You can now use a custom domain (and most likely, a subdomain) that you own to serve your Hostfully Guidebooks.

This feature is included in all enterprise subscriptions (those with plans for 15+ guidebooks). However, anyone with a Power Host, Prime, or Prime Plus subscription can enable this feature with a one-time purchase (currently $100).

Notice: This feature does NOT include the registration of the domain itself, this only pertains to pointing a domain you already own to our servers so you can serve your guidebooks with your own domain name. We do create and auto-manage a new SSL certificate for each new domain accepted, so you don't have to worry about that part.

Quick Links
Step 1: Deciding which domain or subdomain to use
Step 2: Requesting your (sub)domain

Step 3: Validating your (sub)domain
Step 4: Point your (sub)domain to Hostfully
Step 5: Assign this domain to your guidebook(s)

Questions/Troubleshooting

Getting Started

Once you have access to the custom domain feature you can begin the process of requesting and connecting your domain to the Guidebook Platform. This process will take a few steps going back and forth with the Hostfully Team via automated emails.

After each step, be sure to go back into the dashboard and confirm that you've finished the step.

Step 1: Deciding which domain or subdomain to use

To begin the process, you need to decide which subdomain you wish to use for your guidebook(s). Unless you are using a completely separate domain for guidebooks only, and are not using this domain for anything else, you will need to use a subdomain.

For example, if your domain is mylovelyhome.com you may wish to use a subdomain like welcome.mylovelyhome.com or guide.mylovelyhome.com or something like that.

Step 2: Requesting your (sub)domain

Now you can actually request the domain in your dashboard.

Navigate to the "Domains" section of your dashboard, and click the plus (+) button to add a new domain request. The domain request form will appear with one field that needs to be filled out. Enter your chosen subdomain and submit the form.

At this point, a Hostfully Admin will have to take action before your next step can be done.

Step 3: Validating your (sub)domain

Once an admin has approved your request and moved it to the next step, you will receive an email with domain validation instructions.

This will require you to enter a TXT record into your DNS settings. If you do not have access to your domain's DNS management, you'll need to get the help of someone who does have this access.

The email sent will have the value that you need in step 4 below, and it can also be found in your dashboard if you go back to this domain record and click to edit.

  1. For the record type, select TXT.
  2. In the Name/Host/Alias field, enter the subdomain you have chosen. Some hosts want JUST the subdomain portion for this field, and others want the entire subdomain and domain string. (ie. welcome vs. welcome.mylovelyhome.com). Your other DNS records might indicate what you should enter. If you are using the base domain, you may need to simply enter @
  3. In the Time to Live (TTL) field, enter 86400 or leave the default.
  4. In the Value/Answer/Destination field, paste the string you copied from the email or from your dashboard.
  5. Save the record.

Note: If you see a warning message about changing your DNS settings, disregard it. Adding the TXT record won’t damage your website or DNS settings.

Once you have done this, make sure to log in and edit your domain request again and click the "I have done this" button to verify that you have completed this step.

Once again, you'll have to wait for a Hostfully Admin to validate this step and move the process along, but you can do the next step ahead of time if you wish.

Step 4: Point your (sub)domain to Hostfully

The last step in getting your (sub)domain working with Hostfully is adding the A and AAAA records to point the domain to our servers.

You will again need DNS Management access for this step, and this step can technically be done simultaneously with the previous step.

You'll need to add the following A and AAAA records to your DNS settings (be sure to substitute your actual subdomain name instead of the word subdomain):

record type

data

alias

A

216.239.32.21

subdomain

A

216.239.34.21

subdomain

A

216.239.36.21

subdomain

A

216.239.38.21

subdomain

AAAA

2001:4860:4802:32::15

subdomain

AAAA

2001:4860:4802:34::15

subdomain

AAAA

2001:4860:4802:36::15

subdomain

AAAA

2001:4860:4802:38::15

subdomain

Some hosts will allow you to add a single A record with multiple data values, whereas others will require you to make 4 separate entries.

Once you have done this, make sure to log in and edit your domain request again and click the "I have done this" button to verify that you have completed this step.

At this point you are all set up and it's simply time to wait for the DNS records to propagate. While you wait, you can read this article about it: What is DNS propagation and why does it take so long? This generally only takes a few minutes, but in some rare cases can take up to 48 hours.

Step 5: Assign this domain to your guidebook(s)

Once you complete the previous step, you'll be able to assign this domain to your guidebooks. This works much the same as other cards that are assigned to your guidebooks. When editing a domain request, once it is approved, you will see that you get the familiar module that lets you pick which guidebooks this card is assigned to. You can assign this domain to any of your guidebooks here, or from the individual guidebook edit pages as well.

Step 6: Enjoy, and share your new guidebook URL

Once your domain has been approved and assigned to your guidebook(s) you will see that anywhere your guidebook has a preview link, or a "share this guidebook" URL shown, it'll now be using your new domain! Enjoy!

As always, please reach out to support@hostfully.com if you need any help during this process.

Questions/Troubleshooting

What about SSL?

Once verified DNS records are detected, the system will automatically create and manage an SSL certificate for each added subdomain. This certificate is created at no additional cost to you, but is also not portable and cannot be used elsewhere.

I'm using Cloudflare and getting a "too many redirects error" from my browser.

We've run into this one already. Here's a help article from cloudflare on the topic. The gist is that you need to use FULL encryption mode in Cloudflare - this is (at the time of writing) found in the SSL/TLS app Overview tab of Cloudflare.

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