomains. This handling includes automatically adding the apex domain to your site, which requires an apex domain configuration as described below.

# Configure an apex domain

Unlike subdomains, apex domains don’t support CNAME records. You must configure your apex domain with an ALIAS, ANAME, flattened CNAME, or A record. Different DNS providers support different record types. Depending on what your DNS provider supports, use either the recommended configuration or the fallback option below.

If your DNS provider supports ALIAS, ANAME, or flattened CNAME records, use this recommended configuration, which is more resilient than the fallback option.

  1. Find your DNS provider’s DNS record settings for your apex domain, such as petsofnetlify.com.
  2. Add an ALIAS, ANAME, or flattened CNAME record. Depending on your provider, leave the host field empty or enter @.
  3. Point the record to Netlify’s load balancer at: apex-loadbalancer.netlify.com.

    High-Performance Edge uses a different load balancer

    If your site is on the High-Performance Edge, point the record to the High-Performance Edge load balancer noted in the Check DNS configuration modal’s customized details.

  4. Save your settings. It may take a full day for the settings to propagate across the global Domain Name System.

If your DNS provider does not support ALIAS, ANAME, or flattened CNAME records, use this fallback option.

  1. Find your DNS provider’s DNS record settings for your apex domain, such as petsofnetlify.com.
  2. Add an A record. Depending on your provider, leave the host field empty or enter @.
  3. Point the record to Netlify’s load balancer IP address: 75.2.60.5.

    High-Performance Edge uses a different load balancer

    If your site is on the High-Performance Edge, point the record to the High-Performance Edge load balancer IP address noted in the Check DNS configuration modal’s customized details.

  4. Save your settings. It may take a full day for the settings to propagate across the global Domain Name System.

In both cases, the apex domain eventually resolves to our load balancer IP address. This means the apex domain can’t take advantage of direct DNS routing on a global CDN like Netlify’s. Because of this, we recommend using a subdomain for your primary domain when using external DNS.

Special handling for apex domains

If you assign an apex domain to your site, Netlify will automatically add a www subdomain for the domain as well. To find out how this affects your site configuration, visit the section on apex domains and www subdomains.

# DNS record propagation

Depending on your DNS provider, changes to DNS records can take several hours to propagate and take effect for the entire internet.

If more than 24 hours have passed since you configured your DNS records, and your site is still not accessible at your custom domain, try our DNS troubleshooting tips.