Question about setting up Shopify with my domain

Hi a couple of questions:

first what’s the difference between, say:



are these called two different things? And do they have advantages and disadvantages to each of them?

For instance, I know that Wordpress let’s me use: and it works great.

Shopify will only let me use:

and not:

And I didn’t understand the explanation.

  1. How do I set it up so

points to

while at the same time users can will use to access non-store content?

When I tried to set this up (or rather asked dreamhost tech support for help), the whole thing got messed up and the only thing accessible was even if a user typed in – it would just “redirect” (if that’s the right term) to

I’m so confused by all this CNAME and DNZ file stuff! is a Sub-domain. is a folder.

There are many reasons to pick one over the other, the example you give with running a store on third party servers is a great one to show the need for sub-domain, as that can’t be a folder style. (FYI, you could redirect to if you absolutely needed/wanted)

Sub-domains have DNS entries, folders do not.

I’m not sure what support did wrong, but this is exactly the reason to use a sub-domain, so that you can use DNS to point the sub-domain to a different server. I would try a new support agent, or you could post your domain name, maybe we can help you sort out the DNS entries.

What you are doing is very common, top level of the domain hosted with a hosting provider, sub-domain hosted elsewhere.

Thanks a lot. I’ll look into this more and report back! I appreciate your time!

FYI: I updated the title on your post to correct the name of the product. (It used to say “Spotify” instead of “Shopify”.)

I just reread this thread from the top and my answer skipped on of your original questions.

A CNAME (or Canonical Name) record, is a DNS record that lets you associate a domain (or sub-domain) name with another named domain (or sub-domain). So in short it lets you make a connection from your domain (or sub-domain) to shopify’s special domain name for customers to forward to. (I think you know what record shopify wants you to set so I didn’t google for the specifics.) A simple way you can think of the CNAME record is that it’s like turning on call forwarding on your phone to a friend using the name in contacts list instead of plugging in the numbers.

Now the record you will be “forwarding” to on shopify’s end will be an A record. Those point to an IP address instead of another name. (but that’s not your worry.)

Why do we do it that way? Why doesn’t shopify just give you an IP address? Because if you forwarded the domain that way and they had to switch hardware around the IP address would likely change. Or if there is enough traffic they may use multiple IP’s in a load balancing fashion, etc. If they had you using an A record and the IP they gave you had to change, your site would go offline. Shopify would then need to notify you the IP changed and wait for you to manually update the A record. A hassle not good for you or your customers. On the other hand, your CNAME record pointing sub-domain to another name will never have to change. Shopify can update and change IP addresses on an as needed basic and it’s all transparent to you, that is they can make all the IP address changes they need to make on there end.