Map your site to your own domain

If you would like your site to appear under a custom domain URL that you control, such as www.example.com, you can have your site appear at that URL by going through a process known as mapping your site. Then, as people navigate your site, they will remain on www.example.com unless they click an external link.

To point visitors to this new URL, you might also have to make changes to your CNAME record, which controls what aliases are associated with your domain.

Map your site toward your custom URL

How you map your site to a custom URL depends on whether you are using Google Sites through Google Apps. You can tell if you are using Google Apps because the URL of your site will have "/a" after sites.google.com (for example, http://sites.google.com/a/AppsDomain.com/yoursite).

Sites through Google Apps

Sites created through Google Apps can only be mapped to a custom URL by the administrator for the Google Apps account. If you are an administrator, you can map a site to your Apps URL ("AppsDomain.com" in the example above) through the Google Apps control panel:

  1. Click Settings and then Sites in the Google Apps control panel or, if using the new administrator console, click on Google Apps and select Sites on the Services page.
  2. On the Sites Settings page, select the Web address mapping tab or, in the new console, click Advanced settings
  3. Click Add a new web address.
  4. Enter the name of the site you want to map to your Apps URL ("yoursite" in the example above).
  5. In the Web Address field, enter the sub-domain you'd like to map the site to. (For example, if you want to map your site to "www.AppsDomain.com", the sub-domain would be "www".)
  6. Select Add mapping and follow the instructions provided.

You might have to wait up to 24 hours to see your changes.

Sites outside of Google Apps

If you own a domain and have access to change the CNAME record, you can map any site created in Google Sites outside of Google Apps (for example, sites.google.com/site) to a custom URL:

  1. Select Manage Site from the More Actions drop-down menu.
  2. Click the Web Address tab.
  3. Enter your custom URL in the Web Address text box, then click the Add button at the top of the page.

For security reasons, your domain must be verified with Google. See the below section, "'Domain is not verified' error when mapping," for details.

Change your CNAME record

Depending on your domain registrar, you may need to make changes to your CNAME record in order for your site to be mapped:

  1. Sign in to the site where you control your own site with custom URL.
  2. Navigate to your Domain Name Server (DNS) management page. The location and name of this page varies by host, but can generally be found in the Domain Management or Advanced Settings section.
  3. Find the CNAME settings and in the section 'CNAME value or alias,' enter the sub-domain you'd like to map the URL to. The sub-domain for www.example.com would be www.
  4. Set the CNAME destination to the following address: ghs.googlehosted.com
  5. Save your changes with your domain host.

Notes about changing your URL

  • Mappings are restricted to sub-domain level only, such as www.example.com, wiki.example.com, or support.example.com. You can't map your domain to what is known as a naked domain, such as http://example.com.
  • You can map up to five sub-domains to a given site.
  • Mapping only works with Google Sites that are public. People visiting a private site will be redirected to your standard Google Sites URL. For instance, if people access a private site at http://private-wiki.example.com, they'll be redirected to the standard URL, http://sites.google.com/a/AppDomain.com/private-wiki.

'Address already used' error when mapping

If you're receiving an error that reads, "This address is already being used," you'll need to verify that the URL isn't mapped to another site.

Check the settings in the service control panel of your desired URL to see if it has already been mapped to another site.

Video of changing your URL

'Domain is not verified' error when mapping

For security reasons, we require that you verify you own the web address you use in order to map it. You can do by adding a DNS TXT or CNAME record using Webmaster tools:

  1. Go to the Webmaster Tools home page.
  2. If the domain or web address where you want your site mapped isn't already listed, click Add Site to add it. If you're mapping a subdomain (say, subdomain.example.com) you'll need to verify the domain (example.com), not the subdomain (subdomain.example.com).
  3. If you're adding this address now, click Continue. The "Site verification" page will open. If the address was already listed, click the Manage Site button next to the address or domain you want and then click Verify this site.
  4. Click the Alternate methods tab.
  5. Select Domain name provider.
  6. Select your domain registrar and follow the instructions on your screen. If your domain registrar isn't listed, select Other, and follow the instructions to manually create a DNS record.
  7. Click Verify. Don't delete the record from your server, as this will cause your site to become unverified.

Once your domain is verified, mapping the domain will work successfully.