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Using Your Custom Domain (URL) With Simplero

Updated on 20 May 2024

Custom domains offer several advantages, such as enhancing website visibility, boosting brand recognition, and ensuring a lasting impression. If you've acquired a domain name, integrating it with your Simplero site is a straightforward process.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to configure your custom domain, whether it's www.yourcustomdomain.com or courses.yourcustomdomain.com.

If you learn better with a video, check our Intro to Simplero video

Setting Up Your Custom Domain

Looking to add a subdomain only? Head here:

Adding Subdomains 

Step 1: Add Your Domain to Your Simplero Account

In this step, we'll connect your domain to your Simplero account. Start by navigating to your admin dashboard and click on Settings. Then, choose Change your URL.

On this page, click the +Add Domain button.

In the pop-up window, you'll find all the instructions you need. Enter your domain, but before saving, make sure to copy both the A and CNAME records, you will need these in the next step. Then, save your changes both in the modal and at the bottom of the page.

Don't point your domain to a site just yet. You'll need to wait until your DNS records have been added.

Step 2: Find Your DNS Manager

To add your records, you'll need to access your DNS manager.

Head over to your domain registrar (where you purchased your domain—Google Domains, GoDaddy, Namecheap, Bluehost, Hover, etc.) or the service that hosts your nameservers if it's different.

While each domain registrar has a unique interface, they all provide an area to configure the site's DNS. Locate this section. Look for DNS Settings, DNS Manager, cPanel, Advanced DNS, or something similar.

Unsure about who your registrar is? No problem, search your domain here:

WHO IS Lookup

Step 3: Add the A Record

Once you've accessed your DNS manager, follow these steps below to add the records you saved in step 1.

1. Find the option to Add a Record.
2. Select record type A, and set the name as ‘@’ or leave it blank (depending on your registrar).
3. Enter the value as 18.214.48.22
4. Save your changes. If your DNS manager allows adding multiple records at once, you can proceed to add the next record.

Step 4: Add the CNAME Record

  1. Choose record type CNAME, enter 'www' for the name,

  2. Input your Simplero subdomain/(URL) [accountname.simplero.com] as the value.

  3. Save your changes afterward.

Now that you've completed the domain host part, you can return to your Simplero account!

Having trouble saving your CNAME record? Check this out —>

Step 5: Point Your Domain

Once the DNS is correctly configured, you'll notice a checkmark. Sometimes, it may take 15-60 minutes for all changes to become active. Afterward, you'll need to wait for the SSL certificates to be installed which may take approximately 24-36 hours to configure successfully. You can proceed to point your domain, but keep in mind that your new domain won't function until the DNS is verified and the SSLs are installed. During SSL configuration, your site's internal links will automatically redirect to your Simplero address.

You can have this domain point to: 

  • Your main site

  • A membership site

  • A landing page

Simply make a selection from the Points to dropdown, and save your changes!



More on SSL certificates -->

Understanding Propagation

What is propagation? In DNS refers to the time it takes for changes made to DNS records (like adding a new domain or updating an existing one) to spread across all DNS servers worldwide. During propagation, DNS servers update their records to reflect the changes, which can take anywhere from a few minutes to 48 hours to complete.

You may notice the two following icons next to your recently added domain, and this is standard. Domain propagation can take up to 48 hours. That said, if the DNS is set up properly, the DNS icon will typically turn into a checkmark within 15-60 minutes. 

What do the icons mean?

During the propagation process, there are visual indicators to keep track of the status:

  • DNS Column: An exclamation mark (!) icon indicates that the settings are not yet verified.

  • SSL Column: A clock icon signifies that the system is working on the SSL configuration.

Once the verification is complete:

  • DNS Column: The exclamation mark (!) will change to a check mark, indicating successful verification.

  • SSL Column: The clock icon will change to a check mark, showing that the SSL setup is finished & your site is secure.

If your website doesn't show up right away, don't worry! Just keep checking back, and soon enough, your website will be up and running for everyone to see. You can always recheck for verification:

Your DNS verification typically completes before your SSL certificate is installed.

SSL Certificates

Simplero automatically handles SSL configuration (https security). It may take approximately 24-36 hours to configure successfully, so please check back if you don't see the checkmark immediately.

As a reminder, during SSL configuration, your site's internal links will automatically redirect to your Simplero address.

Once SSL is verified, you'll see two checkmarks (below), and you should then be able to visit your site using your new domain.

 

Propagation in Different Regions

Your website might show up in one part of the world but not in another. Remember, propagation refers to the time it takes for changes made to DNS records to spread across all DNS servers worldwide. It's like sending out party invitations, and some people get them right away, while others take a little longer. So, even if your website shows up for some people, there might be delays in other regions. But don't worry, it's just a matter of time before everyone gets the message. Here is a helpful tool to help you check on the status:

 Propagation Checker 

Having trouble seeing the new domain? When a new domain is connected or DNS changes are made, some devices and networks may still be accessing older cached information, which could prevent you from viewing the updated site. Clearing the browser cache or waiting for the cache to expire can often resolve this issue.

Tech Tip! --> When your computer has an old answer for DNS records, but the records are set correctly, you can speed up getting the right answer by flushing the operating system-level DNS cache on your local machine.

DNS Checker


Final Note

If you have been using Simplero’s domain for a while before setting up your custom domain, you might want to turn on the setting: Redirect non-admin requests from qatesting.simplero.com to yourdomain.com, right below your domain name. Links shared in broadcasts or added to your landing pages will automatically redirect to the custom domain if the toggle (below) is on.


 

Setting Up A Subdomain Only

To add a subdomain, you'll follow the same steps as outlined above, but skip Step 3: Adding the A Record. Instead of using www for the CNAME record, insert your new subdomain name. Let's go through it quickly.

Navigate to Settings --> Change your URL

Click + Add Domain, add your subdomain (e.g.members.albusthedog.fun, or subdomain.yourdomain.com), copy your CNAME record, and save your changes:

In your DNS manager, create a new CNAME record for your subdomain.

Choose the record type CNAME, and input your new subdomain name as the name field. For instance, if your new subdomain is members for "members.albusthedog.fun," then you'd enter members as the name. Lastly, set the value as your Simplero address. In this case, it's summernicolesupport.simplero.com, and save your record

That's it! By adding a CNAME record, your subdomain will correctly point to Simplero. Remember that CNAME records are the right choice when you want to alias a subdomain to another domain, making it easy to manage your subdomain's location within Simplero.

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Notice anything wacky in this guide? Contact support by clicking the "?" button in your account, and we'll help you out.