While Shopify gives you a free .myshopify.com domain name, if you are serious about setting your Shopify store up properly, then you need it to be running on your own domain name.
And when it comes to setting up a custom domain, Shopify has three different options that you can choose from and we are going to cover all of these in this quick tutorial, so let’s get started…
Buying Your Domain From Shopify
The first method is to buy your domain name through Shopify (although we do recommend keeping your domain name and website provider separate!) and this can be done by going to Settings → Domains and clicking the Buy new domain button on the top right-hand corner.
This will take you through to a new page where you can start typing your desired domain name:
Shopify will then present you with the most popular TLDs (top-level domains) such as .com, .net, .org etc and also display how much these domains cost per year.
If the TLD isn’t available, then it will say unavailable, which can be quite common with popular options such as .com domains, you can also choose to see another 10 TLDs by clicking the Show next 10 link at the bottom of the list.
Once you find the domain name that you want, click on the buy button and follow the instructions in order to be able to purchase the domain but you will need to have a payment method added to your store (primarily for your monthly subscription) in order to complete the purchase.
Connecting Your Domain to Shopify
This is our preferred option as it allows you to keep your domain name provider, which saves you from having everything with Shopify but it is a little bit more complicated to set up and you will need access to your domain names DNS settings, which should be accessible through the domain provider dashboard.
Google Domains, GoDaddy & 1&1 IONIS Domains
If you have purchased a domain name from any of these companies, then you don’t need to complete the steps below as they have an auto-connect feature, to do this:
- Enter your domain name in the box and click next
- Then click Connect Automatically
- Log in to your provider if necessary
- Click connect and then close
Your domain should then be automatically connected to your Shopify store but it can still take up to 48 hours for the domain to propagate properly.
If you have purchased a domain name from any other company, then you will need to complete the following steps:
Step 1: Configure Your DNS Settings
The first step in connecting your domain name to Shopify is to go in and configure your domain name DNS settings, if you are not sure how to do this, contact your domain name provider or look through their documentation for a written guide.
In order to point your domain name towards Shopify, you will need to modify or delete and then add the A and CNAME records so that they are configured in the following way:
- A Record – Name = @, Value = 22.214.171.124
- CNAME Record – Name = www, Value = shops.myshopify.com
You can have multiple CNAME records on your domain but it is the www one that you want to change.
Step 2: Verify the Connection
This will then point your domain name towards the Shopify servers, once you have done this, you want to go back into the domain settings for your site (in the Online Store section of your dashboard) and click verify connection.
Note: it can take up to 48 hours for these changes to take effect, if nothing has happened after 48 hours, you will need to contact your domain name provider.
Once your connection has been verified, you want to set your newly connected domain name as the Primary Domain so that all your traffic goes to this domain name.
Transfer Domain Name to Shopify
The final option is to transfer a domain from a third-party to Shopify but this is only available for eligable domains.
To start a domain transfer, click on the connect domain option and then click the ‘transfer it to Shopify’ link below the box where you input the domain name.
Then type in the name of the domain that you want to transfer, including the TLD and then click next.
You will then be asked to prepare the domain for transfer, which includes:
- Unlocking your domain
- Confirming the admin email is up to date
- Getting an Authorization Code
You also need to check with your domain provider what their policies are around transfer and these do vary from company to company, with some charging a fee in order to be able to transfer your name away from them, which will need to be paid before they unlock the domain.
Once you have completed the steps to unlock your domain name, click on the Verify Domain button and if it has been succesfully unlocked, you will be able to proceed with the transfer.
On the next page, you will be asked to enter the Authorization Code provided by your current registrar, once this has been entered, you can then select whether you want to domain to auro-renew before proceeding to the buy and transfer page, which is where you confirm that you would like to begin the transfer.
You may receive an email from your current registrar asking if you would like to confirm that you want to transfer the domain away from them and you will need to follow any instructions to do this.
Just be aware though that it can take up to 20 days for a domain transfer to be completed.
So those are the three ways that you can set up your own custom domain name on Shopify and as we said, our preference is the connect option as it keeps your domain name and website platform separate, which gives you more control over your business but it is entirely up to you which option you choose.
And whichever one this is, be prepared for it to take anywhere from a few hours to a few days for the domain name to be set up properly and Shopify can’t do anything to speed this up, it is just the way it works with Domain Names.
If you would like to buy a domain name outside of Shopify but aren’t sure where to use, we recommend Namecheap as they offer reasonable prices, lifetime domain privacy protection for many domains and an easy to use dashboard.