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Use a custom domain with your schedule

This tutorial will show you how to create a custom web address (URL) for your schedule. Your users can then access your schedule with a link such as www.your-company-schedule.com. This helps to reassure them the schedule belongs to you and they do not need to be aware that the software is not running on your own server.

Incorrectly modifying DNS entries can potentially make your site, as well as your email, unreachable. Many of the steps detailed in this tutorial are outside the control of SuperSaaS; we provide these instructions as a service only and cannot help you troubleshoot technical issues that may arise. Some technical proficiency is required.

Step 1: Point a (sub)domain to SuperSaaS

GoDaddy screenshot
DirectAdmin screenshot

With those warnings out of the way, adding a subdomain to point to SuperSaaS is fairly straightforward. The main complicating factor is that every provider uses different software so it’s hard to give step-by-step instructions. To begin with, you need to find something typically named “DNS control panel” or “Zone file editor” among the administrative tools of the host where your domain is registered. Shown above are two examples of what your DNS control page might look like.

Because of the risks involved, some Internet Service Providers do not allow you to modify your DNS yourself. If that is the case, or if you just do not feel comfortable modifying your DNS, your best option is probably to buy a separate domain for this purpose. A cheap domain can be had for as little as a few dollars per year, for example from GoDaddy or Gandi. SuperSaaS does not sell domain names.

If you want to use TLS/SSL with your own domain name so it can be used with the “https” protocol, you need to use a proxy. The easiest way to set that up is to use Cloudflare as your DNS provider, their free plan includes a proxy with TLS support.

In your DNS control panel you need to add a so-called ‘CNAME’ record to your DNS. Entering a CNAME involves entering an alias and a destination address that it should point to. The alias is the part that will be the subdomain of your site, ‘schedule’ or ‘booking’ would be a good choice. Suppose you have the domain yourcompany.com then the complete host name could be schedule.yourcompany.com. The alias would be schedule, you typically don’t have to enter the yourcompany.com part. The destination or host address that it points to should be www.supersaas.com.. Note the extra dot at the end, as some DNS utilities require that it is present, while others, like GoDaddy, specifically require that it isn’t. The easiest way to find out whether a trailing dot is needed is to check whether the other CNAME entries in your DNS have one.

Do not put in the entire URL to your schedule, so just enter www.supersaas.com; not the /schedule/… part. The SuperSaaS system will be able to figure out the rest of the URL once you have linked your domain to your account (see Step 2). Be careful not to modify any of the other settings in your DNS control panel unless you know what you are doing. For more help you may want to look at Google’s instructions to create CNAME records for several popular domain providers.

Sometimes there is also an option available among the settings to redirect a (sub)domain. This is probably not something you want to use because redirecting changes your domain name in the browser bar to supersaas.com as soon as a visitor hits the link. Furthermore, SuperSaaS won’t be able to link your calendar to your domain if you use a redirect.

DNS changes can propagate slowly. After you enter the CNAME record you may need to wait several hours, up to 24 hours sometimes, before the change takes effect. When a few hours have passed you can try out your new domain by typing it into a browser. If all went well you will be shown the SuperSaaS homepage. If you already entered your custom domain on your account (as explained in the next step), you would see a screen explaining that your domain still has to be linked to your account. Only after this works correctly should you continue with the next step.

You can also check that the domain is properly set up by opening a terminal window and typing ping schedule.yourcompany.com followed by ping www.supersaas.com. If all went well the output displayed should be the same. If the first ping does return an IP address but it is not the same as the one from SuperSaaS then you probably set up a redirect instead of a CNAME.

Step 2: Link your domain to your account

You can now access your own schedule by replacing the www.supersaas.com part with your custom domain. Next you can link the domain to your account. By linking the domain to your account you gain two additional benefits. Firstly, the custom domain will be used in all outgoing email messages that mention a URL, such as reminders. Secondly, if a visitor points his browser at the bare domain name, without the /schedule/… part, the system will redirect him to your schedule instead of to the SuperSaaS homepage. This presumes at least one schedule is defined in your account or the system will have no place to redirect to.

To link your domain take these steps:

  1. On your Dashboard, select Layout Settings and scroll down to the Appearance section. Here you will find an Advanced Settings link. On the Advanced Settings page, you’ll find a section labeled Using Your Own (Sub)Domain.
  2. On the Advanced Settings page enter the domain name you set up earlier.
  3. When you check Confirm this domain and link it to account… and click Save changes, the system will check if the URL does indeed resolve to SuperSaaS to ensure the links in reminder and confirmation emails sent are really correct. This check is also done to ensure someone else cannot incorrectly link to your schedule.

You can point multiple subdomains to the same account. For example, if you want both www.myschedule.com and myschedule.com to work, then enter only the myschedule.com part. If instead you want schedule1.example.com and schedule2.example.com to point to two different accounts, enter the entire domain name. You can have multiple schedules on one custom domain. The supervisor screen of the individual schedules will tell you the URL to reach a particular schedule. If you have multiple schedules and someone enters just the domain part of your custom URL, he will be shown a list of your schedules to choose from.

The top-level domain controls the default language the visitor sees. So a domain ending in .de would show a German language schedule. Anything for which the language cannot be determined, such as .com or .org will use the default language specified in Layout Settings. You can force the page to a particular language by adding ?lang=xx to a URL, where xx is an ISO language code such as fr or en for French and English respectively.