By default, publish sites are available at publish.illinois.edu/sitename, however you can assign a custom domain, such as sitename.dept.illinois.edu by following the steps outlined in this article
There are two stages involved in pointing your publish website at a custom domain. The first stage involves creating or editing DNS entries, and is to be completed by an IT Professional in your unit. The second stage is to configure your website to respond to the new DNS name, and can be completed by the owner of the website from the website dashboard.
These DNS Configuration steps should be performed by one of your Unit's IT Professionals:
Updating an Existing Record
If the custom domain you are using has already been registered, the DNS entry will need to be updated. This case usually applies to websites that were previously hosted on a different server and are now migrating to the Publish.Illinois.Edu service.
- If you have an existing CNAME record, change it to pub-origin.publish.illinois.edu
- If you have an existing A record, change it to 126.96.36.199
New Subzone of Illinois.edu
At the University of Illinois there are two types of custom domains you can request: a subzone off illinois.edu; or a hostname off an existing subzone.
The process begins with requesting the new subzone from Technology Services. Most of the information on the form will be unique to your unit. To use this subzone with publish.illinois.edu, the following fields are required:
- Do you want an A record? Yes. For the IP address use: “188.8.131.52”.
- Do you want a CNAME? Yes. The host you associate with the CNAME is the subzone you are requesting. For example: “myzone.illinois.edu”.
Once Tech Services fulfills the request you can continue on with Configuring Your Site.
New Hostname in an Existing Subzone
If you want to use a new hostname in your existing subzone (ie: “blog.myzone.illinois.edu”) it is as simple as creating the correct record in IPAM.
- From your subzone, add a new CNAME Record.
- For the “Alias” enter the hostname in your subzone for your publish.illinois.edu site. For example, “blog” as your alias if you want your full hostname to be “blog.myzone.illinois.edu”.
- For the “Canonical Name” enter “pub-origin.publish.illinois.edu”.
- Click “Save & Close”.
These website configuration steps should be completed by the owner of the website hosted on Publish
Configuring Your Site
After your IT Pro has finished the DNS setup, you’re ready to configure publish.illinois.edu to recognize your custom domain.
- Log in to the Dashboard for your site.
- Under “Tools” click on “Domain Mapping”. This option is only available to users with the WordPress Administrator role
- Under “Add new domain” type in your custom domain. If you registered both “www.mysite.illinois.edu” and “mysite.illinois.edu” you only need to enter “mysite.illinois.edu”. The system knows about “www” and will redirect appropriately.
- Only one domain can be the primary domain for your site. All requests from other domains will be redirected to your primary domain. If you’d like this new custom domain to be the primary one, check “Primary domain for this blog”.
- Click “Add” and you’re done!
If all the DNS changes are complete, you should be able to immediately visit your site on your custom domain.
It is recommended that all Publish websites support SSL. Without an SSL certificate, users visiting your website via https will receive an error message and may not be able to access your content. Custom domains within illinois.edu will be automatically added to a Publish SSL certificate within 7 days of assigning the custom domain. Please see https://answers.illinois.edu/illinois/pie-ssl for information about requesting SSL certificates for custom domains on Publish or visit PIE-SSL Certificate request for Custom Domains to request a certificate.