Using a Custom URL
So you’re one of those lucky folks with your own custom URL, and you're subscribing to IndieMade at the standard plan or higher. Fantastic! And now you want to know how to assign that URL to your awesome IndieMade site? Here's how to do it.
In the examples that follow, we'll assume that your IndieMade URL is yourwebsitenamegoeshere.indiemade.com and that your custom URL is yourcustomurl.com
Don't be intimidated. There may be some unfamiliar acronyms and scary-sounding processes, but people like you take these steps every day. You can absolutely do it.
What is DNS?
DNS stands for domain name system, and is the internet's way of mapping easy-to-remember names like yourcustomurl.com to specific computers.
You don't need to know how DNS works to use a custom URL, but you do need to make a few changes to your domain's settings so that when someone types yourcustomurl.com into his or her browser, that browser knows to come to IndieMade's servers for your pages. Only your custom URL will appear in the browser address bar.
What if I don't own my custom domain yet?
You'll need to purchase your domain, from one of the many domain registrars, before you start. Many of our customers use GoDaddy, because it's cheap and because we have good instructions on how to follow these steps, but nearly any registrar will do.
What do I do?
Step 2 Add a CNAME with your DNS host (this is usually your domain registrar), using that host's control panel. You will add a CNAME record for www to yourwebsitenamegoeshere.indiemade.com. Depending on the DNS host you use, you may be able to add this CNAME record yourself, or you may need your host to add it for you. If you aren’t sure, get in touch with your DNS host, typically the same company you registered your URL with.
Step 3 Set up a "domain forward" or "domain redirect" from your base domain (yourcustomurl.com) to the web domain (www.yourcustomurl.com).
Step 4 Wait. It normally takes an hour or two, but it can take a few days for the new domain mapping to propagate out. In the meantime you can continue to use your normal site URL, yourwebsitenamegoeshere.indiemade.com.
A final step
Once your changes have taken effect, and your custom URL is pointing at your IndieMade site, you'll want to take one more step: change your default base URL in your dashboard. Log in, navigate to Website > Promote, and type in your custom URL. When your IndieMade site notifies Google and Bing of changes in your site, it'll use your custom URL.
How Do I Know if it Worked?
Close out all your browsers and open them again, to make sure you're starting from scratch. Type yourcustomurl.com into the browser's location bar and push enter. The text should be replaced with www.yourcustomurl.com, and as you click around your site, the name of the page you're looking at should appear in the location bar.
If you see yourwebsitenamegoeshere.indiemade.com in the location bar, or if it always reads only www.yourcustomurl.com no matter what page you're looking at, then you didn't do it correctly.
Popular DNS hosts' CNAME instructions
Although the four basic steps are the same, each DNS host is different. We have collected instructions for many popular hosts below. If your host isn't listed here, you may have to contact their customer support for help.