How to Park Domains on Bluehost and Still Manage WordPress
If you’re looking to park a domain on Bluehost, but you still want to manage your WordPress sites via the same dashboard, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll show you how to configure WordPress to work with your parked domain.
Step 1: Install WordPress
As we mentioned above, Bluehost already comes with WordPress installed. If you log in to your account, you’ll see the quick dashboard with the standard WordPress amenities (Posts, Pages, Comments, etc.).
If you’d like to install WordPress on your own server, you can do so via the Quick Install button on Bluehost. This will walk you through a very simple setup process. Once the WordPress installation is done, you can hit the Dashboard to see your newly installed WordPress site. You can also log in to see your site’s stats and monitor its performance via the WordPress dashboard.
Step 2: Configure WordPress For Domain Parking
WordPress comes with a built-in domain manager. In case you’d like to park a domain on WordPress, you can use the parking feature built into WordPress. This allows you to create subdomains for each of the websites you manage via the WordPress dashboard. For example, you can create a blog.example.com parked domain for WordPress and then a store.example.com domain for Shopify.
If you’d like to configure your parked domain on WordPress, you can use the built-in domain manager. You can also use the free ParkMyDomain addon for WordPress to get even more functionality. With this plugin, you can configure the details of your parked domain (the A record, the CNAME record, and the IP address) directly from the WordPress dashboard. This makes it very easy to set up your parked domains.
The good thing about the WordPress dashboard is that you can always go back and edit any setting (including your parked domains). This allows you to test different configurations and see how different elements of your site perform with various settings. For example, you can try out a new CNAME record and watch how your WordPress sites break (or don’t break) with it.
Step 3: Secure Your WordPress Site
You’ve successfully installed WordPress and configured it for your domain parking. Now you need to secure your WordPress installation so that nobody (not even you!) can access it directly via the IP address. For this, you need to take care of the following:
- Set the WordPress password
- Change its password every month
- Set the owner of the WordPress account to be a dedicated individual
- Set the WordPress access level to be private
- Change the wp-config.php file’s htaccess configuration to add some security
- Use a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt to secure your WordPress site
The first thing you should do is set a strong password for your WordPress account. Next, change it every month. Be sure to use a different password for each website you have (even if it’s just one). If you use the same password for multiple accounts, it’ll be very easy for someone to access your personal information if they get access to one of your accounts. Finally, set the owner of the WordPress account to a dedicated individual (we recommend a separate email account for this). Doing so will help you identify if someone is trying to access your account without your permission. It’s also a good idea to set up a dedicated IP address for your website. This will prevent anyone from hacking your website and seeing your personal information.
If you need help with any of the above, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via the support form available on Bluehost (if you use our shared hosting solution), via email (for contact forms and stuff like that), or via Twitter (for rapid support).
Step 4: Test Your Configuration
Once you’ve set up the above and confirmed that everything works as expected, it’s time to move onto the next step. This is where you test (and confirm) your configuration. For this, you need to visit the parking page of one of your websites (e.g., blog.example.com) and navigate to the section called Create a Subdomain. When you click on this option, you’ll be presented with the following screen:
At this point, you can add a new domain (e.g., productreviewer.com) and test its performance by navigating to blog.example.com. If all goes well, you’ll see the default “It works!” page from WordPress.
If you change the URL in the address bar to productreviewer.com, you’ll see the following error message:
Error establishing a database connection
This means that the domain wasn’t parked successfully. To fix this, you need to either delete the domain or change its settings. You can also try out a new domain and test its performance.
For more information on parking domains on WordPress, check out the ParkMyDomain documentation. This plugin has been tested and certified on WordPress 4.4 and higher. Below is an in-depth tutorial on how to do this via the WordPress dashboard:
How to Easily Configure WordPress For Domain Parking
As we mentioned above, the good thing about the WordPress dashboard is that you can always go back and edit any setting (including your parked domains). This allows you to test different configurations and see how different elements of your site perform with various settings. For example, you can try out a new CNAME record and watch how your WordPress sites break (or don’t break) with it.
The process of setting up WordPress for domain parking is quite simple. For this, you’ll need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Login to Your WordPress Dashboard
The first step is to login to your WordPress dashboard. For this, you can use the username admin and the password password. Once you’re logged in, you can use the menus at the top to navigate to Settings and then to Online Marketing. From here, you can click on Parking to bring up the following screen:
As you can see above, there are four options here:
- Create a Subdomain – This option will walk you through the process of creating a new subdomain for your WordPress website
- Add a New Domain – This option will bring up a dialog where you can add a new domain for your WordPress website
- Switch to Classic Theme – If you’re using a theme other than the default “Twenty Sixteen” then you can switch back to using the classic theme (i.e., Twenty Sixteen) via this option
- Change Password – This option will change the password for your WordPress account
The Create a Subdomain option allows you to create subdomains for your WordPress website. When you create a subdomain, you can specify its CNAME record (a type of server-side cookie) and A Record. The A Record is your domain’s IP address, but for the purposes of SEO (search engine optimization), it’s better to use the CNAME record instead. This is because, when a user enters an IP address in the address bar of their browser, the request is usually cached by the browser. This means that the next time the user goes to that page, they’ll see the content that was at the top of their mind when they last visited the site. Basically, using the CNAME record will make your content show up when a user searches for it using Google or another search engine.