Besides publishing your website on a free subdomain (e.g. yourwebsite.unicornplatform.page), you can also publish it to any custom domain (yourwebsite.com).

This guide will show you how to connect your custom domain in 3 simple steps.

Please note that domains require some time to start working. Usually, it takes no more than 1 hour, but in some cases, it may take up to 24-48 hours. Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up this process. This is how the Internet works πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

Before we get started, please make sure that you:

Upgraded your Unicorn Platform account to the a paid plan.
Purchased a domain name from a domain provider, such as Namecheap, GoDaddy, or Google Domains.

Step 1 – Enable custom domain for your website

To add custom domain to your Unicorn Platform website, go to Website Settings > Domain & Publish tab. Enter your domain name into the Custom domain field and toggle Use custom domain switch on.

Enabling custom domain in Unicorn Platform

After that, you should see a small table with 2 IP addresses referred to as "Values".

Example IP address (yours will be different)

Copy it. We will need them in step 2 πŸ˜‰

Step 2 – Connect your domain (Set up DNS)

After you have enabled the custom domain, it will not work yet because it's still not connected to your website.

To make your custom domain work, you need to add so-called DNS records in your domain registar dashboard.

Go to your DNS dashboard

To edit the DNS records, you need to go to your domain registrar's dashboard. Depending on the service that you chose (where you bought your domain), the location and the UI of the dashboard may differ. But overall, they all look quite similar.

In this guide, we'll use the Namecheap's dashboard as an example.

DNS dashboard in Namecheap

Delete the default records

If you already have any A type or CNAME type DNS records that have their host (or name) listed as @ or www – delete them.

Delete such records if any

Also delete any A or CNAME type records with their host/name listed as your root domain yoursite.com, or as www.yoursite.com.

Delete such records if any

If you use Namecheap, you should also delete the default "URL Redirect" records if any. They may cause errors.

Add new A type records

The last step in DNS setup involves adding 2 A type records. The first records should have the following properties:

Type: A
Host (a.k.a name): @
Value (a.k.a data): the IP address you copied (see Step 1).

The second one should have these properties:

Type: A
Host (a.k.a name): www
Value (a.k.a data): the IP address you copied.

DNS records in Namecheap (use your own IPs instead)

Note that some providers don’t accept @ as host. In that case, you may see an error. Please see the β€œFixing errors” chapter to learn how to solve this.

Step 3 – Secure your connection (Issue an SSL certificate)

If you try to access your website at this moment, you may see an error saying that your connection is not secure.

This is because your website doesn't have an SSL certificate yet.

Unicorn Platform provides a free everlasting top class SSL certificate for each of your websites.

To issue an SSL certificate, go to Unicorn Platform and open your Website Settings > Domain & Publish tab. Scroll down and press Get SSL certificate button.

Press the "Get SSL certificate" button

Wait for a couple of minutes and that's it! Your website is up and running with your own custom domain name πŸŽ‰

However, there is a chance that you'll see an error like this one:

One of the possible DNS errors

Don't worry, this is a common issue πŸ™‚ In the next chapter, you will learn how to easily handle such errors.

Fixing errors

I can't issue an SSL certificate

If you see an error after trying to issue an SSL certificate, then there is an issue with your DNS setup. The error text should explain what exactly is wrong and how to fix it. For example, this error tells that I've entered the wrong IP addresses into my DNS records (step 2):

To fix this error, I need to replace values of my DNS records

My DNS records are correct, but I still see the error

Unfortunately, DNS records don't get updated immediately. They always take some time to propagate. Usually, it takes no more than 1 hour, but in some cases, it may take up to 24-48 hours.

This means that you will have to wait until the propagation is completed. Try to wait for 30-60 minutes and press the Get SSL certificate button again.

You can also track the propagation status manually by using a 3rd party service called dnschecker.org

Simply enter your domain name into the dedicated field and press Search.

If every field has a green "Check" icon, the propagation process is completed and you can get an SSL certificate.

DNS records are fully propagated

If some fields have red "Cross" icons, the propagation is still in progress. In that case, you will have to wait a little more. How about a coffee break? πŸ™‚

Propagation is not finished yet

Run this check for www.yourwebsite.com as well.

Propagation is not finished for "www" records

I can't enter "@" as my host

Some domain providers don't accept @ as host/name. In that case, you should enter your root domain (yoursite.com) instead.

DNS records with root domain as hosts

It still doesn't work!

If you can't resolve the issues on your own, feel free to contact us. Our support team will be happy to help you out πŸ™‚

F.A.Q.

Can I connect subpages (mysite.com/mypage) as custom domains?

Unfortunately, it is not possible.

Can I connect subdomains (e.g. promo.site.com) as custom domains?

Yes, you can connect subdomains. Please see our simple guide for more details.

My website is redirected to "com.au"

This happens when you connected a subdomain but still did not issue an SSL certificate. Just do the Step 3 and it will work fine. Perhaps you will need also to clear your browser cache though.

WHY IT IS SO COMPLICATED?! 😀

Yes, I know, I know.
I feel you.
The DNS and domain stuff is so geeky. It is easy to make a mistake. But this is how the Internet works. We are unable to make the process simpler.
Was this article helpful?
Cancel
Thank you!