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Content Management for Designers and Agencies.

Quick Hit: Setting Up A CNAME

So a lot of people, after they upgrade to Pro or Business, immediately want to setup their CNAMES. This often creates some confusion as to what a CNAME is, how to set it up, and emails to me that say “Tom, I have no idea what I’m doing here?”. Like a green Batman I’m swooping in to save the day here.

What is a CNAME?
From Wikipedia:
“A CNAME record or Canonical Name record is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS) that specifies that the domain name is an alias of another, canonical domain name.

From Tom’s Brain:
“A CNAME is like a subdomain, but instead of pointing to files on server, it points to a completely different domain. The big perk is that you can reference it in a URL the same way you would the original domain.”

Setting up a CNAME:
Your CNAME is setup where your nameservers are located.
This consists of 3 parts:

  • Part 1 is picking the type of record, usually you get a few options: “A, MX, CNAME, etc”. Guess what? What? Pick the CNAME. Got it!
  • Part 2 is picking the hostname/alias. This is the wordyouwant.yourdomain.com. So if you want to have changeyerstuff.websitedesignkingpin.com, you would place “changeyerstuff” in this box.
  • Part 3  is the value/destination/pointing to/domain/referrer. In this case since you’re using Pagelime it will always point to “cms.pagelime.com”

Registering your CNAME with Pagelime:
Go to your Account Settings, in the CNAME box put the full CNAME record, continuing the example from above you would place “changeyerstuff.websitedesignkingpin.com” in the box below.

screen-shot-2011-07-05-at-114322-am

Some things to keep in mind!

  • CNAMES are just like any other DNS level change they take some time to propagate across the whole internet, sometimes as long as 48 hours, so if it’s not working just wait a little bit.
  • When it’s configured correctly the page will be light gray with your logo centered. If you’re still seeing the black and green Pagelime login screen you’re doing it wrong.
  • CNAMES are not subdomains, there are no actual files on your server there, you can’t upload other stuff to them, or try and create custom pages. It’s a pure DNS level redirect.

That’s it! Good luck.

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