You can use your own domain for a Netlify site for free.
A domain name is the URL or web address where visitors find your site.
By default, any site on Netlify is accessible via its Netlify subdomain, which has the form
[name-of-your-site].netlify.com. For example, you would access a site named
To make a site accessible via one or more non-Netlify domain names (eg.
www.yourcustomdomain.com), you must add custom domain(s) to your site as described below.
- Add the custom domain to your site. Netlify will verify the domain name you enter and offer to sell the domain to you if it is available. If the domain is registered with an external registrar, you can assign it to your Netlify site.
- Configure your DNS provider to point the domain at the Netlify servers (if the domain registered through a third party). Domains registered during the custom domain flow do not require additional DNS configuration.
- Test that your site is accessible via the custom domain. There may be a delay while DNS changes propagate.
- Domain name (or domain for short): full name used to access a site. For example,
- Root domain (also known as naked, bare, or apex domain): the
- Subdomain: a domain that is part of a larger domain; the only domain that is not also a subdomain is the root domain. For example,
app.yourcustomdomain.comare subdomains of
- Netlify subdomain: Netlify term for the default domain with the form
[name-of-your-site].netlify.comgiven to each site.
- Custom domain: a 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.
- Managed DNS: Netlify’s managed DNS service.
- Nameserver (or DNS server): specialized server that translates domain names into IP addresses.
- DNS zone: provides information about one or more domain names. Each zone contains a list of DNS records with mappings between domain names and IP addresses.
Assigning a custom domain
To assign a custom domain, go to your site’s Settings › Domain Management section.
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 the default Netlify subdomain by clicking the options button represented with a
… icon next to the subdomain, and selecting Edit site name in the dropdown.
To add a custom domain, click Add custom domain at the bottom of the Custom domains panel, and enter your domain name. Click Verify and the domain will be validated.
If the domain is available, you have the option to register the domain. The domain will be automatically configured to point at your site using Netlify DNS. The site’s team or account payment method on file will be used if available, otherwise you are prompted to add a payment method. If you decide to register the domain, click Register domain now. This will register the domain name, create a Netlify DNS zone for the domain, create DNS records pointing to the site, and provision a wildcard Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for the domain, all in one click!
All Netlify domain registrations are private, with Netlify listed as the WHOIS contact. To ensure continuous service, domains automatically renew by default. You can disable auto-renewal in the domain detail page of the Nelify UI.
If the domain is unavailable, and you are the owner of the domain through an external domain registrar, you can assign the domain to the site and then configure the domain’s DNS to point to your site. If you are the owner, click Yes, add domain to assign the custom domain to the site.
Assigning a root domain or a www subdomain
When you add a root domain (eg.
yourcustomdomain.com) or a www subdomain (eg.
www.yourcustomdomain.com) to your site, two entries are added to the Custom domains panel:
- one entry for the root domain, and
- one entry for the www subdomain.
The primary domain is the custom domain you entered. The other entry is for the alternative domain that gets redirected automatically to the primary domain.
- If you set the www subdomain as your primary domain, Netlify will automatically redirect the root domain to the www subdomain.
- If you set the root domain as your primary domain, Netlify will automatically redirect the www subdomain to the root domain.
Unless your DNS provider supports CNAME flattening, ANAME or ALIAS records for root domains, we strongly recommend setting the www subdomain as your primary domain. Our “To WWW or Not WWW” article has more details on why we recommend that configuration.
Assigning a non-www subdomain
If you set a subdomain other than www as your primary domain (eg.
app.yourcustomdomain.com), only one entry will be added to the list of custom domains assigned to your site.
After you add a custom domain to a site, the domain name will normally appear grayed out in the Custom domains panel, with a Check DNS configuration link next to it. This means Netlify cannot serve your site correctly under that domain.
To serve your site under a custom domain, you need to point DNS records for the domain at the Netlify servers.
Click Check DNS configuration next to the custom domain to see customized instructions on the DNS records you need to configure. The instructions will vary depending on whether:
your custom domain is a root domain or www subdomain, or
your custom domain is a non-www subdomain (eg.
You can also choose to use Netlify as your DNS provider.
Depending on your DNS provider, changes to DNS records can take several hours to propagate and take effect for the entire internet.
Automatic DNS configuration
Netlify offers the option to handle DNS management for you. This enables advanced subdomain automation and deployment features, and ensures that your site uses our CDN for the root domain as well as for subdomains like www.
Domains registered through Netlify are automatically configured to use Netlify DNS.
After adding a custom domain to your site in the Custom domains panel, click the options button represented with a
… icon next to your primary domain, and select Set up Netlify DNS in the dropdown. This will open a 3-step flow to move your DNS traffic to Netlify:
Step 1. Confirm that you want to add your domain to Netlify by creating a DNS zone for the domain – the DNS zone will contain all of the DNS records for that domain. This step won’t change how we serve your site. Your DNS traffic will only be served by Netlify once you complete all 3 steps.
Step 2. Netlify will create the DNS records required for your Netlify site automatically. We are happy to support DNS for all records in your domain including ones that don’t point to our service; if you’re using your domain for other services, like email, you will need to add all other records like MX, etc, in this step.
Step 3. Make note of the four nameservers assigned to your new DNS zone – they may vary for every DNS zone you create. Go to your domain registrar and change your nameservers to point at your new Netlify DNS zone.
It can take some time for the nameserver change to propagate, but once this is done you’re all set.
Manual DNS configuration for root and www custom domains
If you’re not using Netlify’s managed DNS, you’ll have to manually configure the DNS records for your domain with your existing DNS provider.
If you set a root domain, like
yourcustomdomain.com, or a www subdomain, like
www.yourcustomdomain.com, as your custom domain, you’ll want to set up two records at your DNS provider –one for the root domain, and one for the www subdomain– so that people who type either one in can end up at your website, and so that our automatic domain redirects work.
The recommended way to point your custom domain to our servers is by creating a CNAME record in your DNS configuration for your www subdomain. This record will be an alias to your site’s subdomain on Netlify.
For instance, if my domain is
mycustomdomain.com and my Netlify sitename is
mysitename, I would create a CNAME record for
To point the root domain at our servers, there are two options:
- Recommended: Use a DNS provider that supports CNAME flattening, ANAME or ALIAS records for root domains, and alias your root domain to
[your-site-name].netlify.com. We recommend using NS1, or Netlify’s built-in DNS for this purpose.
- Alternative: Create an A record pointing your root domain to our load balancer’s IP address
The screenshot below shows an example of Godaddy’s DNS record panel with the DNS records required to point a custom domain at a site called
Manual DNS configuration for non-www custom domains
If you are planning to set your site’s custom domain to a non-www subdomain, like
blog.yourdomain.com, most of the above instructions won’t be as applicable to you. The things to make sure of are:
- You should use a CNAME DNS record for that subdomain to point to your
[your-site-name].netlify.comso you can use the CDN.
- You don’t need a
- You probably want to stick with your external DNS host. If you use Netlify DNS, you’ll be hosting
yourdomain.comwith us, not
subdomain.yourdomain.com. Netlify DNS can only manage entire DNS zones for root domains.
* Only available in our UI with Netlify DNS
Netlify DNS can automatically turn your deployed branches into their own subdomains.
For example: If you have a branch named
staging, and your site’s custom domain is
example.com, you can view it at
staging.example.com. Use the New subdomain button to select a branch and create a subdomain for that branch.
A subdomain can be deleted by clicking the
x button in the corresponding subdomain row.
If you need to set up branch subdomains without us managing your DNS, please contact support.
You can use naked domains with Netlify, but we recommend you always use the www version of the domain (eg.
www.example.com) for your site. This makes it easier to take advantage of Netlify’s powerful CDN.
We’ll automatically set up redirects for the alternative domain to the primary domain. So if you use
www.example.com, we’ll configure
example.com to do a 301 redirect to the
www domain. If you assign the root domain to your site, we’ll redirect in the opposite direction.
We only redirect automatically between the root domain and www. Not any other subdomains. You can configure other hostname redirection yourself as described in this article.
You can add additional custom domains to your site so the same site will be rendered on several different domains. You can use domain aliases together with rewrite and redirect rules to redirect or rewrite based on the hostname entered into the browser by your visitors.
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