WordPress, domain forwarding and masking

See also my post on speeding up your WordPress site!

I put a lot of thought in how I wanted to handle my WordPress blog and my SeriouslyTrivial domain name. I decided to pony up the $10/year and do the official WordPress domain mapping instead of doing a domain forward. Here’s why:

Domain Forwarding Only: This just redirects the domain name to the WordPress URL, so visitors and search crawlers still see http://spice3d.wordpress.com. The real downside is that if I ever move off wordpress.com, I couldn’t mimick the old site URLs on my own. The SeriouslyTrivial.com domain is essentially useless as far as search goes.

Domain Forwarding and Masking: Well this gets a little closer to what I want. Visitors and crawlers would see SeriouslyTrivial.com. However, I finally figured out that all masking does is create an on-the-fly webpage with a frameset that contains the “forwarded” URL. In other words, it doesn’t really “forward” the domain. The downside for this method is that spice3d.wordpress.com would still exist and there would be duplication on search engines. I still sort of have the issue of not being able to mimick the spice3d.wordpress.com URL should I later decide to move the site or host myself. Another annoying side effect is that the favicon doesn’t work due to the use of a frameset. (I suppose I could have gotten around this by just setting up a real page with the proper frameset and giving that page the desired favicon.)

WordPress Domain Mapping: This basically makes it like I am hosting the blog myself and just using the WordPress engine. The cool feature with this is that you can make it so the WordPress URL redirects to the domain name rather than the other way around. In other words, for me, SeriouslyTrivial.com hosts the blog and spice3d.wordpress.com redirects to SeriouslyTrivial.com. (Note that by default its the other way around. On the Domains config page, you have to click the “Put blog here” link next to the domain name and WordPress flips things for you.) This feature will put you back a paltry $10 a year, but its worth it I think. (Important: Doing this can mess up mail if you also use the domain name for that.)

Oh also, it’s a little confusing when you first do the mapping. When you try to add the domain name, WordPress comes back with an error that says you have to buy 10 credits, but gives you no way to actually buy the credits! However, the page will tell you how to set up your DNS nameservers for the domain name. What you have to do is first set up your nameservers , then it will allow you to buy the credits. Why it doesn’t tell you this here, I don’t know. Stoopid.

After WordPress can verify you have changed the nameservers (supposedly it can take hours or days, but it only took a few minutes for me), when you try to add the domain again, a link will appear (instead of the error page) that will let you buy the credits through PayPal. After you buy the credits, when you go back to the set up page there will be a confusingly named “Buy” button. Click it and you can “buy” the domain mapping feature using the credits you just purchased. I know it’s confusing, but just remember to set up the nameservers first. The WordPress FAQ is here.


Jenny Nazak

Thank You for the tips and also for the links to the WordPress instructions! :-)

James Diggs

How did you get your favicon to work with WordPress Domain Mapping?


thanks you so much for the help.

Bernie May

As predicted, my email is indeed messed up. Any suggestions for un-messing it, besides not forwarding the domain?


That was nice if wordpress mapping can be used as an alternative for domain forwarding. The only problem I’m seeing now is how it’s usually done. hope you have a screenshot.


Try using the FAQ. The link is above.

amit khanna

Hi there,

I just read your blog entry and I too kind of facing a similar problem. I have a domain name with godaddy.com and web space with another hosting company.

My domain is forwarded to a folder on my other site. So when I open this domain… the links in the address bar never changes. Whatever page or post I open in wordpress.. the address bar just shows my domain name.

Can this be fixed or will I have to transfer my domain name to my other hosting company.

Appreciate your anticipated response.



I’m not sure, but I do not think you can do what you are trying to do.

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