Using a Custom Domain Name
Please note: this information is for guide purposes only, each domain registrar will have slightly different requirements. We recommend asking an experienced professional to make these changes for you or to get in touch with your domain registrar for advice. Ralawise is not liable for any changes you make to your DNS settings.
Instead of using the sub-domain that was provided, you can choose to use your own custom domain name.
For example, say we want to give our new webshop the domain name www.mydomain.com - we'll walk through the steps below to achieve this, and you can substitute your own domain name.
- Firstly, we need to buy that domain from a domain registrar/name provider (e.g. GoDaddy, 123-reg etc.).
- Once we’ve bought the domain, we need to make some changes to the DNS records for that domain. You can do this either by logging into the registrar’s website and editing the settings for your domain, or by calling their help line and asking them to make the changes for you.
- We need to add a CNAME type record that points our domain’s ‘www’ to ‘client.yourwebshop.com’. The screenshot below shows an example of a correctly setup CNAME DNS record (the column names may differ slightly depending on your domain registrar). A DNS record can take anywhere up to 48hrs to become active once you’ve added it, though often it can be much quicker. NOTE: you should actually enter 'client.yourwebshop.com' and NOT replace 'client' with your company name.
- Now we need to tell our webshop which domain name it should use. To do this, we need to login to manage.yourwebshop.com, go to the Basic Details section and update the ‘Your URL’ field with www.mydomain.com (substitute your own domain name here). Remember to click Save to update the settings.
- Once the DNS record added in step 3 has become active, we can access our webshop at www.mydomain.com.
What if we want to be able to access our webshop by just typing in mydomain.com?
- In step 3 we added a CNAME record for www. Now we need to add a CNAME record for a ‘wildcard’ – a wildcard is usually represented by an asterisk (*), so we would add a CNAME as shown below. Depending on how your domain has been setup with the registrar, there may already be a wildcard DNS record setup. In these cases we would recommend seeking the advice of your domain registrar before making any changes.
- We don’t need to make any additional changes to how the webshop is setup, as soon as the new DNS record becomes active we can access our webshop using mydomain.com.
Note: Some domain registrars do not allow wildcard CNAME records. If this is the case, we'd recommend seeking your registrar's advice. You can request details from Ralawise to use an A record instead - this method requires you to maintaining the IP address with the most up to date details.
One option is to use a domain forward from mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com. Here is GoDaddy's guide on how to achieve this with them https://uk.godaddy.com/help/forward-a-domain-12123
How can I see if my DNS record is active?
- There are various free tools available online that can check DNS records, for example http://mxtoolbox.com/CnameLookup.aspx. If we search for our www.mydomain.com domain name we can see that the CNAME record is active. If no results are returned when searching for your domain name, or the Type is not CNAME, you should ensure the record has been setup correctly and you have allowed at least 48hrs for it to become active.