Site Factory

Using CNAME with your site collection

CNAME forwarding is the preferred method for connecting a domain name you have purchased to a Site Factory site collection.

A CNAME record redirects website visitors from the domain name they entered in their browsers to another domain name—in this case, your Site Factory site collection. Using CNAME to point to a site collection location instead of an IP address also allows Site Factory to better guarantee high availability.


Forwarding your domain name directly to a single IP address using an A Record is possible, but can compromise your Site Factory site collection’s availability to visitors.

To use a CNAME record for your domain name:

  1. Contact your domain name registrar and learn how to manage your domain name. In most cases, you can access DNS controls by logging in to your domain name registrar’s website. Your domain name registrar is your best resource for information about managing your domain name on their website.

  2. Using your domain name registrar’s instructions, create the www subdomain of your domain, and any other required subdomains. Subdomains are addresses based on your second-level domain name, but prefixed with a descriptor, such as www or blog. For example, if your domain name is, you would create along with any other required subdomains.

  3. Create a CNAME entry or record to point the complete www subdomain (and, separately, any other subdomains) to your Site Factory site collection.


After you create a CNAME record for your custom domain, you must add the domain to your Site Factory site collection.

Adding your domain

To add the www subdomain (and any other subdomains you created for your domain name) to your Site Factory site collection:

  1. Sign in to the Site Factory Management Console on your production environment, find the site collection to which you want to add a custom domain name, and then open its actions menu.


    Domains added to non-production environments are removed when you restage a Factory to the non-production environment.

  2. Click Manage Domains.

  3. In the Associate a domain section, enter your domain name (such as


    Some domain name registrars list domain names in all capital letters in their web interfaces. Be sure to enter your domain name into the Add a domain field using lowercase letters only. For example, enter instead of WWW.EXAMPLE.COM.

  4. Click Associate domain.


If your domain’s CNAME record hasn’t been created properly or if it has not yet fully propagated, you can’t add it to your Site Factory website. Wait some time and try again.

Your www subdomain directs visitors to your Site Factory website and all its URLs will be listed.

Some users won’t use the www when visiting your website, so forward your domain name (such as to the www subdomain ( based on your domain name registrar’s instructions.

Your website’s visitors can then find your website with or without the www.

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 send an email like 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 want 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.

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