Setting up a custom domain for your iCouch webpage requires the following steps:
- Create a CNAME record at your domain registrar
- Adding your custom domain to iCouch
Create a CNAME record
What is a CNAME record?
A CNAME is a type of record that tells "the internet" where to find your website. You can think of it like call-forwarding.
Let's say you went to a company like GoDaddy and bought a domain name, for example mygreattherapy.com.
Now that you own this name, you have to "point" it at something. That "something" is where your webpage lives. So when a visitor goes to www.mygreattherapy.com, the internet will route that visitor to wherever you "pointed" the domain.
You let GoDaddy, etc. know the destination of your domain by setting a record called a CNAME.
Setting up the CNAME record
These instructions will vary slightly depending on where you registered your domain name, but the basic process is this. (Links to specific instructions for various domain providers will follow.)
- Login to your domain register. This is usually the company from which you purchased the domain name. GoDaddy is an example, Namecheap is another.
- Go to wherever you manage your domain DNS settings.
- Add the new CNAME record with the following settings:
- Points to (destination):
Please note that your "Host" does not have to be www, but it has to be something. For example, if you used "therapy" as your host, then visitors would need to visit therapy.yourwebsite.com. For most people, www is the best choice for the "Host." With www, visitors will access your website at https://www.yourwebsite.com.
If you have another website for your practice, maybe it's www.yourwebsite.com, you can still use your custom domain with iCouch. You would just pick something different for your "Host" setting. For example, you might have an existing website at www.yourwebsite.com, you could use another host like "counseling.yourwebsite.com" for your iCouch site.
Do not use "icouch" as your host. It could cause mayhem and won't work.
If you want to use a "naked" domain such as yourgreatwebsite.com without a host (like www.) please see the technical note at the end of this article.
Here are instructions for a few domain providers on how to set up CNAMEs. Remember, if you get into trouble and need help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can contact your domain provider, but we are always here to help!
Other providers have similar instructions, but if you need help, please email iCouch support at email@example.com and we'll take care of you!
Adding your custom domain to iCouch
Now for the easy part!
Sign in to your iCouch account
Visit the "Website" section
Look for the Page Information Section
Enter your domain into the Custom Domain field. Do not use http/https. Just type your full domain such as www.yourgreatwebsite.com
At the bottom of the page, click Save
And that's it!
Your website will be available at https://www.yourgreatdomain.com. Please note that this is using https -- which means your domain is protected by SSL security. If a visitor went to http instead of https, it will forward them automatically to the secure version.
Depending on the speed of your domain provider your website could be available at your custom domain immediately or it might take several hours. It takes time for your CNAME record to propagate across the internet. If after 24 hours you aren't seeing your iCouch website at your custom domain, please contact us so we can help figure out what went wrong.
Note about your Custom Domain
Your custom domain is for your public iCouch webpage and public calendar. However, when a visitor wants to book a session or send you a message, that will still use the icouch.me domain. This is for security reasons. If you want a more detailed explanation please contact us!
Technical Note about Naked Domains
iCouch does not support "naked" domains such as https://yourwebsite.com. You need to have a host, such as "www." If you're technically minded and want https://yourwebsite.com to work, you can create a DNS redirect, redirecting yourwebsite.com to www.yourwebsite.com. If you don't understand what this means or need some one-on-one help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be glad to help you get setup.