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I'm trying to migrate a WordPress site from GoDaddy to WPEngine. Sites on WPEngine are hosted at [sitename] Importantly, the IP address for the site maps to a landing page instead of your actual content. In other words, if I run ping [sitename] I get an IP address. When I put that IP Address back into my browser, I see a landing page instead of my wordpress site. But, if I visit [sitename] directly, my wordpress site exists.

My problem is, I have an existing domain in GoDaddy. I need this domain to go to my [sitename] site (while keeping my domain in the address bar). The best I could figure out is to create a forwarding record in GoDaddy. However, the performance of my site is of the most importance. I know there are A-records and CNAME records, but I don't fully understand those. Forwarding sounds like a wrapper which would slow things down. From my understanding, an A-record requires an IP Address (which I don't seem to have based on the frst paragraph). And for a CNAME record I'm not sure what to change. I'm concerned I'll break our email capabilities or something.

Is forwarding the correct course of action? Or is there something I can do with the A-and-CNAME records to squeeze out just a little more performance?

Thank you

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closed as off-topic by MichelZ, Rex, Wesley, Ward, mdpc Apr 17 '14 at 22:27

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You're prematurely optimizing.

Do you really think DNS lookups are the slowest part of your entire website? I just did some tests against my own Wordpress site. The DNS lookup took 0.008s, while retrieving the actual body of the page took 0.072s. Pulling down the page is nine times slower, and my web server is cached by Varnish and using a static site plugin. This doesn't include downloading images, running scripts or any of the other things your browser would do.

Yes, performance optimization for DNS is possible. I can't imagine a Wordpress site would ever benefit from it.

Look up name-based virtual hosting. As you saw, you must send for WPEngine's servers to know which host you're requesting. Adding a CNAME from to won't work in that case. You'll have to work with your host (and probably pay them more money) to get the behavior you want.

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I have a boss that is very detail-oriented. He's reading stuff that says GoDaddy's DNS stuff can take up to 300ms (I don't have a source). For that reason, I'm trying to do the best I can on the DNS side to ensure that's not the problem. I do agree theres plenty of optimization on the WordPress side. I just want to address the DNS issue now if I can. – user3284007 Apr 17 '14 at 11:38
If GoDaddy's DNS slowness is an issue, don't use GoDaddy for DNS. – Joel E Salas Apr 17 '14 at 11:54
He's reading stuff that says GoDaddy's DNS stuff can take up to 300ms - Well hearsay and conjecture don't make for fact. I hate it when people take action on something based on something they read or heard without having cold hard facts to support their position. – joeqwerty Apr 17 '14 at 12:32
I know this is old but... " Adding a CNAME from to won't work in that case." This is wrong. One can either set an A record to the server IP or set a CNAME to [sitename] Bother solution will work and both are mentioned in their support pages – LyK Apr 8 '15 at 9:35
@LyK Do you expect me to keep every answer up to date with every vendor's offering ever? – Joel E Salas Apr 8 '15 at 16:07

According to WPEngine, you just need a CNAME record pointing at your wpengine address. See this for instructions (directly from WPEngine, actually).

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