Managing domains and DNS

VIP Go platform specific

This document is for sites running on VIP Go.

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Overview #

This document covers how domain mapping and DNS are managed on VIP Go.

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Domains #

Convenience domains and FQDNs #

  • Each new VIP Go environment is provisioned with a convenience domain for use during initial development and to facilitate pre-launch tasks. The convenience domain will be a subdomain of .go-vip.net or .go-vip.co (e.g. example.go-vip.net).
  • To ensure your site is as secure as possible, we do not allow launched production sites to use this convenience domain and you must procure a custom domain (eg: example.com), before your site launches.
  • Non-production environments are highly encouraged to also use a mapped domain (e.g. develop.example.com).
  • VIP Go supports www and non-www variants of domains. We’ll ask which variant you’d like to be the fully qualified domain name (FQDN). For single sites, the www domain will redirect to the non-www domain. In a multisite, these redirects will need to be handled specifically, e.g. in the vip-config.php file, as outlined below.
  • All mapped domains on VIP Go need an SSL certificate. The VIP team is happy to assist with the procurement, installation, and renewal of certificates.

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Domain mapping #

Domains can be mapped in the VIP Dashboard with the following steps. You will need GitHub access to gain access to the
VIP Dashboard, and you will need write access to manage domain mapping:

1. Select the “Domains” link from the sidebar. From there select the blue “+” at the top right:

2. Enter the domain, click “Add Domain,” and after a short wait, the domain will appear.

3. To the right of each domain, the “•••” button opens an overflow menu to access DNS information and certificates for that domain.

4. Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates can be provisioned from the certificates menu. If a certificate from a different certificate authority is required, please contact us.

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Domain mapping for multisite #

  • For multisite, domains can be mapped in the Network Admin using core WordPress functionality. This only allows one domain to be used per site. Domains should also be mapped to the application as per the above instructions.
  • If you’re using more than one domain per site, set up your vip-config.php file to handle redirecting secondary domains to the desired primary domain for each subsite. Note that for multisite, redirects between non-www domains and www variants need to be specified in vip-config.php.
  • For more advanced multisite domain mapping, you can use sunrise.php and, optionally, a domain mapping plugin.
  • See our documentation about Multisite on VIP Go.

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DNS #

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WordPress.com DNS #

We highly recommend hosting your DNS with our fast infrastructure. By taking this approach, it enables our skilled systems team to effectively route traffic to additional servers, mitigate attacks, or accommodate for a rare outage in one of our data centers.

If you plan on hosting your DNS with us, contact us via support ticket and we will set up domain management for you, where you can self-service create DNS entries to mirror your current setup. Once setup is complete, you can verify and switch to our nameservers. This should be done at least a week before launch.

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External DNS setup #

Specific instructions to configure DNS records for each domain can be found in the VIP Dashboard. Instructions are unique to each environment, and will be the same for each domain in an environment.

To see the DNS instructions, visit the application in the Dashboard, then choose Domains. Click on the “•••” overflow menu and choose “DNS instructions” to see a panel like this:

VIP Dashboard showing the DNS Instructions: IP addresses and URLs have been replaced with example text
  • To use a domain on VIP Go (ie: example.com), update its ALIAS or ANAME record to point to the convenience domain.
    Example (using ALIAS): example.com ALIAS example-com.go-vip.net
    Example (using ANAME): example.com ANAME example-com.go-vip.net
    If your DNS provider does not support setting ALIAS or ANAME records, see below.
  • To use a subdomain (ie: site.example.com), the CNAME should point to the convenience domain.
    Example:site.example.com CNAME site-example-com.go-vip.net
  • To use both a domain and subdomain (ie: example.com and site.example.com), the subdomain’s CNAME can point to the domain instead.
  • To use a www subdomain (www.example.com or www.site.example.com), the CNAME should point to the domain (example.com) or subdomain (site.example.com). This assumes that the domain/subdomain are also pointing to VIP Go.

To check a DNS record, run dig example.com on the command line, or use a web-based service such as whatsmydns.net.

If your DNS provider does not support setting ALIAS or ANAME records, use host with your convenience domain to look up the appropriate IP address for your application:

$ host example-com.go-vip.net
example-com.go-vip.net has address 127.0.0.1
example-com.go-vip.net has address abcd:efgh:ijkl::c000:1234

Then, use an A record to map the returned IPv4 address or an AAAA record to map the IPv6 address:

Example (using IPv4): example.com A 127.0.0.1
Example (using IPv6): example.com AAAA abcd:efgh:ijkl::c000:1234

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Managing your hosts file #

Modifying your hosts file will allow you to test your website with a different domain before the global DNS system has been modified or updated. This modification only affects your own computer and will need to repeated on each device you wish to test from.

A hosts file consists of IP addresses listed against domains. For example:

192.0.66.2 example.com
192.0.66.2 wpvip.com

In the above example, example.com and wpvip.com are modified to point at 192.0.66.2. Use host with your convenience domain to look up the appropriate IP address for your application:

$ host example-com.go-vip.net
example-com.go-vip.net has address 127.0.0.1
example-com.go-vip.net has address abcd:efgh:ijkl::c000:1234

All modern operating systems make use of a hosts file, but the process for modifying the file varies slightly for each system:

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Mac #

  1. Download the free Gas Mask hosts editor
  2. Launch Gas Mask and find your hosts file
  3. Make the necessary changes to the file
  4. Save those changes, you may be prompted for your user password

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Windows (8 & 10) #

  1. Press the Windows key
  2. Type Notepad in the search field
  3. In the search results, right-click Notepad and select Run as administrator
  4. From Notepad, open the following file: c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts
  5. Make the necessary changes to the file and save it

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Linux #

  1. Open a Terminal window
  2. Enter the following command to open the hosts file in a text editor: sudo nano /etc/hosts. You will be prompted for your root password
  3. Make the necessary changes to the file
  4. Press Control-X to save

If the changes are not reflected immediately, clear your browser cache and try visiting the site again. Remember to revert any changes you have made once you have finished testing.

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