I can't set a CNAME for a root domain with hosting

(Harsh Agrawal) #1

Hey Guys
I have purchased an account and right now on trial period. I have updated the CNAME record as suggested and waiting for the email. How much time it would take to setup?
My domain is: shoutersland.com

(Sam Saffron) #2

This is normally handled automatically and super fast, however you can not set a CNAME on a bare domain (it needs to be a subdomain) so you are going to have to add an IP address in the A record here and we will need to provision you manually.

Please contact us at: team@discourse.org

(Harsh Agrawal) #3

Thanks @sam Just dropped an email. Kindly reply ASAP! It’s 3.45 A.M here in my timezone.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

Unfortunately the information @sam gave above is incorrect. I apologize for the delay but there is some difficulty with root domains, and our instructions need to be improved in this specific case.

We really don’t want hosted customers mapping to IP addresses as this is fragile and error prone if those IP addresses change in the future, and they definitely will. The specific issue is that you have requested a site at a bare domain, e.g.


This is a little bit unusual as Discourse is designed to work alongside your main website, not be the entire website by itself. That is why the homepage discourse.org tells you what Discourse is, rather than dumping you into a lot of discussion.

If you really want Discourse as your homepage – and I advise against this unless you are absolutely sure you will never, ever have any other pages on that domain, forever – then set it up as


(Because if example.com works then www.example.com also has to work in all cases…)

Where www is the CNAME record pointing to the hosting record. You can then redirect example.com to www.example.com via your DNS settings.

(Jeff Atwood) #5

Sam pointed out this article:

So perhaps if you truly need Discourse at a root domain, you must switch to CloudFlare for your DNS. As long as we are avoiding mapping an IP address, that is fine.

(Harsh Agrawal) #6

Thanks @codinghorror
Your reasoning is great, and idea of having custom homepage sounds great to me. Right now I have setup on my main blog sub-domain (Using trial account) and will see SEO implication (My biggest fear) in coming days. If it works out great, will stick to the sub-domain (ask.shoutmeloud.com), else I planned to move Forum to another domain.