Introduction to Web Domains

If you already have a domain name but are new to domain management, you may find it helpful to familiarise yourself with some important terms and processes involved with managing a domain. Please read through the information below before connecting your third-party domain to your Pattern site.

Domain names

A domain name is the URL, or web address, that points to an IP address. For example, is Etsy’s domain, which points to Etsy’s IP address. Using Pattern, sellers have the ability to point their own domain name to their custom website.

Setting up a domain to point to your website requires some light domain management. We’ve outlined the steps in this guide. Continue reading this article to learn more about what you’ll be changing.

Root domains

A root domain is the actual domain name that you are claiming, such as “Etsy”. When setting up your root domain to point to your Pattern site, you’ll be changing the A record for your domain.

A record stands for address record. An A record points your root domain to a specific IP address. In this case, you’ll be setting up your A record to point to Etsy’s IP address. Once set up, if someone types your domain ( into their browser, they will land on your Pattern site.


A subdomain is essentially an extension of your domain. For example, www.[yourdomain].com or shop.[yourdomain].com. When setting up a subdomain to point to your Pattern site, you’ll be changing the CNAME record for your domain.

CNAME stands for canonical name record. A CNAME can point your subdomain to your root domain, essentially making it an alias for your domain name. In this case, you’ll be setting up your CNAME to point to your Pattern site.

Once set up, if someone types www.[yourdomain].com or shop.[yourdomain].com, they will land on your Pattern site. Most third-party domain providers allow you to set up multiple CNAME records so that you can point several different subdomains to your Pattern site.

Note: In order to connect a domain to your Pattern site, you must create a www. CNAME record and type into the Connect field in your Pattern Dashboard. You can also set up CNAME records to point to other websites. For example, if you run a blog, you can set up an additional CNAME record for your domain to point to your blog (so could point to your Tumblr blog).

Top-level domain

Top-level domain, or TLD, refers to the end of the domain. For example, .com or .net.

When purchasing a domain on Pattern, domain prices will vary depending on TLD. To see a list of these prices, go here.

Domain privacy

Domain privacy is a paid service offered when registering a domain. Domain registrars are required to collect contact and location information from domain registrants. This information is then displayed in WHOIS, which is a public Internet record directory.

If you purchase the WHOIS Privacy Service, your contact information will not be displayed on WHOIS and will instead be replaced with a generic forwarding address. This could potentially cut down on the amount of spam phone calls and emails you receive.

Connecting a domain to your Pattern site

To connect a domain to your Pattern site, you need to set up both a root domain and a subdomain. This Help article provides step-by-step instructions.

Once you’ve set up your domain records, you can visit your Pattern Dashboard to connect your domain to your Pattern site by entering in the Connect field next to Own a domain? Keep in mind that it can take up to 48 hours for your domain to connect.

If you don’t have a domain and would like to register one, you can do so by visiting the Domains section of your Pattern Dashboard.

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