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[Master Article] [For Everyone] How To: Set Up Custom Domains

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Content

 

Overview

 

A custom domain name is an essential way to brand your website, allowing you to give your site a name that you will use when promoting your site. This domain name will be how your customers will access your site once you’ve launched, replacing the artstorefronts address you used while setting up your site (and you will continue to use to maintain and update it), and generally adding to the professional look of your site.

 

Please bear in mind that we do not host domain names. What you are doing when you are setting your up is configuring it so it can connect to your site, but it will remain hosted by the registrar you have purchased it from.

 

Important: You will need to purchase a custom domain, as certain functionality (such as the Detective and Stats) will not be available if customers are using your artstorefronts address to access your site. 

 

Art Storefronts Recommendation: If you don’t feel comfortable setting up a domain name, please consider filling out our Custom Domains form and letting us set up your domain name for you. You will need to have already purchased a domain name from one of our recommended registrars, but you’ll find the form here: Custom Domains Form 

Recommended Registrars

 

There are certain domain registrars and resellers who we are unable to work with without the use of third party services. If you have purchased a domain name through one of the registrars on our unsupported list, we strongly recommend transferring your domain name to one of the supported registrars. 

 

It may be possible to utilise a third party such as redirect.pizza or Cloudflare to work around this, but you will be reliant upon this separate service to keep your domain name functional. If they experience an interruption of service, you may lose access to your site through your custom domain, and we will not be able to provide you with support to resolve this—you will need to work with the third party service directly.

 

Recommended Registrars

Not Recommended Registrars

godaddy.com

hostgator.com

networksolutions.com

Wild West Domains

mediatemple.net

fatcow.com

namecheap.com

squarespace.com

pairdomains.com

justhost.com

bluehost.com

wix.com

hover.com

Tucows.com

1&1.com/ionos.com

 

google.com

 



Setting up your Domain Name

 

There are three steps which need to be completed when setting up your domain name. The details of how each step is to be completed will vary depending on who your registrar is, and we have articles set up which cover this specifically for several of our recommended registrars, and you will see these listed further down the page.

 

Recommendation: If you aren’t using one of the recommended registrars which has a domain name article, and you don’t feel you will be able to take the information from this overview and use it to set up your domain, please consider filling out our Custom Domain Setup form so we can complete the set-up process for you. You can find this form here: Custom Domains Form

 

These are the steps required to connect your domain name to your Art Storefronts site. These are being explained in very generic terms in order to be generally applicable to most registrars, but this will require knowledge of how to set up a domain name in order to get it working correctly. If you don’t understand the information as it’s presented, please consider using our Custom Domains Form linked above.

 

  1. The first entry you will need to setup is a CNAME record for www, to which you will assign the value of www.artstorefronts.com
  2. The second step will be to set up Domain Forwarding. In order for both "www.yourdomain.com" as well as "yourdomain.com" to work when typed in the address bar of your browser, you'll need to forward "yourdomain.com" to "www.yourdomain.com".
    Note: Some registrars do not support this, which is why they are on the Unsupported Registrars list. If your registrar doesn’t support this, you will need to transfer your domain name to a Supported Registrar.
  3. The final step takes place in your Site Manager, on the Site Address tab. Here you will add your domain name (“www.yourdomain.com”) to finish connecting it to your site. Once complete (and after a propagation period of up to 48 hours) you and your customers will be able to use the domain name to access your site.

 

If you wish to connect a subdomain from your domain to your Art Storefronts site instead of the full domain name (an address like “shop.yourdomain.com” instead of “www.yourdomain.com”), there is a simpler process to be followed.

 

  1. Add a CNAME record for the subdomain you wish to use — shop for an address of “shop.yourdomain.com” for example — and assign this the value of www.artstorefronts.com.
  2. In your Site Manager, on the Site Address tab, enter the full subdomain you wish to use here (“shop.yourdomain.com” for example). This finishes connecting it to your site and, after a propagation period of up to 48 hours, you and your customers will be able to use the subdomain to access your site.

 

Specific Registrar Setup

 

Each article to the right explains how to set up your domain name with the named registrar.

 

 

GoDaddy 

Network Solutions 

HostPapa 

Media Temple 

Namecheap 

Whois.com 

Google Domains

IONOS/ 1and1



Advanced Questions

  1. Difference between Email hosting and ASF

    If you have any questions about the difference between a custom domain name (“www.yourdomain.com”) and a custom email address (“email@yourdomain.com”), this article explains the difference between the two: Learn: The Difference Between E-mail Hosting and Art Storefronts

  2. Unsupported registrar

    After setting up your Domain you may find that you need to set up some 301 Redirects. These are rarely needed, but if you do find that you require them for your site this article will explain how they can be set up: How To: Use an Unsupported Domain Name Registrar


  3. SSL Certificate

    SSL certificates are an additional security for websites and can be distinguished by the “s” in a sites Url: “http
    S://“  To assist members, ASF has taken the steps to add the SSL certificate to all members sites automatically and can does so for free.

    In certain circumstances some individuals may wish to purchase a SSL certificate from their domain registrar. However, that is not necessarily needed as ASF  already assists with providing this at no extra cost.

    How it works:

    ASF automatically adds the SSL on your domain entered into the Site Address field within your site manager. It's important to note that, the SSL will apply to the " www" version of your domain name.  https protocol will only work with 
    http://www."your-domain-name".com formating of the domain. 

    Received an error?

    This may happen the URL provided does not meet the SSL guidelines. Since the SSL is not applied to the root domain (your-domain-name.com), you may receive an error message because, the browser is looking for the SSL certificate that is not there. As we recognize that your customer may enter your site with or without the "www" present, this can be fixed with a simple redirect. A redirect would be setup externally with the help Cloud-flare or other similar services.

 

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