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Connect a custom domain (DNS hosted elsewhere)

If you want to send authenticated email from NationBuilder without connecting your domain to a website, you can keep your DNS hosted where it is. This is a good option if you have experience managing your own DNS records, need to update your records regularly, will only be using your domain to send email blasts, or you are already receiving a high-volume of inbound email at an address using your domain.

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Add your domain to your nation

Login to your control panel and go to Settings > Domains > + New domain.

1. In the Domain text box, enter the domain you want associated with your nation (e.g. example.com). Do not include www or any other subdomain.

2. Uncheck the box next to "Allow NationBuilder to manage this domain."

3. If you have subnations, you will have the option to allow them to use the domain.

4. If you want to connect a site to www.example.com, select the site from the dropdown menu. Note: If you want to connect a subdomain (e.g. action.example.com), do not select a site from this screen.

5. Click the Add domainbutton.


Prepare for email blasts

When you manage your DNS records elsewhere, records need to be added to authenticate your email blasts. Once you add a domain to your nation, you will be taken to a list of domains connected to your nation. Click the edit button next to the domain, which will take you to the Settings section for the domain. 

The Settings section of a domain managed elsewhere provides records needed to authenticate your domain and to prevent damage to your email reputation. These records are unique -- they will be different for each domain connected to a nation. It will take some time for these records to be generated and displayed in your nation. If you do not see email records in the domain settings two hours after attaching the domain, please email help@nationbuilder.com for assistance.

email_authentication_records.png

Copy these records and go to where you manage your DNS records. Add the records as new CNAME records for your domain. Once you add the records to your domain manager, it can take up to 48 hours for those changes to propagate. You can check the current value by clicking the refresh button. 

Note: Some domain providers, such as GoDaddy, do not require a trailing dot (.) at the end of the CNAME record. Please refer to your domain provider's documentation for clarification on how to add CNAME records. 

Once you have completed all of the steps above, you can attach a specific email address to your nation. You'll connect the email address to a broadcaster to send email blasts. You are able to send email from your domain whether or not you authenticate your broadcaster.

There is a quick way to check if your broadcaster is authenticated: when you draft and save an email blast you should not see a flash message at the top of your screen. If you broadcaster is not authenticated, this notification will appear:

Mailing_created__but_not_authenticated.png

If you do not authenticate your broadcaster, we will automatically send your blast from a generic sender domain. Blast emails from your broadcaster will show up with a “via nationsend1-25.com” line in your “from” information. 

 You may have selected to receive incoming mail for your broadcaster. Your incoming mail will be delivered to your broadcaster whether or not your broadcaster is authenticated.


Connect a domain managed elsewhere to a site

If you want to connect a domain managed elsewhere to a site hosted by NationBuilder, edit the domain and click on +New site.

1. Enter the subdomain to connect. If you are connecting the primary domain, enter www in the text field. You could also type "action" or any other phrase. Do not include a period at the end of the subdomain.

2. Select the site in your nation that should be connected from the dropdown menu. This dropdown menu includes all sites in your nation that are not attached to a custom domain.

3. Click the Savebutton.

 If you do not see this screen, all sites in your nation are already attached to a custom domain. You will need to create a new site in the Website section of the control panel to continue.

Next, go to your domain registrar and add a CNAME.

In your domain registrar, add your subdomain (i.e. www, action, etc.) as the name/host of your record. Add the value beginning with "proxy-..." in the points to/value field.

CNAME changes usually take effect within an hour. Remember that it can take up to 48 hours for your changes to propagate across the internet. It is not possible for NationBuilder to expedite this process.

Note: When connecting/removing a custom domain, it can take a couple of days to add the SSL certification. SSL certificates get attached in batches on Mondays and Thursdays. You will be notified by email when the process of activating the SSL certification has completed. If you need to remove and re-add a domain that has already had an SSL certificate activated for it, please contact help@nationbuilder.com for assistance.


Handling your root domain

If you are going to connect your primary domain to a website in your nation, be sure you can redirect the root domain correctly. The root domain is example.com - your primary domain on NationBuilder will always display as www.example.com. Ultimately, you’re looking to create a 301 permanent redirect (no masking).

Since only one domain can be attached to a single NationBuilder site, redirects can also be used if you own many domains. An example would be if www.domain.com is attached to your site, but you also own domain.info and domain.net. A redirect would need to be created so that people going to the URLs domain.info or domain.net are redirected to http://www.domain.com.


Understand how custom domains work

How to connect an email address to a broadcaster

Authenticate a broadcaster

 

If you’re unclear on how this feature works, please ask a question. If you would like to see changes to this feature, please submit a suggestion.