General Domain Setup

This documentation applies to both zIFBoards and ZetaBoards.

Using a custom domain with an zIFBoards or ZetaBoards board is a two-step process. In the first step, you point the domain to your board's server by setting up one or more DNS records through the control panel provided by your domain registrar. In the second step, you add the domain to your board through the board's Domain Manager.

This tutorial assumes you have purchased a domain already. We also have specific setup instructions for many registrars. These instructions are designed to provide generic guidance. If you run into difficulties setting up your domain, please open a support ticket.

Pointing the Domain to the Server

Go to the control panel provided by the domain registrar. Look for a setting labelled something like DNS Records, DNS Zone, or Zone Editor. This page will list the DNS records associated with the domain—there will probably be several that already exist.

The table will likely have the following columns for each DNS record:

Column Name Explanation
Type The type of DNS record. (Alternatively, DNS records of each type might have their own tables.) For the purposes of this documentation, only A and CNAME records are important.
Hostname This is the subdomain that the record controls. For example, a DNS record with the hostname forums corresponds to forums.example.com. The hostname for the root domain, example.com, is usually @
Destination This is the server to which the record points. For A records, this will be an IP address. For CNAME records, this will be another domain or subdomain.
TTL Stands for “Time to Live.” This tells other servers how long to cache the DNS record before looking it up again. There is no need to change this setting.

Using the Root Domain

Using a root domain, such as example.com, requires an A record. Look in the table for an A record where the hostname is @. If such an entry exists, edit it. If no such entry exists, create a new A record:

  1. Under Hostname, enter @
  2. Under Destination (or IP Address), enter the IP address of your board's server.
  3. Leave any other settings at their defaults and save the record.
Typically, www.example.com is configured to point to wherever example.com points automatically. However, if this is not the case, follow the same instructions for “Using a Subdomain” to point www.example.com to your board.

Using a Subdomain

A CNAME record is sufficient when using a subdomain, such as forums.example.com. Create a new CNAME record:

  1. Under Hostname, enter the name for the desired subdomain—e.g., for forums.example.com, enter forums
  2. Under Destination, enter the server for your board. You can find this under the Account Info section of the Admin CP—look for the Server Name.
  3. Leave any other settings at their defaults and save the record.

Add the Domain to the Board

It will take some time for the new DNS records to take effect. Typically, it only takes a few hours. In some cases, and for some people, it can take up to 24 or even 48 hours.

To check if the domain (or subdomain) is working, enter it into your browser. If the domain is pointing to an zIFBoards or ZetaBoards server, you will receive a message saying so. If you receive a connection error or end up on a landing page provided by your domain registrar, the change has not taken effect yet.

Once the domain is pointing to the server, you can add it to your board. In the Admin CP, go to the Domain Manager. Under Add a Domain Name, enter the domain or subdomain. Click Add Domain.

After adding the domain to the board, visiting the domain will redirect to the board's default URL. To reverse this, so the zIFBoards or ZetaBoards URL redirects to the custom domain, return to the Domain Manager. Under Select Primary Domain, select the custom domain from the dropdown menu. Click Set as Primary Domain.

If a custom domain name is set as the primary domain name and stops working (e.g., because it has expired), then the board will become inaccessible. Do not panic. You can always log into the Admin CP directly through the zIFBoards or ZetaBoards URL: http://s#.zIFBoards.com/yourboard/admin.php or http://s#.zetaboards.com/yourboard/admin/, respectively. From there, go to the Domain Manager and remove the broken domain name.



domains/setup.txt · Last modified: 2015/01/09 16:02 (external edit)