July 07, 2011

Setting Up Domain Mapping

Domain Mapping is the process of pointing a registered domain name, like www.example.com, to a Typepad site, blog, or photo album. Domain mapping is more than domain forwarding or masking, because visitors to your site will see the unique domain for all your blog's content, instead of example.typepad.com, and search engines will index your site using the mapped domain.

Once the mapping is complete, visitors will be able to visit your blog at www.example.com. However, your original Typepad URL (example.typepad.com) will still be available. Any links that you had coming in to the Typepad URL previously will not be broken.

Domain Mapping is available with Plus, Unlimited, Premium, and Business Class plans.

Domain Requirements

A domain will need to be purchased through a domain registrar and set up with a registrar separately from Typepad. Please note you only need to purchase registration for the domain, not hosting, as your blog is hosted by Typepad.

In order to use Domain Mapping, your registrar must support Custom DNS services. Custom DNS gives you control over the DNS records that describe your domain, including the CNAME. For Domain Mapping, you must have the ability to create and modify CNAME records.

If you're not sure if your registrar supports Custom DNS services, here is a suggested message that you can send to them via email or their customer support area:

I'm using Typepad (http://www.typepad.com/) to host my blog. Typepad supports a feature called domain mapping where my domain can be pointed at their servers. In order to use this feature, my registrar must support custom DNS services. I need control over the DNS records that describe my domain, and I must have the ability to create and modify CNAME records. Do you offer such a service? Please send me more details on how it works and how I can turn it on for my account.

Recommended Domain Registrars

GoDaddy's Total DNS Control is included with domain registration and gives you control over custom DNS services for your domain. See the Domain Mapping with GoDaddy article for more specific instructions.

PairNIC recommends Domain Name Parking, instead of Custom DNS, but you also have the Custom DNS option. Domain Name Parking is included with every domain registration for no additional charge. See the Domain Mapping with pairNIC article for more specific instructions.

Network Solutions calls its custom DNS services Advanced DNS. Advanced DNS is available for an additional yearly fee. Instructions on setting up Advanced DNS are available at the Network Solutions site. See the Domain Mapping with Network Solutions article for more specific instructions.

Additional domain registrars which we know allow for editing CNAME records:

Configuring CNAME Record at Domain Registrar

What is a CNAME Record?

A CNAME Record is a domain alias. It points a host name to another host name.

For example, if your Typepad blog was available at http://example.typepad.com/, you could purchase http://www.example.com/ and your readers would visit that URL to view your blog.

Typepad offers Domain Mapping via a CNAME Record because it's an easy way to point your Typepad site to your domain, and it doesn't require an intricate knowledge of DNS Settings since you only need to know your Typepad URL.

Another great benefit of using the CNAME Record rather than an A Record is that it will not break if there are network changes, such as a server move.

Modifying the CNAME Record

Finding your DNS management area

Your registrar's documentation should explain how to manage and modify DNS records including the CNAME record, or you may be able to get this information by sending them an email as described above. If you're not sure, look for something similar to:

  • Advanced DNS
  • Custom DNS
  • DNS Management
  • Host Management

Finding the CNAME Records

Some registrars have different areas for different types of DNS records so that each can be modified separately. In this case, look for the area called something like:

  • CNAME Records
  • Aliases
  • Host Aliases

Other registrars have a single area for managing DNS records. Here, you will typically need to select the type of record from a drop-down menu and you will want to make sure to select CNAME as the type.

Setting up your CNAME record for domain mapping

There will usually be two fields where you can enter information for the CNAME record. These may be called:

  • Alias and Points to or Other Host
  • Host Name and URL
  • Name and Value

Most of the time, you should enter www for the first field (Alias, Host Name, Name, etc). If you are mapping a subdomain like blog.example.com then you would enter blog instead. Also be alert for any special instructions that your registrar may have for this field.

For the second field (Points to, Other Host, URL, Value, etc) enter your Typepad domain in the form:

example.typepad.com

Replacing this with your actual Typepad domain. Do not include http:// at the beginning or any folder name at the end. You do not designate which individual blog the domain is to be mapped at your registrar. When you add the domain to your Typepad account, you select which blog the domain is to be mapped, not at your registrar.

Some registrars may require you to enter your Typepad domain in a certain way, such as adding a dot at the end, so look carefully for any instructions on the page at your registrar. After you've entered the information for your CNAME record, save the changes.

It typically takes 24-48 hours for the DNS changes you've made to propagate. We have information on verifying a CNAME record for a domain here.

Add Domain at Typepad

After you have set up the CNAME Record for your domain or subdomain, you will need to verify the changes have resolved. Using Kloth's DNS Lookup site, you can enter you domain and check the CNAME Record. If your Typepad domain displays as the CNAME, the changes at your registrar have resolved. See the verifying a CNAME Record article for more information.

To configure Typepad for Domain Mapping, click the Account link from the top navigation. Then choose Domain Mapping in the left menu to access the Domain Mapping setup.

Click the Begin Here button to open the form where you will enter your domain information.

Enter your domain name in the "Enter your custom domain name" field. Note: Enter your domain with the www prefix (such as www.example.com) or you can enter a subdomain (such as blog.example.com).

Add Domain

Map this custom domain name to:

My entire site (example.typepad.com)

If you choose to map the domain to your entire site, all your blogs, albums, and about page will use the domain name for their URLs. For example:

  • http://www.example.com/my_blog/
  • http://www.example.com/photos/photo_album/index.html
  • http://www.example.com/about.html

Recommended if you wish to create multiple blogs in your account on the same topic.

My blog:

By choosing a single blog or album from the drop-down menu, the domain will be mapped directly to that blog or album only and only it will use the domain name. The URL for the blog will only use the mapped domain, like www.example.com, without the folder name.

Recommended if you wish to keep each blog within your account separate, or you only plan on creating one blog.

Map To

When mapping more than one blog on your account, each domain should be mapped to its specific blog to avoid a conflict. Typepad uses the domain name for the URL when creating links on your blog, like the Permalinks. For this reason, you can not map more than one domain name to the same blog as there will be a conflict about which domain name to use for the URLs.

Activate the mapping in Typepad

After the DNS change as fully resolved, you can make the mapping active in Typepad. Do this by clicking the Activate link next to the domain in your mapping list in Typepad.

Now your domain will come up when you click View Blog and your permalinks will use your domain name.

Please note links to your blog's content in custom modules will not automatically update with the mapped domain. Links in the Navigation Bar, Blog Footer, TypeLists, and other custom modules will need to be updated to use the mapped domain.

Non-www version of a URL

Domain mapping maps www.example.com to your site, blog or photo album. To enable example.com (without the www) you would set a redirect from example.com to www.example.com at your registrar. How this is set exactly depends on your registrar/host.

Additional Domains

You can set up additional domains to point to other blogs or albums by repeating this mapping process for the next domain. The CNAME Record will be the same for each domain regardless of which blog or album in your account the domain is to be mapped. You do not indicate which individual blog or album the domain is going to be mapped at your registrar, only within Typepad.

Please keep in mind, however, that each blog should only have a single domain associated with it. When you set up domain mapping, Typepad uses the domain name for the URL when creating links on your blog, like the permalinks. For this reason, if you map more than one domain name to the same blog, there will be a conflict about which domain name to use for the URLs. This can cause formatting problems and incorrect links on your blogs.

If you want to have your blog accessible from more than one domain, we would recommend mapping only the main domain you want to be used by search engines to index your blog. Any other domains can be forwarded to the main domain through your domain registrar.

Removing Domain Mapping

Before making any changes to Domain Mapping please review the article on what happens when you change Domain Mapping.

Deactivate a mapping by going to your Typepad Domain Mapping page and clicking the Deactivate link. Please note that if you uploaded any images or photos to your posts while using the domain name, the links to these will become broken when you disable domain mapping and will have to be manually updated.

Additional Information on Domain Mapping

The Domain Mapping FAQ article has additional information on Domain Mapping.


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