What is a Custom Domain?
A custom domain is a branded name that uniquely identifies a website. For example, Checkfront’s custom domain is checkfront.com. Custom domains, which are sometimes known as vanity URLs, appear in the address bar at the top of your web browser window.
Computers, however, don’t understand domain names in the same way we do. Networked devices such as computers and phones use numbers and codes to communicate, rather than letters and words. Thankfully, the internet has a system in place to translate a domain name that we type into our browser, to the IP addresses that computers use to identify themselves on networks. It’s called DNS, or the Domain Name System. DNS is what allows us to have custom, branded domains attached to websites.
Setup in Site BuilderBack to top
To get started, you will need to locate the Domains page in your Site Builder management console. At the bottom of the left sidebar, look for a link labelled Settings. Click this link.
From the settings menu, click on the link labelled Domains.
You'll now see the Domains Management panel.
Connect a New DomainBack to top
The active domain will be shown with a green dot next to it. If you haven't managed your domains before, this will be the built-in Checkfront domain that you are already using.
Beneath this is a link labelled + Connect New Domain. Click this to continue. The domain panel will now open up wider and display your domain settings.
Enter your domain in the field provided (1) and then click the blue Add Domain button (2). That completes the setup in Site Builder. Make note of the settings provided in the gray box as you will need those in the next step.
Domain Host SetupBack to top
It's now time to set up the domain so it points to your Site Builder website. You most likely purchased your domain from a site such as GoDaddy.com. To complete the setup, you must log in to the management console of your domain provider and add a custom CNAME record.
A Canonical Name record (abbreviated as CNAME record) is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS) used to specify that a domain name is an alias for another domain, which is the "canonical" domain.
We'll use GoDaddy as an example, but the process will be very similar once you log into your own domain provider's management console. If you're unsure of how to proceed, try contacting the provider's support team for assistance.
Add a CNAME RecordBack to top
After logging into GoDaddy, we're going to locate the domain (which can be found under products) and click on the Manage DNS button.
A list of records associated with the domain will be displayed. From here, we want to add a new record. So, if you're using GoDaddy, click Add. Remember, if you're not sure where to find the comparable action on your domain provider's website, contact their support.
You will now need those values from the grey box in the previous step.
Select CNAME here.
This is the hostname. Depending on your domain host, the information you provide here may differ. Some hosts will allow you to enter
@, which will connect directly to the domain root. GoDaddy, however, doesn't allow this. If this is the case, you need to enter a value of
www. Check with your domain host on the correct proceedure here.
May also be referred to as value. This is the URL provided in the gray box from the previous step and will look something like
If you are asked to enter a TTL, set this to 1 day or 86400 seconds.
Factors that affect DNS propagation time include your TTL (Time to Live) settings. TTL is the time period for which servers cache the information for your DNS records. Since no changes are needed, setting this value to 1 day (86400 seconds) is just fine.
Once you've entered that information, click Save. And that's it! You'll now see your custom domain listed below the built-in domain and it will be in pending status. It will remain this way until your domain settings have propagated.
This is not an instant process. Domain settings can take 24-48 hours to fully propagate. In some cases, you may see the process complete in just a few minutes, but don't be alarmed if it takes a day or so.
Once the domain settings have successfully propagated, the status will change from pending to connected (1).
The primary domain switch (2) will have been activated also and lets you know your domain is now forwarding to your Site Builder website. If you'd like to remove the custom domain and go back to using the built-in one, simply click on Disconnect Domain (3).
Good to Know...
You cannot make a CNAME from a "root domain" like checkfront.com. If you try, some providers like GoDaddy will actually make a CNAME from www.checkfront.com. In this case, you should also setup "Forwarding" of your root -> www. Then, when you input the domain you wish to use in Site Builder, you should tell us the CNAME'd one (www.checkfront.com)