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Custom Domains


CLI Command examples on this page are always provided without the --application (shorthand -A) argument, assuming you’re running these commands in a connected folder (at creation or using the dotcloud connect command). For more details on connected folders, see Migrating to the CLI 0.9.

New Custom Domains require the Live or Enterprise flavor. So the first steps in adding a custom domain to your application are:

  1. Deploy a Live or Enterprise application on dotCloud.
  2. Purchase your domain name.
  3. "dotcloud domain add"
  4. Edit your DNS CNAME record via your registrar.
  5. Wait up to 48 hours (but it could be as quick as 2 minutes).

Adding a Custom Domain

1. Deploy

Please see the ‘live’ documentation for how to create a Live-flavored application.

2. Purchase your domain

There are many domain registration services. You can use any domain registrar that allows you to edit your CNAME records. Some popular registrars are:

  • ix web hosting
  • 1and1
  • EveryDNS.net
  • Yahoo!SmallBusiness
  • GoDaddy.com (note: they do not support wildcard domains in CNAMEs)

3. Alias add

Let’s imagine you’ve purchased the domain “example.com”. You cannot map a naked domain like “example.com” to a dotCloud-hosted service, but you can map a wildcard domain (“*.example.com”) or a specific subdomain like “www.example.com”.

To use www.example.com with your ramen.www service:

dotcloud domain add www www.example.com

If everything goes well, you’ll see the “Ok...” message and the command will show you the DNS records to use to complete the setup. The first part (“www.example.com.”) is the name of the record you should edit at your registrar. The second part, “gateway.dotcloud.com” is the data you should map to your domain. Note that “gateway.dotcloud.com” could change, so please pay attention to the value returned by dotcloud domain after “IN CNAME”.

You should follow your registrar’s instructions for editing your DNS record and CNAME. The specifics of how to edit vary from registrar to registrar. In general you follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your registrar.
  2. Select the domain you want to edit.
  3. Open the DNS editor.
  4. Add a CNAME record
    1. Name is usually the new subdomain, e.g. “www” or “*” (for all subdomains)
    2. Host Name or Data is the value dotcloud domain add returned after “IN CNAME”, e.g. “gateway.dotcloud.com”.

dotCloud’s domain command will be effective in about a minute after completing, and your service will be available on your custom domain as soon as your registrar propagates the change in your DNS CNAME. The DNS name change could take as long as 48 hours, but often completes in just a few minutes.

Removing a Custom Domain

dotcloud domain remove www www.example.com

Naked Domains

You cannot use a “naked domain” (i.e. an address without a host part, like my-own-domain.com).


You can use wildcard domains, by using a domain like *.example.com. Not all providers allow wildcards, however. Please check before you buy.


dotCloud can host your own CA-signed certificates with your custom domains. For more information, please see the SSL documentation.