By default, your community gets a “subdomain.mobilize.io” domain by default, you can customise only the subdomain portion of the domain. If you’d like to use your own domain and fully brand the experience, this help article is for you.
In summary, this article covers the following:
- Choose your custom domain
- Setup the DNS
- Setup the SSL certificate (purchase new certificate, or with your existing certificate)
- Connect your domain
If you've already gone through these steps and still need help troubleshooting the custom domain or SSL certificate, please use our custom domain and SSL certificate troubleshooting checklist here.
Step 1: Prerequisites
This process is very technical and should be done by someone from your IT department or someone technical from your team.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have the following:
- Access to the Account Owner - To access the domain settings, you’ll need access to the account owner as this is the only user who is allowed to do the setup.
- Access to your DNS provider - where you bought your domain name (eg. GoDaddy, Route53, Gandi or any other)
- SSL certificate - You’ll need to purchase a valid SSL certificate from a certificate provider or use a certificate that you already have. This process is best completed by a technical person from IT. We recommend sending them a link to this article.
- Enterprise plan - This feature is enabled for Enterprise customers only
Step 2: Choose your custom domain
Decide what would be your custom domain. Let’s say that you own “mybrand.com”.
You’ll have two options
- Map a subdomain of your custom domain to Mobilize. For example: “community.mybrand.com”, “www.mybrand.com,”, or any other subdomain you’d like to have. Using a dedicated subdomain like community.mybrand.com is the most common implementation of this feature.
- Map the top domain “mybrand.com” to Mobilize. This is not always possible and mainly depends on your DNS provider (GoDaddy, for example, won’t let you map the top domain. Choosing www.mybrand.com might be your best option in this case).
*Note: we do not recommend using groups.brandname.com if you are planning on using the custom email domain feature.
Step 3: Setup the DNS
Let’s assume that mybrand.com is your regular domain and you want your Mobilize community address to change from “mybrandedsubdomain.mobilize.io” to “community.mybrand.com”
On your DNS provider
- Log in to your domain registrar (this is where you bought your domain eg. GoDaddy) and find the advanced domain settings area or the area where you manage your domain’s DNS records.
- In the DNS settings area (or Zone File), create a new CNAME record, and put your domain (in our example it would be community.mybrand.com) in the name field.
- add mybrandedsubdomain.custom-domain.mobilize.io to the value field.
See example below:
The CNAME value should be yourregulardomain.custom-domain.mobilize.io. For example, if your website is abc.com, then your CNAME value should be abc.custom-domain.mobilize.io
Important: It will then take up to 72 hours for the change to fully implement.
Step 4: Setup the SSL certificate
In this stage, we’ll set up an SSL certificate to secure the connection and data of your users.
Here is a good guide from one of the most known certificate providers that will explain the full process.
To complete the process, you’ll need three items
- A private key - the same key you’ll use to create your certificate
- A certificate - a .crt file that you’ll get from your certificate authority provider
- Intermediate certificate/bundle (optional) - A chain of certificates you’ll get from your certificate authority.
Purchasing the certificate
If you already own a certificate, you can skip this section.
- First, you need to choose a certificate authority provider. There are many options, including DigiCert, Comodo, Iden Trust and many more. If you purchase a certificate for Mobilize only, you can purchase a Standard certificate which is cheaper. If you’d like to use this certificate for other subdomains of yours, you can purchase a WildCard certificate.
- Follow their guides to get the certificate. Usually, you’ll have to follow the following steps
- Generate a private key
- Generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request)
- Send the CSR to your certificate authority provider
- Get back from your provider a CRT file (the certificate) and possibly the Intermediate certificate bundle
Here is a guide that can help you generate the private key and CSR files for the certificate authority provider
Already have a certificate in place?
If you’ve already purchased a certificate, make sure the certificate you have matches the domain you’ve selected
- If you own a wildcard certificate for your domain, you can use this certificate to setup your community address as well.
- If it’s not a wildcard certificate, make sure this certificate matches the domain you’ve chosen
Take the private key you’ve used to generate the certificate, the certificate file, and the Intermediate certificates and jump to set up stage
** Use this tool to make sure that your private key matches the certificate you have. If it doesn’t match, you’ll get an error while trying to setup the certificate on Mobilize.
Step 5: Setup the domain & certificate on Mobilize
- Go to Community settings --> General tab --> Connect your domain.
2. Click on “Connect your domain”
3. In the “Hostname” field of the “Custom domain settings” modal, write the domain you want to map to Mobilize (community.mybrand.com in our example).
From Step 4: Setup the SSL Certificate, you have the private key, the certificate and the optional certificate bundle/chain. Use that for the following:
5. Copy the content of your private key (possibly .key) file and paste it to the private key field
6. Copy the content of your certificate (possibly .crt) file and paste it to the “certificate chain” field
7. Copy the content of your certificate chain file/bundle file, and paste it into the “certificate chain” right after your certificate.
8. Click on Save
FYI: Your Mobilize groups might not be available for up to 30 minutes while we create your custom domain.
If you're still having some difficulties setting up your custom domain, no worries! Drop us a line and let's hop on a call together to figure it out.
We also have a troubleshooting checklist for implementing the custom domain or SSL certificate issues at http://help.mobilize.io/advanced-features-and-integrations/custom-branding/tips-for-troubleshooting-ssl-and-custom-domain-issues.