Custom Domains - Comprehensive Guide

Custom domains involve changing DNS which can be a bit of a pain. If you get stuck, we will help! The good news is that you only have to do this once.

Custom Domains with CourseMaker

The first thing is to decide whether you would like to use a subdomain or a root domain.

  • Subdomains are of the format https://{subdomain}.{domain}.com e.g.
  • Root domains are of the format https://{domain}.com e.g.

n.b. root domain is to distinguish from the "www" domain, e.g.

subdomains are easiest, so if you want to minimize hassle, this is the best choice

Setting Up a Subdomain

In order to set up a custom subdomain, you will need to create a CNAME record. Let's work through an example, and I'll provide links to various different DNS providers.

In this example, I have a domain

I decide I want to set up my CourseMaker student site at the subdomain

1. Update your settings

Navigate to school -> settings and scroll down to "Custom Domain" settings tab

2. Enter your custom subdomain
  • See the prompt to "Step 1) Enter the domain you already own that you would like to use"
  • I enter (no https) and click "Add" settings tab
3. Receive the CNAME prompt

Now you should see the following:

Step 2) In your DNS providers settings please create a CNAME record to the following domain: {YOUR_SCHOOL_NAME}

Where {YOUR_SCHOOL_NAME} will be the name of your overall CourseMaker school.

4. Update your DNS provider

Now it's time to update your DNS provider. If you're not sure who your DNS provider is, you can follow this guide

Login to your DNS provider. There will be a place where you can customize your host records (the exact location will vary from one provider to another). You should then add a new record, as follows:

  • Its type is "CNAME"
  • The host value is "{YOUR_SUBDOMAIN}" which in this case is "school" (no quotes needed)
  • The value (i.e. the target) is the domain given in the CourseMaker UI: {YOUR_SCHOOL_NAME}
  • If applicable, set the Time to Live (TTL) as low as possible
  • In your DNS provider, save the new record

Here are some specific subdomain walkthroughs for different DNS providers:

  • GoDaddy
5. Visit your custom subdomain

Once you've set the CNAME record in your DNS provider, visit the custom subdomain in your browser. In this case I navigate to

You should see a page that looks like this:

settings tab

6. Confirm
  • If you do see the loading page above then you should return to CourseMaker and click "Confirm". You should not see an error.
  • If you do not see the loading page, please wait. It can take from a minute to 24 hours for a DNS change to take effect, depending on the provider. If you see the error:

    Cannot confirm custom domain ({your_subdomain}.{your_domain}.org) since CNAME has not yet been created

Then please wait.

7. Done!

Once you've successfully confirmed your subdomain, you should be able to navigate to it and see your student site within 30 minutes. All site builds will now be reflected both on your CourseMaker subdomain and your custom subdomain.

Setting Up a Root Domain

In order to set up a root domain, you will need to create an ANAME or Alias record (Cloudflare calls this "CNAME flattening"). An ANAME or Alias record is not the same as an "A" record (the most standard record type).

The gotcha here is that not all DNS providers allow you to create an ANAME or Alias record. Check your DNS provider - if they allow you to create an ANAME or Alias record, then you can proceed with the following steps. If they do not allow this, then the workaround is to use Cloudflare's free DNS management plan (see below "Using Cloudflare as your DNS provider").

The Cloudflare approach is required for the following DNS Providers:

  • GoDaddy

Using Cloudflare as your DNS Provider

Custom root domain guides for different DNS providers:

  • GoDaddy

Still Stuck?

If you get stuck don't suffer in silence! Email us ( or arrange a call and we'll will walk you through it step-by-step:

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