Custom Domain: Set up Your Hub on a Subdomain

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Learn how to set up a custom domain to host your Hub on a subdomain of your website (like resources.mycompany.com).


 

Before You Begin

  • To add a custom domain to your Hub, you need to be an Account Admin.
  • In this article, we're assuming you already know what a custom domain is and have decided to set one up. If you're not sure what a custom domain is and why you'd want to use it, see this article for help.
  • The setup process outlined in this article involves making some changes to your website hosting configuration, so you will likely have to work with your IT or website team to complete the relevant steps.

 

How Setting up a Hub on a Subdomain Works

If you want to use a custom domain with your Uberflip Hub, there are two options: you can use a subdirectory, or a subdomain

In this article, we will look at the setup process for a custom domain if you have chosen to use the subdomain option. In other words, this will allow you to make your Hub accessible on the web under a URL that looks something like resources.mycompany.com.

The objective is to make it seem to visitors like your Hub is part of your website, even though it's being hosted on Uberflip's servers. With a subdomain, we do this by creating a CNAME record with your web hosting provider.

A CNAME record is essentially an alias. It tells a browser "if a user asks for URL A, tell them that they're looking at URL A, but actually go to URL B instead." In this case, URL A is your custom subdomain, and URL B refers to Uberflip's server.

Here's an overview of the whole process:

  • Your Hub is hosted on our server at read.uberflip.com. This is the domain where we host all Hubs.
  • To get to your Hub, you want your users to visit a URL that's part of your website. This will be a subdomain of your website, in the form of [something].mycompany.com.
  • First, you create and choose the subdomain you want to use. Let's say you choose resources.mycompany.com.
  • Next, you create a CNAME record that points resources.mycompany.com at read.uberflip.com. This takes anyone who goes to resources.mycompany.com to read.uberflip.com instead, but makes it look like they're still on resources.mycompany.com.
  • Finally, you register resources.mycompany.com as a custom domain on your Uberflip account and associate it with your Hub. This tells read.uberflip.com that if a visitor arrives from resources.mycompany.com, they should be served your Hub. This also automatically creates a redirect on the old domain, so that any old bookmarks will still work.

 

Step 1: Choose a Subdomain

The first step is deciding what you want the subdomain to be. This is where your visitors will go to access your Hub, so it's time to get creative! We recommend choosing something that describes what your visitors can expect to find in your Hub. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • resources.mycompany.com
  • insights.mycompany.com
  • learn.mycompany.com
  • community.mycompany.com
  • hub.mycompany.com

Got the perfect subdomain all picked out? Then it's time to actually create it on your website.

 

Step 2: Create the Subdomain and Set up a CNAME Record

Now that you've decided on the subdomain you want, you have to create it on your website. Your website admin should be able to do this for you.

Once the subdomain is in place, you need to point it at Uberflip — otherwise, anyone who goes to your new URL won't see your Hub, but rather a 404 Not Found error. To do this, you have to create a CNAME record with your hosting service provider (e.g. GoDaddy) which will point your new subdomain at read.uberflip.com.

In most cases, you probably won't be able to do this by yourself, and will have to enlist your website team and/or IT department for help. Just provide them with these instructions:

  1. Create a subdomain on the root domain. The specific subdomain name to be created is [fill in subdomain you chose, e.g. resources.mycompany.com].
  2. Create a CNAME record with your domain provider that points [fill in subdomain you chose] to the hostname read.uberflip.com. You can usually find instructions on how to create a CNAME record in your domain provider's help documentation.
  3. Once the subdomain and CNAME record have been set up, go to whatsmydns.net to test if it's working properly.
  4. In the URL field at the top, type in your new subdomain.
  5. Use the dropdown menu to select "CNAME".

    Global_DNS_Propagation_Checker_-_What_s_My_DNS_.png
  6. Click on Search.
  7. In the list of servers below, you should see read.uberflip.com as the result for all servers, like this:

    Custom_Domain_and_SSL_Setup_Instructions_for_IT_Teams.png

 

Step 3: Add the Subdomain to Your Uberflip Account

At this point, we've set it up so that anyone who visits your new subdomain will be taken to Uberflip's server at read.uberflip.com. But right now, the server does not know which Hub to serve up when people arrive at your custom domain.

To fix this, we need to associate your new subdomain with your Hub. This is a two-part process, in which the first part consists of adding it as a custom domain on your account.

  1. Log in to your Uberflip account.
  2. In the top right corner, hover the mouse over your name to expand the menu, then click on Account Settings to go to your My Profile page.

  3. In the sidebar menu on the left, click on Services to expand that section, then click on Domains.

    Account___Domains_-_Uberflip.png

  4. On the right side, click on the + Add a Domain button.
  5. This will open the Add a Domain menu. Choose the correct protocol (http:// or https://), then type in your custom subdomain.
  6. Check the box next to I have read and agree to the Uberflip Terms of Use.
  7. Click on Add Domain.

    Account___Domains_-_Uberflip.png
  8. You should see a message at the top of the screen indicating that your domain was added successfully. (It will also mention that it won't work until the CNAME record has been created, but you should already have that at this point.)

    Account___Domains_-_Uberflip.png

 

Step 4: Move the Hub Onto the Subdomain

In the last step, you added your custom domain to your Hub. Now, the last step is to link the newly created custom domain with your Hub. This is how you tell Uberflip's server which Hub to send visitors to when they arrive at read.uberflip.com from your subdomain.

  1. Log in to your Uberflip account, click on Hubs in the menu bar at the top, then click on the Hub for which you want to change the domain.
  2. In the sidebar menu, click on Hub Options to expand this section, then click on Change Hub Domain.
    Hubs___Options_-_Change_Hub_Domain_-_Uberflip.png
  3. You should now see Move Hub to Another Domain on the right.
    • If you see the message below, it means that you have either not created a custom domain yet, or all custom domains that you have set up are already associated with hubs:
      Hubs___Options_-_Change_Hub_Domain_-_Uberflip.png
      If you do see this message, follow the instructions here to add a new custom domain.
  4. Provided you have at least one custom domain available to move your Hub to, you'll see the Select a Domain dropdown menu. Use this menu to choose the domain you'd like to move the Hub to, then click on Move Hub.
    Hubs___Options_-_Change_Hub_Domain_-_Uberflip.png
  5. Once your Hub has been moved to the new domain, you should see a message confirming this at the top of the screen. That's it — you've successfully moved your Hub onto your custom domain using a subdomain. From now on, the URL you chose will be the main URL for your Hub.

 

Next Steps

If your main website has SSL enabled, we recommend that you also enable SSL for your Hub. You can find instructions in this article.

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