Can I use a .name TLD with a Netlify site?

I’m trying to see if Netlify will work for hosting my small personal website, since I already used it to build a static site for a class. I was able to get it working from a GitHub repo, and I dangled my toes into the add custom domain, where I came up short. My custom domain is part of the .name TLD, but I get the following message:

"Custom domain already has an owner. Is it you?"

I don’t know how to answer this question. I think “No,” but that leaves me no other options. Is there a way to make this work on Netlify?

Hi, @chuck-martin, and welcome to the Netlify community site.

It sounds like our our Netlify DNS doesn’t currently support .name domains. When Netlify DNS isn’t an option there is an alternative, external DNS:

Would you please try those instructions and let us know if there are any issues or questions?

Hi Luke, that’s an awesomely helpful article–except that the procedures assume user knowledge that may not necessarily be there. (As in me, sadly.)

I think the “Configure a subdomain” procedure would work, and I’m actually looking at my domain name provider’s functionality to add a CNAME record, but I’m stuck. I do not know how to do step 1, “Find your DNS provider’s DNS record settings for your apex domain,” because I’m not sure how to figure out how to find those DNS records for what you call an “apex” domain, and a WHOIS lookup of what I’m guessing would be the “apex” domain for this whole domain is not successful for me.

And I can’t quite follow steps 2 and 3. I think a full CNAME example, perhaps using the domain examples you’re using in the procedure, with each part of the record annotated, would be a huge help.

As a technical writer myself, I know that one of the challenges of designing technical content is understanding to domain knowledge (or lack thereof) of content consumers. That’s why I can be so specific about what I think is missing here and that wold be more helpful to a wider audience of users. I hope that a tech writer at Netlify can update this article with additional information, but I also know that tech comm departments are always woefully understaffed with huge backlogs of content development tasks.


The reason that Netlify DNS won’t work for this domain name is because the of the unusual behavior for the .name top-level domain.

For most domains the root/apex domain is the first segments of the domain name, the top-level domain (TLD) and one level beneath it. Here are two examples:

  • the TLD is com
  • the apex/root domain is
  • is the www subdomain of the apex/root domain

  • the TLD is edu
  • the apex/root domain is
  • is the web subdomain of the apex/root domain

However, for the .name TLD, the second and third level both must be included to get the actual apex/root domain.

  • the TLD is name
  • the apex/root domain is
  • is the www subdomain of the apex/root domain

Netlify DNS doesn’t support the “include two levels beneath the TLD” behavior which is why the .name domains cannot use Netlify DNS at this time.

The DNS records themselves are typically created in a DNS settings page for the domain at the domain registrar. For this domain, I’m showing the registrar is

If you can make a CNAME record for the apex/root domain, please do so. However, CNAMEs are not allowed on the apex/root domain in most cases. (If it is allowed by your DNS service the is often called something different like an ALIAS type record).

If you can use a CNAME for the apex/root domain, please do so. If this is not supported by the DNS service then use an A record pointing to for the apex/root domain and a CNAME record for any/all subdomains of the apex/root domain.

For example:		900	IN	A	900	IN	CNAME

Or, if CNAMEs on the apex/root domain are supported, this:		900	IN	CNAME	900	IN	CNAME

For the actual record, you will replace the with the real subdomain under for your site.

Regarding adding this information to our public docs, I’d be happy to discuss this with our docs team. We walk a difficult line between including all information and keeping the docs short enough that people will read them completely. While a more verbose doc might be helpful for some people, as the docs become more detailed there is an increase people not reading or only partially reading those docs.

If adding all that to our docs isn’t feasible, what do you think about us creating one of our “common issue topics” here in community? Would adding the explanation above regarding TLDs, apex/root domains and subdomains in a “common issue” community topic instead? We could then include a link to that page on the docs page if additional explanation and/or examples would be helpful for readers there.

​Please reply anytime if there are other questions and/or share preferences regarding a docs update vs a community common issue topic.

Thanks Luke, I’m going to dig into this and see if I can figure it out. My registrar is Dotster, on of the few, IIRC when I was searching when this TLD first because available, that supports .name.

As far as docs, that’s always a challenge. Yes, I think that extra information would be helpful. Where is should go, that’s what your doc team does. When I’m writing product documentation–that is what I do, after all–I’m looking at how best to design information such as this. For example, what the different DNS records are, how they work, and how to configure them is probably information that would be referenced in many topics. Whether than information is layered in an included snippet, an expando, or a separate topic with a link, is what we doc folks decide all the time.

DNS is challenging, and with this particular edge case, probably a bit more. I think you have pointed me in the right direction, but I won’t know for sure until I dig in at my registrar. Thanks!

Hi, @chuck-martin, I haven’t been able to prioritize a writing a topic to cover this yet. (There is always so much to do and only so many hours in the day.) :+1:

To summarize my much longer reply above, it is possible to use these domains (domains ending .name) with our service.

For the short term, using external DNS does work. However, at this time, is isn’t possible to use Netlify DNS (where we host the DNS service) for these domains.

So, you can use these domains with your Netlify sites but only with the external DNS method. If you do run into any issues with that method, we are happy to answer questions and/or troubleshoot.