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Using the A Record with your website

Use the following procedure to forward DNS requests to your Site Factory website with an A record (address record) pointing directly to your website’s IP address.

Note

Acquia recommends using a CNAME entry to connect your domain name to your Site Factory website.

Disadvantages of A records

If you use an A record to forward DNS requests for your website to a specific IP address, your website can experience the following issues:

  • You can only create A records for bare domains (not subdomains). For example, you can use an A record to point example.com to an IP address, but not www.example.com. Your DNS provider must point the www subdomain to your Site Factory website for you.
  • To maintain high availability, Site Factory uses dynamic cloud infrastructure and elastic IP addresses to guarantee high availability. Tying your site to a single IP address can compromise its high availability.
  • If your website is moved from one IP address to another (for maintenance or other technical reasons), your domain forwarding will no longer work until you update the DNS record to reflect the new IP address.
  • If the Site Factory team has to change your website’s IP address in a hurry (for example, during an emergency fix), there may not be time to warn you of the change beforehand.

Procedure

To point your domain name at your website using an A Record:

  1. On your computer, open a terminal or command prompt window and run the following command to obtain your website’s IP address: host [site_name].[SF_domain].com

    where [site_name] is your website’s name, and [SF_domain] is the domain name for Site Factory.

    You must the complete Site Factory URL of your website.

  2. Record the IP address displayed by the host command.

  3. Follow your DNS provider’s instructions to set up an A Record pointing your domain name to your website’s IP address.

Note

  • Be patient, as it can take up to 24 hours for your A record information to propagate across the Internet.
  • If you use an A record with your website and your website becomes unavailable, run the host command using your website’s URL to ensure the IP address hasn’t changed.

If the IP address has changed from its earlier value, contact your DNS provider to update the A record to use the new IP address.

Troubleshooting domain issues

You can add domain names to only one environment. Attempting to add a domain to a second environment causes Site Factory to both fail with a logged warning message, and to send an email similar to the following example to the user who attempted to add the domain:

The following domains could not be added to the [sitename] site: [domain list]. If you wish to add this domain to the [sitename] site, remove it from the site that has claimed the domain and then add it again at [factory URL].

To resolve the problem, remove the domain name from both environments, and then add the domain name to the single, appropriate environment.