Add a domain name to your site using an external DNS service

Updated on 20-October-2016 at 10:16 AM

Business Catalyst End of life announcement - find out more details.

Add a domain name to your site using an external DNS server

Business Catalyst allows the option to add new domains using external DNS servers.
The process is similar to adding a domain and using our service to host DNS :

Step 1 - Buy and register a domain name

If not already done, purchase and register a domain name with a domain registrar. For more information, see How to Register Your Own Domain Name by Christopher Heng on

Step 2 - Add the domain name to your site

Access Admin > Site Settings > Site Domains and select New Domain.

Enter the domain name in plain format (Ex. Below you'll select where you want to host DNS.


  • Use an external DNS Server.

Using an external DNS server you won't be able to use our service for email. To host mail with us, take a look at adding a domain and using our service to host DNS .

Note: For the best experience using Business Catalyst we recommend adding a maximum of 50 site domains. For more details please see the Business Catalyst system limits .

Step 3 - Create A records pointing to our datacenter

After adding a domain name to your Business Catalyst site, the confirmation message above will display our data-center IP addreses. You now only need to create an A record at your registrar to point to this IP.

  1. Log in to your domain registrar's control panel.

    Use the login name and password that you created when you registered the domain name.

  2. Look for the option to configure DNS Records.

    The workspace for managing domain name servers (or DNS) is different for each registrar. See the registrar website or contact the registrar for help.

  3. Create A records pointing to the ip address outputted by the message in your admin panel.

    You will usually have to create 2 A-records, one for your domain ( and for the www version of your domain (
  4. You can also create a CNAME between www and non-www URLs. See creating advanced DNS record

    Here are the ip addresses for each of our datacenters:

    • United States Datacenter - or or
    • Europe Datacenter- or or
    • Australian Datacenter- or or

Having trouble creating A records at your registrar? Here are some step-by-step guides for the most common registrars out there .

What datacenter is your site located on?

To determine which datacenter you're using , try pinging the system (* or secure (* subdomains for your site. To ping a site, follow these instructions:

  • On Windows: go to Start > Run (or search) -> cmd.exe
  • On Mac: search and open Terminal


    • Type ping and press Enter
      Replace yoursite with your site subdomain name (this url was generated when you created the site)

    • The first message displayed will be something like:
      "Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:"
      The IP within brackets is what you're after - that's the Datacenter IP.

Note: you might get "Request timed out" when doing the ping command. This is normal, and it doesn't mean that the site is down