Here are the recommended steps for adding a custom domain to your nation:
1) Purchase a custom domain
2) Remove redirects
3) Point your name servers
4) Add your custom domain to your nation
5) Attach your custom domain to a site in your nation
6) Get the most out of your custom domain
Additional technical information
If you don't already own a custom domain you will need to purchase one. We recommend using Namecheap.
Remove the URL redirect if you are currently redirecting your custom domain (yourdomain.com) to yournation.nationbuilder.com. If you attempt to connect a domain to your site when it has a redirect on it, no one will be able to visit your site, as you will have created an infinite redirect loop.
We recommend waiting 48 hours after disconnecting a redirect before beginning to connect your domain. It can take that long for the first change to propagate across the internet. Because of this delay, we strongly recommend never creating a redirect for your site's primary domain.
When you point your name servers to NationBuilder, we host your DNS records. This allows us to automatically configure both the "yoursite.com" and "www.yoursite.com" addresses for your site. We do not support CNAMEs to a root domain.
Are you already using email with your custom domain? There can be a hiccup in receipt of email while your records update, so we recommend making this switch during a time you usually receive a lower volume of email. If your email provider is 1x1, Bluehost, DreamHost, GoDaddy, Google Apps, Rackspace, or Yahoo Business Mail, you can proceed with these instructions. If your email provider is not listed above, please contact email@example.com before continuing - include a screenshot of your current DNS configuration.
In your domain registrar's control panel, enter the following name servers:
If you don't see text boxes for inserting six, there is usually an option to add additional name servers. Including all six provides insurance in case one gets overloaded. Think of it as having six doors to your site rather than two or four.
It can take an hour and up to 48 hours for DNS records to fully update.
Log in to your nation's control panel and go to "Settings" -> "Domains"
1) Add the domain without the www. in the "Domain" field.
2) Keep "NationBuilder should manage my DNS servers" checked.
3) Select your email provider from the drop down menu.
-Don't have an email provider but want one? Consider using NationBuilder or Google Apps as your email provider.
-Using an email provider not listed in the drop down menu? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
-Don't want to send email from your custom domain? Select "Custom email provider".
4) Click the green "Add domain" button.
It can take a few moments to a few minutes for this process to complete. When you see a green "yes" under Managed? and DNS Configured? you can continue to the next step. You may need to refresh your browser window to see the change.
In your nation's control panel, click "Websites" -> (site you want to add a custom domain to) -> "Site Settings" -> "Custom domain".
1) Select the custom domain in the "Domain" drop down menu and add www to the "Subdomain" field.
2) If you have additional sites that require a custom domain you can add any characters in the "Subdomain" field and NationBuilder will automatically generate the correct CNAME records. (Example: add "action" to the "Subdomain" field to have your site's address be action.yourdomain.com)
3) Click the green "Update Site" button.
Nations with custom domains are able to supercharge their organizing efforts by sending email blasts and utilizing NationBuilder Mailboxes. Contact your point person today for the best practices when using these tools.
Would you prefer to host your own DNS records?
Why NationBuilder doesn't connect custom domains using IP addresses.
Own multiple variations of a domain (.org, .com, .biz)? Use redirects to connect multiple domains to the same site.