Digital Communication


Digital Communication

Domain Connect protocol: everything about _domainconnect


_domainconnect is a protocol that facilitates the connection between a domain and a third-party service provider. More and more services are also adopting this open source standard to allow their users to connect to their own website. The connection is thus simplified and secure, while optimizing the efforts devoted to customer service.

What is Domain Connect?

If you want to move your business forward, your own website is an essential lever to encourage customers around the world or in your neighborhood to become passionate about your offer. Although it is becoming easier and easier to present your own brand online, there are many factors to consider in such a project. There are a host of aspects to consider and go into project planning, from the design and cost of a domain, to purchasing the domain itself, to creating your own email address. It is therefore important to make website maintenance easier, particularly through useful tools like Domain Connect.

So that your website can be easily found via your domain name (eg., your domain’s DNS settings must have been configured. If your domain hosting provider and site host support Domain Connect, the necessary DNS settings are automatically configured for you by default. You can then connect the two products in just a few clicks.

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How does Domain Connect work?

For manual setup, you must follow the following steps to connect your domain to external sites/services:

  1. Before you get started, you need some information from your external website provider: If the external site has a specific IP address that you need to point your domain to, make sure you have this data. Alternatively, the external website may also provide you with a CNAME record (Canonical Name) which you can then use to create a DNS record.
  2. Go to the account where you registered your domain. There you can configure the DNS settings for your domain.
  3. Find the DNS settings section in your domain registrar’s control panel. This section could be titled “DNS Management”, “DNS Settings” or something similar.
  4. Based on the information you received from your external website provider, you must create one of the following DNS records:
    • A-Record (to refer to an IP address): Look for the option to add a new DNS record.

    1. Select the “To” or “Address” record type.
    2. Enter your domain name (eg. in the corresponding field.
    3. Insert the IP address of the external website into the “IP Address” field.
    4. Save the DNS record.
    1. Look for the option to add a new DNS record.
    2. Select the “CNAME” record type.
    3. Enter the desired subdomain (e.g. www) in the corresponding field.
    4. Insert the CNAME value provided by the external website into the “CNAME” field.
    5. Save the DNS entry.


Your service provider and the provider where your domain is hosted must support Domain Connect.

The provider does most of the connection work connecting the service to your domain. For your part, all you have to do is initiate the process. Here we show you how it works step by step.

Although the procedure may vary depending on the provider and service, in most cases the following steps are necessary:

  1. Create an account with your service provider and log in.
  2. To set your DNS records, search the service provider for the corresponding domain registrar and enter the domain you want to associate with the service.
  3. The service provider attempts to validate access to your domain; Access is generally given by logging in with your domain registrar.
  4. You will therefore be redirected to your domain registrar and you will then be asked to log in with your login details. Click “Connect”.
  5. Finally, you will be told which DNS records have been modified or added. Confirm the data. The service is now linked to your domain.

What are the benefits of Domain Connection?

For end users, there are many benefits to having their DNS and service providers support Domain Connect:

  • Simple and easy to use : Domain Connect helps avoid manually configuring DNS settings, which can be complex and confusing. This simplifies the process and allows more users to build their online presence on their own, even with limited technical knowledge.
  • Fewer errors : Manually configuring DNS records can result in errors that interrupt services or cause downtime. The automated configuration process helps minimize the risk of such errors.
  • Automatic adaptations : If changes are necessary for a service, they are made automatically by Domain Connect.
  • Flexibility : A large number of services support Domain Connect (websites, online stores, email services, etc.), making it easier for users to use.

For service providers, protocol support and integration with DNS providers also have benefits:

  • Simplified integration : the protocol simplifies and standardizes integration with DNS providers.
  • Improved customer experience : the simplified login process ensures an optimal user experience and thus improves customer satisfaction.
  • Reduced customer service workload : Fewer configuration errors mean fewer problems for customers, which can reduce the number of questions and support requests, thereby reducing customer support costs.

Use cases for Domain Connect

A typical use case for Domain Connect might look like this: we need to associate a website or online store with a domain registered with a DNS provider. But there are also other application cases: for example, the protocol is used to configure a domain as a shipping address for a mail service or when the ownership of the domain must be verified for the use of a service .

How is the Domain Connect protocol used?

In principle, the main work to be done with the Domain Connect protocol is carried out by your supplier. All you have to do is run this operation. Here we show you how it works clearly, step by step.

Publish a website using Domain Connect

Publishing a new website is also much easier with _domainconnect. To do this, generally follow these steps:

  1. Start by creating the new domain. However, it is important to know that the following steps only work if the provider also supports the standard.
  2. At IONOS, for example, you will find a specific area where you can use Domain Connect for your online presence. To do this, log in with your user ID and password.
  3. A list of changes Domain Connect made to the DNS configuration is displayed. If you accept these changes, click “Connect”.
  4. If you close this zone now, the changed DNS settings will be applied. Once this process is completed, your website will go live.

What services support _domainconnect?

Domain Connect was initiated by various companies to simplify and harmonize the connection between providers and services. The free standard works under MIT license and is maintained and optimized by many developers around the world. A large portion of DNS providers as well as an ever-increasing number of service providers support the standard. A list of participating vendors can be found on the official standard page for service providers and the DNS providers.

Domain Connect with IONOS

IONOS is also convinced of the advantages of the Domain Connect protocol and has had great success in implementing this standard. All IONOS domains have the _domainconnect CNAME record by default. For customers, this means they can connect a large number of services to their IONOS domain in just a few steps. Contact your service provider to see if they also support this protocol. If you offer a service yourself and are interested in working with IONOS, do not hesitate to contact us!

For more information on using _domainconnect at IONOS, visit our Support Center.

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