Custom domain mapping
  • 27 Jan 2023
  • 11 Minutes to read
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Custom domain mapping

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What is a custom domain?

A custom domain is a unique label of your brand or company connected to a website's IP address. Users can type in this unique URL to connect to and view your site.


Accessing custom domain mapping

Go to Settings → Knowledge base site → Custom domain → Custom domain mapping

1_Screenshot-Accessing_the_custom_domain_mapping_page


Document360 provided domain

A new Document360 project will use the project name as the domain.

For example, if you have named your project as Project Greenfield, the autogenerated domain by Document360 will be project-greenfield.document360.com.

2_Screenshot-Document360_provided_domain

Edit Document360 provided domain

3_Screenshot-Updating_Document360_provided_domain1

  • You can change a custom subdomain by clicking on the Edit project sub-domain (pencil) icon

For example, docsupport.document360.io or troubleshooting.document360.io

  • Once you type in your required domain prefix https://yourprefix.document360.io, a check will ensure the new domain is unique and available
  • If not available, try a different prefix
  • If available, click on the Update button, and your new Document360 provided domain will be live
  • Click on the Go to your knowledge base site icon to view the change in site URL

Domain configuration

If you wish to have your custom domain configured instead of the domain provided by Document360, you can do so in the Domain configuration section. This action involves the below steps:

  1. Add domain in Document360
  2. Setting up your CNAME
  3. Verify

Add domain in Document360

4_Screenshot-Domain_configuration_in_Document360

  1. Go to Settings → Knowledge base site → Custom domain → Custom domain mapping
  2. Enter the desired domain in the Domain configuration

For example, help.churn360.com

  1. Click Add domain
    17_Screenshot-Domain_configuration_adding_domain
  2. The Configuring custom domain message appears
  3. Wait for a few minutes. If required, you can also navigate to other modules. After the records are generated, you will be notified in the portal
  4. The records required for setting up the custom domain are generated

The domain configuration will only be completed after you set up the CNAME in your domain registrar and verifying in Document360.

Now navigate to your domain registrar and add the records in your domain registrar


Setting up your CNAME

To set up a custom domain for your project, you must first access/request the domain registrar to add a CNAME and a TXT record.

5_Screenshot-
Domain_configuration_setting_up_cname_in_Document360

You can access this information from the Setting up your custom domain section available below the Domain configuration section.

  1. Copy the CNAME and TXT records from Document360
  2. Navigate to your DNS Name server configuration page on the domain registrar and paste the records into the respective fields
  3. Wait for a few minutes and head back to the Custom domain mapping page in Document360

This is an example to demonstrate the CNAME and TXT record mapping for domains registered with Hostinger.
11_Screenshot-Nameservers_example

  1. Go to Hostinger's domain manage page
  2. Open the Domains section and select your domain
  3. Now click on the DNS/Nameservers on the left and select the DNS records tab
  4. Choose the type of record from the dropdown (CNAME/TXT)
  5. Paste the value copied from Document360 in the Points to field
  6. Add the TTL (Time-To-Live) value and click on the Add record button

12_Screenshot-DNS_record_mapping_in_hostinger

Some common domain registrars


Verify

After you configure the CNAME and TXT records, follow the below steps to complete the custom domain mapping configuration.

16_Screenshot-Domain_configuration_verification

  1. Select the " I've added the records " checkbox
  2. Click the Verify button and the verification process is initiated
  3. If the verification is successful, you will get a success toast message

If there is any issue in configuring the custom domain, check the Troubleshooting steps in the below section of this article.

After mapping the custom domain, click the Go to your knowledge base site icon to view the change in the site URL.

6_Screenshot-Open_in_knowledge_base_site_control


What is a Naked custom domain?

  • Any domain which does not have an explicit www in it is called a naked domain
  • By default, the domain 'google.com' will have the subdomain www

For example, ‘store’ is the subdomain, ‘your_website’ is the primary domain and ‘.com’ is the top-level domain (TLD).

  • support.whatfix.com does not have the naked domain

Troubleshooting

1. Domain verification failed
If you are having issues verifying your custom domain,
Check the CNAMEand TXT records match with the domain host.

7_Screenshot-Troubleshooting_invalid_record

There are chances for any other record to be mapped in the place of CNAME(such as AAAA records). This would also cause an error.

Suggestion: To view your domain's CNAME, TXT record, and other DNS information use Digwebinterface or Google's DNS lookup, or any other DNS lookup tool available on the web
9_Screenshot-Troubleshooting_digwebinterface

DNS records not discoverable

For security reasons some domain registrars can mask/restrict the DNS records from being discovered on the DNS lookup tools. One such example is Cloudflare.
14_Screenshot-DNS_lookup_records_masked
In such cases you can contact your domain registrar for more information.

Once the correct CNAME is mapped, it might take up to 24 hours for successful mapping.


2. Wait time after DNS records are updated

If the CNAME and TXT records match and the domain verification issue persists, the TTL (Time-To-Live) can be a possible reason.

If you're updating an existing DNS Record value, it may take time for the configured TTL to reflect globally. The TTL is set to 3600 for a DNS record; then, it may take up to 1 hour (3600 seconds) to reflect the DNS record value for the DNS Name server globally.


3. Custom domain mapping abuse

Document360 provides SSL certificates from Let's Encrypt and Let's Encrypt rate limits. Suppose you map and unmap custom domains in the Document360 portal more than five times a week(Let's encrypt limit). In that case, the CA (Certificate Authority) would consider this an abuse, and you would have to wait for a week before we can get you another SSL certificate and complete the custom domain mapping.


4. CAA restriction set by the domain registrar

Some domain registrars set a restriction that the SSL certificate should be provisioned by the specific CAs (Certificate Authority).

For example, If a CAA DNS record has a value of "0 issues "digicert.com ", then only the DigiCert (CA) will be able to generate a certificate for the particular custom domain Other Certificate Authorities (Let's Encrypt in our case) would see this configuration and would deny generating SSL certificate.

Check if you have any CAA records configured in the DNS configuration for the custom domain.


Post mapping issues

1. 'Deceptive site ahead' message while accessing the site after successful custom domain mapping.

13_Screenshot-Deceptive_site_ahead_warning

This means that Google has flagged the custom domain you have mapped as unsafe for browsing.

  • To check the flagged status use the Safe Browsing site status by Google
  • Type in your mapped domain and check if there are any issues
  • Resolve and fix the issues detected (Phishing attack, malware-infested, violates community guidelines, etc.)
  • Submit a review request from Google Search Console. Google will update the status and remove the warning from your website

Here is a help article from Google support.

8_Screenshot-Troubleshooting_site_status


Loadbalancer upgrade

How to upgrade the load balancer?

  1. Go to SettingsKnowledge base siteCustom domainCustom domain mapping
  2. Click Upgrade
  3. Copy the TXT record generated in Document360
  4. Set up the TXT record in your domain registrar
  5. Verify the custom domain mapping configuration in Document360
  6. Copy the CNAME record generated in Document360
  7. Set up the CNAME record in your domain registrar
  8. Verify the custom domain mapping configuration in Document360

This upgrade does not cause any downtime. However, we recommend this upgrade during your off-business hours.Please contact our support team for assistance.


Why do I need to upgrade to the new load balancer?

  • It implements SSL offloading, reducing the load on servers, and improving security by handling SSL encryption/decryption at the load balancer level
  • It includes a web application firewall (WAF) for protection against common web attacks such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting
  • It utilizes dynamic traffic management algorithms for optimal traffic distribution and improved performance.

We strongly recommend upgrading to this advanced solution for improved security and reliability.


FAQs

  • Do I need an SSL certificate to configure a custom domain?
    Yes, but Document360 provides an SSL Certificate for the custom domain while mapping the custom domain to your project. You do not have to procure an SSL Certificate additionally. If you specifically want to use your certificate, not the one Document360 provides by default, please contact us at support@document360.com.

  • Will the custom domain URL reflect in the invitation email sent to readers?
    Yes, If the invitation mail for the reader is sent after the successful custom domain mapping. The email links will point to the mapped custom domain.


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