Domain Mapping 101

One of the most powerful features of a premium network is the ability to offer our clients a chance of attaching a top-level domain to their sites. After all, which looks more professional: or That’s why WP Ultimo offers that feature baked-in, without the need to use third-party plugins.

What’s domain mapping?

As the name suggests, domain mapping is the ability offered by WP Ultimo to take in a request for a custom domain and map that request to the correspondent site in the network with that particular domain attached

How to setup domain mapping on your WP Ultimo Network

Domain mapping requires some setting up on your part to work. Thankfully, WP Ultimo automates the hard work for you so you can easily meet the requirements.

During WP Ultimo installation, the wizard will automatically copy and install the sunrise.php to the designated folder. The wizard won't allow you to proceed until this step is completed.

This means that once the WP Ultimo installation wizard is completed setting up your network, you can start mapping the custom domain right away.

Note that Domain mapping in WP Ultimo is not mandatory. You have an option to use WordPress Multisite native domain mapping function or any other domain mapping solution. Should you need to disable WP Ultimo domain mapping to give way to other domain mapping solutions, you can disable this feature under WP Ultimo settings.

There are two ways to map a custom domain. The first is by mapping the domain name from your network admin dashboard as  super admin and the second is through the subsite admin dashboard under the  account page
But before you start mapping the custom domain to one of the subsites in your network, you will need to make sure that the  DNS setting of the domain name is properly configured.

Making sure the domain DNS settings are properly configured

For a mapping to work, you need to make sure the domain you are planning to map is pointing to your Network’s IP address.

To do that, you need to add an  A RECORD on your  DNS configuration pointing to that  IP address. DNS management varies greatly between different domain registrars, but there’s plenty of tutorials online covering that if you search for “Creating A Record on XXXX” where XXXX is your domain registrar (ex.: Creating A Record on  GoDaddy”).

If you are not sure what’s the IP address of your network, you can use services like  Site24x7. Just enter your network’s main domain address on that and it will spit out the IP address.

If you find yourself having trouble getting this to work, contact your domain registrar support and they will be able to help you with this part.

If you plan to allow your clients to map their own domains, they will have to do the work on this part themselves. Point them towards their registrar support system if they find themselves unable to create the A Record.

Mapping custom domain name as Super Admin

When you are logged in as  Super Admin on your network, you can easily add and manage custom domain names by going under  WP Ultimo -> Domains.

Under this page, you can click on the "Add domain" button on top and this will bring up a modal window where you can set and fill in the  custom domain namethe subsite you wish to apply the custom domain name to, and decide whether you want to set it as the  primary domain name or not ( note that you can map multiple domain names to one subsite).

After putting all the information in, you can then click the "Add existing domain" button at the bottom. This will start the process of verifying and fetching the DNS information of the custom domain. You will also see a log at the bottom of the page for you to see the process it is going through. This process may take a few minutes to complete. The "Stage" or the status should change from " Checking DNS" to " Ready" if everything is properly set up.

Mapping custom domain name as Subsite user

Subsite administrators can also map custom domain names from their subsite admin dashboard but first, you need to make sure that you enable this option under the  Domain mapping settings. See the screenshot below.

You can also set or configure this option under the " Plan" level or product options.

When any of those options are enabled and a subsite user is allowed to map custom domain names, the subsite user should see a metabox under the " Account" page called " Domains".

The user can click the "Add domain" button and it will bring up a modal window with some instructions.

The user can then click "Next Step" and proceed in adding the custom domain name.

This will start the process of verifying and fetching the DNS information of the custom domain.

About Domain Syncing

Domain Syncing is a process where WP Ultimo adds the custom domain name to your hosting account as an "add on" domain  for the domain mapping to work. Domain syncing automatically happens if your hosting provider has integration with the WP Ultimo domain mapping feature. Those hosting providers are  Runcloud, Closte, WP Engine, Gridpane, WPMU Dev, Cloudways, and Cpanel.

You will need to activate this integration on WP Ultimo settings under the Integration tab.

Note that if your hosting provider is not one of those providers mentioned above, you will need to manually sync or add the domain name to your hosting account.
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