Custom domain mapping
  • 16 Jun 2022
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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

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_domain(1)

  • You can change a custom subdomain by clicking on the edit 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.

4_Screenshot-Domain_configuration_in_Document360

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 section displayed below the Domain configuration section.

Now copy and paste the CNAME and TXT record from Document360 to your DNS configuration page on the domain registrar.

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

  1. Go to the 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 & Save

Once you have configured the CNAME and TXT records, click on the Verify & Save button. Then the configuration begins and runs through three stages.

Configuration checks

10_Screenshot-Troubleshooting_configuration_steps

  • Configure custom domain for project
    • Document360 checks if the custom domain is available (valid) for mapping
  • Domain verification
    • The domain ownership is verified by matching the DNS (Domain Name System) records of the custom domain
  • SSL Provisioning
    • The SSL certificate is generated by Document360 (on Let's Encrypt) and bound to the mapped custom domain

15_Screenshot-SSL_Provisioning_for_custom_domain

If there is any issue in one of the three stages, the mapping will fail, displaying an error message. Use the Troubleshooting steps in the below section of this article.

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

6_Screenshot-Open_in_knowledge_base_site_control


Glossary

CNAME

A CNAME or Canonical Name record is a type of DNS record that maps an alias name to a valid or canonical domain name.

A CNAME record is used to map a subdomain to the domain hosting its content.

For example, a CNAME record can map the web address www.document360.com to the actual website for the domain document360.com

TTL

Time-To-Live can describe the time that a DNS record is returned from the cache. TTL is a numerical value set in a DNS record in this context.

It defines the number of seconds a cache server can provide its cached value for the record.

For example: 600 (which indicates seconds, so the TTL here is 10 minutes)
When the defined number of seconds have passed since the last refresh, the caching server will reach out to the authoritative server again and receive the current -- and possibly changed -- value for the record.

SSL certificate

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology.

An SSL certificate contains the following information:

  • The certificate holder's name
  • The certificate's serial number and expiration date
  • A copy of the certificate holder's public key
  • The digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority (CA)

CA

Certificate Authority is a trusted third-party entity that issues digital SSL certificates & manage identification, public keys for encrypting information.

For example, Let's Encrypt, GeoTrust, Symantecn Comodo, and more.

CAA record

A Certification Authority Authorization (CAA) record allows domain owners to declare which certificate authorities can issue a certificate for a domain. They also indicate notification rules if someone requests a certificate from an unauthorized certificate authority.

For example, If no CAA record is present, any CA is allowed to issue a certificate for the domain. If a CAA record is current, only the CAs listed in the record(s) can issue certificates for that hostname.

A record

If you create a website, the IP address will usually be given to you by your DNS registrar when you purchase your domain name. 'A record' also can be pointed to the root of a domain.

For example, If your website is at www.document360.com, then the root of your domain would be document360.com. The root can also be called a "naked domain" and is usually represented by an @ symbol when configuring A record.

AAAA record

AAAA records are very similar to A records in that they point a domain name to an IP address. The difference is the IP address isn't a typical IPv4 address like: 168.201.255.18.

Instead, AAAA records point to IPv6 addresses like: 2001:0db8:85a3:8554:0000:6b3d:0370:6458.

DNS Name server

A DNS name server is a server that stores the DNS records, such as address (A, AAAA) records, name server (NS) records, and mail exchanger (MX) records for a domain name (see also List of DNS record types) and responds with answers to queries against its database.

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 the time up to 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 servers 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


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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