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Pointing a GoDaddy hosted domain to SmugMug – manually

SmugMug offers a great tool that can automatically setup your GoDaddy hosted domain – so you do not need to use the tutorial below – if the GoDaddy connector worked for you.

If, for some reason, the connector did not work for you – use this step-by-step tutorial to point your GoDaddy hosted domain to SmugMug.

In my tutorial I will be pointing my old domain lgbt-stories.org to my SmugMug account – just so that you can follow my instructions in this tutorial.

Setting up GoDaddy

Log in to your GoDaddy account → click on your name in the upper-right corner of GoDaddy’s homepage → choose MY PRODUCTS → this will list all the products that you have on your GoDaddy account.

Find a domain that you would like to point to SmugMug and click the DNS button:

DNS button on GoDaddy

Setting up CNAME record

Once you click the DNS button, you will see a new page with multiple records:

Editing CNAME record on GoDaddy to point your domain manually to SmugMug

You can ignore all of the records that you are seeing, except the www CNAME record – click on the PEN icon as on my above screenshot and now, we will point this record to domains.smugmug.com

GoDaddy Cname record to domains.smugmug.com


Make sure that you point your domain exactly to ‘domains.smugmug.com’ and not your SmugMug website address.

Click the SAVE button.

This is how your edited CNAME record should look like:

Correct CNAME record setup for SmugMug on GoDaddy


In order for your domain to work with and without the www at the beginning of the URL of your site – we will need to setup a domain forwarding.

On the same page where you have set up the CNAME record, scroll down to a section which says FORWARDING:

Domain Forwarding on GoDaddy for SmugMug

Click the ADD button and fill your boxes like this:

Domain forwarding.

Forward To should be set to https:// and replace www.yourdomain.com with your own domain in my case I have entered www.lgbt-stories.org

Forward type: PERMANENT (301)



Click SAVE.

Setting up SmugMug

Log in to your SmugMug account → open ACCOUNT SETTINGS → ACCOUNT → CUSTOM DOMAIN enter your custom domain address including ‘www’ at the beginning of the link:

Adding custom domain to SmugMug account settings

Click the SAVE & EXIT button and that is it – your domain is now pointing to your SmugMug account.


It may take up to 72 hours for your GoDaddy domain change to propagate. So, if you see an error message when adding the custom domain to SmugMug – don’t worry, it just means that you need to give this a little bit more time { up to 72 hours }.


Updated on May 27, 2018

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