Problems with Domain Mapping

I've been able to get domain mapping working in the past, but after a complete site duplication to a new domain name, there are some problems. All of this was working at dreamweavers-quilts.com on a dedicated IP address. Two domains were mapped to subsites on the network: ericruggles.com mapped to ericruggles.dreamweavers-quilts.com and inchiequilts.com mapped to inchiequilts.dreamweavers-quilts.com and all was well for almost two years.

When I duplicated the files and database from dreamweavers-quilts.com to fabricbias.com, the dedicated IP address for dreamweavers-quilts.com was reassigned by the host to fabricbias.com. I haven't been able to get the domain mapping to work at the new domain.

I now have Wordpress on fabricbias.com, set up as a multisite installation just the same as it was at the old domain. I'm trying to map ericruggles.com and inchiequilts.com to ericruggles.fabricbias.com and inchiequilts.fabricbias.com respectively. I updated the domain mapping plugin to the latest version and the first thing it showed was "Invalid" in the status and this error:

Host Name: ericruggles.fabricbias.com
Record Type: CNAME
Value: 209.191.187.7

and the same for inchiequilts.com. For troubleshooting purposes, I deleted the mapping for inchiequilts.com and tried to remap it, and then got this error:

Domain name is unavailable to access. We can't access your new domain. Mapping a new domain can take as little as 15 minutes to resolve but in some cases can take up to 72 hours so please wait if you just bought it. If it is an existing domain and has already been fully propagated, check your DNS records are configured correctly.

I know that these two domains are fully propagated to the dedicated IP address, and have been for almost two years. I've worked with my host and they've confirmed that the A records for both domains are set correctly to the dedicated IP address, and I can also see that in WHM myself (I have a managed VPS so I can see and do some things myself). There are no CNAME records pointing at that IP address, so I can't tell why I was getting that error at all.

I've deleted both domain maps now, and uninstalled the plugin completely and reinstalled it. Now I receive this error on both domains when I try to map the domain:

Domain name is unavailable to access. We can't access your new domain. Mapping a new domain can take as little as 15 minutes to resolve but in some cases can take up to 72 hours so please wait if you just bought it. If it is an existing domain and has already been fully propagated, check your DNS records are configured correctly.

I've since terminated both accounts on my server and created new accounts and again made sure that the A records are correct for each account, yet I still can't set the domain mapping, because I'm still getting the same error.

I have no idea what to do to make this all work again, and I'd be very grateful for any help.

  • Michelle Shull

    Hey there, Raevenne!

    You mention that you've dealt with all your DNS records on the host end, is there any chance you've got records at your registrar (if you bought your domain names from a different company than where you're hosting them, for example.) that still point these subdomains to your old primary domain?

    When you're making these DNS changes, are you giving them time to spread across the internet before testing? Sometimes this can take as long as 48 hours to do, depending on how far you are physically from one of the primary internet hubs.

    If neither of these scenarios sounds like it's the issue here, we can absolutely dig deeper.

    Thanks, Raevenne!

  • Raevenne

    The domains are both pointed at the proper name servers. The old primary domain was pointed at cloudflare's name servers, and the new primary domain is also pointed at cloudflare's servers. For ericruggles.com and inchiequilts.com, they were never pointed at anything other than the hosts name servers for my VPS even when they were on the old primary domain and they worked. Are they supposed to be pointed at cloudflare's name servers as well?

    As for waiting for propagation, as I said, these domains have had A records with the same dedicated IP for nearly two years. I think they're pretty propagated at this point.

  • Raevenne

    I've looked over the installation instructions for Domain Mapping again, and I see this:

    Note: The IP address must have it’s DocumentRoot set so that when you load it in your browser you will see your WordPress install. In most cases this should be /public_html/ but it can vary, your host will be able to assist easily. This ensures that any mapped domains will be sent through to your WordPress install.

    If this wasn't set right (and I'm not sure it is) would that cause this issue?

  • hello253

    Hi

    @Ash's solution worked for me. I contacted my server provider and they pointed the IP to the main site directory by using wildcard vhosts. This fixed the problem I had with not being able to map domains.

    However, the server provider also pointed out that doing this may have an adverse effect on SEO. Search engines may decide that the domain, the IP and the server URL are 3 websites with identical content and you may get penalized for duplicate content.

    On my site, I ensure that I've got a canonical tag in the header pointing to my domain and I believe this should ensure you don't get penalized.

  • Raevenne

    Hi Ash, and hello253!

    Thanks for the replies. I do finally have it all sorted out as of just this time yesterday morning. It's a long ridiculous series of events, but the beginning of the problem was indeed that the dedicated IP wasn't ever set correctly at the host. There were (and still are) other issues, but for the meantime, all is working and the host is proceeding with some much needed upgrades on their side of things so that it will be completely sorted soon.

    Thanks for the heads up about the duplicate content! I'll see about adding a canonical tag to the site.

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