When Coursedog provides you with a catalog or an events site, the site is accessed from a coursedog.com domain, for example: yourschool-catalog.coursedog.com. If you want to use your own domain such as myschool.edu then follow the steps below.
Your actions needed to set up a custom domain are simply:
- Decide what URL you want for your catalog or public event site
- Add two CNAME entries to your DNS server
Note: Custom domains are only supported for production instances of your Coursedog Events or Catalog on app.coursedog.com. They are not supported for staging or development instances on staging.coursedog.com and are not supported for our Class or Curriculum software.
Here are the recommended best practices to follow to run your catalog under a custom domain, for example: catalog.yourschool.edu for branding or search engine optimization purposes.
1. Decide on the URL you want for your production Coursedog catalog
- For example, catalog.yourschool.edu
- Load the desired URL in your browser. If it comes back with ‘not found’ and no page loads then we CAN PROCEED
- If a page loads but you land on another URL other than the one you typed in then examine the certificate for the page using https://www.digicert.com/help/ and if you notice that the certificate has either a common name or alternative names that matches the desired URL then we CANNOT PROCEED. You must choose another name. If it does not contain the desired URL then we CAN PROCEED.
- i.e. in the example below the desired URL is spacefinder.jcu.edu and it is listed in the Alternative Names section so it becomes a CANNOT PROCEED situation
- Tell your project manager what the desired URL is.
2. Add a CNAME record to your DNS server for SSL Certificate Generation
Since Coursedog catalogs are served over an encrypted https connection we will generate, host, and serve an SSL certificate for the desired URL (i.e. catalog.yourschool.edu). This step involves adding a Coursedog AWS generated CNAME record to your DNS that gives Coursedog the ability to generate the certificate for your desired URL.
Coursedog will provide you with a CNAME record in the following format that you will then add to your DNS. You have 24 hours to add the CNAME from the moment is has been generated for you:
Domain Name,Record Name,Record Type,Record Value
Once you've added the CNAME record you must let Coursedog know immediately as we have limited time to generate the certificate in step 3.
3. Coursedog generates an SSL Certificate for the desired URL
This step is executed entirely by Coursedog and does not require your involvement. Once the CNAME entry in step 2 has been added to your DNS, Coursedog will generate the certificate and install it on the catalog server.
4. Update your DNS Server to point to the Custom Domain
Let's say your school website runs under www.yourschool.edu.
You own the yourschool.edu domain name, and probably control the DNS server that directs traffic to any domain under yourschool.edu.
Your DNS server will need to be updated to send requests for catalog.yourschool.edu to your Coursedog hosted catalog.
This is done by adding a CNAME record (different than the one in step 2) to your DNS server. Think of a CNAME as an alias, one where we're telling anyone looking for catalog.yourschool.edu to actually get the catalog from coursedog.com. CNAME records are common in the industry, for example, many companies use them to link their country specific domains to their .com address such as mydomain.com.au and mydomain.co.nz both being aliases for mydomain.com.
Note: Once DNS has been updated, it could take up to 48 hours for the DNS change to be fully available when accessing the custom domain.
Add a CNAME record like the following (note that you might not call it 'catalog' or 'events' --these are samples only. I.e. if instead of 'catalog' you call it 'calendar' then adjust accordingly)
- Host Name,Type,Destination
or, if you are setting up a public events site