Before you go ahead and initiate an integration with your own domain, please note the following:
- The integration process is very simple, but there are some technicalities involved. Nothing to be scared of though! Just make sure to follow this guide step by step.
- While the actual configuration barely takes 5 minutes, it might take a few hours to be activated.
- If, upon initiating the Custom Domain integration, you don’t complete it within 24 hours, the system will revert the process and you will have to start the integration again.
- If you’re already hosting existing pages in your domain, or if it’s already integrated with another 3rd party app, be aware that all that existing content might cease to work. Once the integration is completed, Kartra will point your domain to your Kartra pages, membership portals, checkout pages, etc, so anything you might have previously hosted in your domain will likely not be accessible any more.
- That being said, you can remove the Kartra integration at any time.
The first step of the configuration process is to decide whether you want to point your Kartra integration (and thus your Kartra Pages, your Kartra checkouts, etc) to www.Domain.com or to SubDomain.Domain.com.
Some users might prefer to keep their different pages organized around subdomains. For example:
Imagine you sell different 3 products through your website, and thus your have 3 sales page and 3 checkout pages:
Well, instead you might prefer to use a separate subdomain for your sales pages, and another one for your checkouts pages:
It’s entirely optional, but some users argue that it helps keeping your site URL structure cleaner and, according to some experts, it yields some SEO benefits as well.
The CNAME is a record that has to be created in your domain registrar, which is the service managing your domain property and DNS. This CNAME record is what’s going to bind your domain with your Kartra account.
So, you will need to log into your domain registering service and create a new CNAME record. Every registrar has a different interface, so it’s difficult for us to navigate you from here, but chances are that you should see a “DNS Management” or “Domain Management” area when you log in. At any rate, if you ask their support team to show you how to create a CNAME record, they will definitely be able to point you in the right direction.
This new CNAME record needs to target your desired subdomain to username.kartra.com (replace “username” with your Kartra username). Alternatively, if you chose to integrate your main domain instead of using a subdomain, enter “www” as the subdomain.
Again, every domain registrar’s interface is different, but the following screenshot should illustrate most common cases:
- Type: select CNAME.
- Host: this will be either “www” or your desired subdomain, depending on which option you chose to integrate. If your desired custom domain is meant to be “sales.YourDomain.com“, then enter “sales“. If, in the other hand, it is meant to be “www.YourDomain.com“, then enter “www“.
- Target or Value: enter username.kartra.com (replace “username” with your Kartra username).
- Finally, use TTL, set to whatever automatic or default value they offer.
Note that if you might already have a CNAME configured for “www” or your desired subdomain – perhaps from a previous integration with another app like Kartra. In that case, you must delete it and create it anew. You cannot have two identical CNAMEs in order to avoid conflicts and malfunctions. Needless to say, the domain integration with your previous provider will stop working.
IMPORTANT: this step is ONLY required if you chose to integrate your Main Domain. It is NOT needed if you’re integrating a Subdomain.
If you’re integrating your Main Domain, Kartra will be effectively using “www” as a pseudo-subdomain. For that reason, we need to make sure that if someone types in their browser http://YourDomain.com, they’re indeed redirected to https://www.YourDomain.com.
This is called URL redirecting or URL forwarding, and your domain registrar is likely to also have this feature. Once again, if you ask their support team, they will point you where to find it in their interface. It should look, more less, as follows:
Note the following:
- Replace “YourDomain.com” with your actual domain.
- You don’t need to enter any subdomain, because we want to redirect the root (Main Domain) itself.
- You must enter the forwarding URL as https and www. It is irrelevant whether your domain doesn’t actually have a SSL secure certificate – Kartra will automatically provide it, which is why you must add the “s” in “https” (“s” stands for “secure”).
- The configuration must be set to Permanent Redirect (301) and Forward Path.
Once everything has been configured, you will see your domain in “Processing…” status.
Your new DNS configuration might take up to 24 hours to propagate through the whole internet. Kartra automatically checks every few minutes to verify whether the process has been completed, in which case the status will change to “Connected“. At this point, you’ll have the green lights to use your domain within Kartra in its full glory!
Once your custom domain is activated, you just need to edit your individual Kartra Pages (or Memberships, Checkout pages, Video pages, etc.) in order to switch them from being hosted in Kartra to your domain.
When you publish a page, the system will prompt the default Kartra-hosted link. Simply click on the EDIT button to modify it:
Finally, select your domain in the dropdown, type your desired page name, and click the SAVE button. So, in the example below, the page will be hosted at https://YourDomain.com/sales: