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How to point your Impress.ly site to your own domain using CNAMEs

So you've built a site on Impress.ly and you'd like to point that site to your own domain. As an example, let's say you own Bob's Ice Cream Shop and you have a website at bobsicecream.com. You've built an Impress.ly site for your location in Miami. Now you'd like that site to point to your bobsicecream.com domain. 

First, let's look at the different parts of a domain name.

A domain name basically is built by using three names:

  1. The top level domain name, this usually is the name of your country (like .co.uk or .nl), but can also be .com, or .net for example.
    In this example, let's use ".com".
    (http://searchsoa.techtarget.com/definition/top-level-domain)

  2. The actual domain name, specific to your domain. In this example, "bobsicecream" (of bobsicecream.com)

  3. The subdomain. This is basically what you put in front of the domain name, and it can be anything you like. For example : "www", or "demo", or "mobile". In your case this can be the location name, like "Miami".

Now, what does that all mean?

When you create a site on Impress.ly, we create a complete URL for you: for example : "miami.impress.ly".

Since you'd rather use your own domain name: "miami.bobsicecream.com", you will have to tell your DNS (domain name service) to point the visitors (or redirect them) to the Impress.ly servers.

This is where a CNAME comes in.

Basically, you need to instruct your DNS to send all customers who visit "miami.bobsicecream.com" to the Impress.ly servers, to a site called "miami.impress.ly".

To achieve this you need to

- make changes at your hosting company, to redirect traffic to your Impress.ly site
- add your CNAME to Impress.ly, so Impress.ly knows where the traffic will come from.

A. Settings to be made for your domain at the hosting company

If this is something that you are not comfortable with, you should be able to request that your hosting company do it for you:

"Can you create a CNAME for the domain "miami.bobsicecream.com", and point it to "miami.impress.ly"?

They should be able to offer you specific support on how to accomplish this. 

Unfortunately, we cannot give you step by step instructions for how this can be accomplished in your hosting environment. A large amount of different hosting platforms exist on the planet, and they are all different.

B. Settings to be made at your Impress.ly site

Don't forget to put the correct DNS name you want to use in the settings screen like this :

  1. Open your site on impress.ly
  2. Open the Settings screen
  3. enter your domain name at the CNAME field without  "http://" 

Detail view:

And you are done!

 

After you have made both changes on your domain and at Impress.ly it might take some time before the changes are visible (between 5 minutes and 48 hours). All DNS servers in the world need to be updated before it will work.

 

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