The ability to use your own domain name to create tracking links not only helps with your branding, but can also make it more meaningful. While Linktrackr provides multiple domain options you can use, you should always use your own custom domain whenever possible.
For example, instead of using myname.rurl.net/offer, you can be using mydomain.com/offer as your tracking link. Shorter, easier to remember and it’s even better looking.
There are two ways you can use your own custom domain; script method and cname method.
What’s the difference between the two?
When using the script method, you’re basically having all traffic go to your own site first, where a script will then redirect the traffic to our servers and then finally redirects again to the actual destination URL. This method adds an extra redirect step, but it allows you to continue using the domain name in question. Cloaking is also not available if you’re using domains from this method.
On the other hand, the cname method requires you to directly point your domain name to our servers, where we will then redirect the traffic. This makes the redirect faster and you would not even need to have your own hosting account, but you will not be able to use the domain name to create or maintain a website.
In short, if you wish to use an existing domain or website URL, go with the script method. If you’re using a dedicated domain name specifically for tracking purposes, go with the cname option.
Regardless of which method you plan to use, the first step is the same.
After logging into your Linktrackr account, click on your name on the upper right corner and select ‘Domains’ from the drop down menu. This will bring you to the domains setting, where you can see all your current existing domains and set the default domain to use for all your projects.
Note: You can overwrite the default domain setting here for individual projects by going to the project’s own settings page.
You will see the ‘Add New Domain’ option on the right side of the page, along with the option to select either the script or cname option. Let’s look at the cname option first.
Adding Custom Domain via CNAME method
Select the CNAME option and then enter your domain name in the field above. Make sure the domain name is correct, and click on the ‘Add Domain’ button.
Next, you will need to log into your domain name registrar in order to make the necessary changes to be able to use the domain as a custom domain name for your Linktrackr account.
Please refer to the article on how to make CNAME changes in your domain registrar.
Because each domain registrar has different user interface, you would actually need to refer to their own guide or tutorial on how to change or edit CNAME settings. That said, if you’re using GoDaddy, you can refer to our GoDaddy’s CNAME custom domain redirect guide.
You will want to create 2 CNAME entries to make sure you can use either or both the www or non-www versions of your domain. The host name for the www version of the domain is www and the non-www version is usually either the symbol @ or just leave the host name field empty.
Once you find where to change the cname settings, all you need to do is point the cname to the following nameservers:
Make sure to replace USERNAME to your actual Linktrackr username above!
It may take up to 24 hours (usually much faster) before you can use the domain name as it takes time for updated info to be propagated.
Adding Custom Domain via Script Method
To add your custom domain via script, you’ll need to have some knowledge on how to use FTP. You’ll also need to download the actual script you’ll be uploading to your web host.
The link to download the script can be seen when you select the ‘Script’ option for adding a new domain name. Just download this file, unzip it, and then upload it via FTP to where you want to on your web host. For example, if you want to use the custom tracking domain as mydomain.com/recommends, create a folder ‘recommends‘ in your public_html folder and upload the script to this folder.
Make sure to also enter the domain name as pointed out in the screenshot above and click on ‘Add Domain’.
Test Your New Custom Domain Name
Now it’s time to test your new custom domain name, which is a fairly simple process. You can set the new domain as the default domain and then test any of your tracking links to see if it works. Make sure that your tracking link is showing the correct domain.
If you’re using CNAME, it may take up to 24 hours before it’s working properly, which in this case it would be better to just wait for a day and then test it.
Congratulations, you now have your own custom tracking URL!
We’ve had our custom domain feature for a very long time, and people who used GoDaddy had no issues mapping their domains to us using CNAME. However recently (ok maybe a year ago..) GoDaddy changed their system to allow only IP addresses in the CNAME.
That will not work, since our servers do not used a fixed IP address. I find this method very backwards. For example, when using Namechap you should have no issues putting an actual domain name for the CNAME settings.
Looking at GoDaddy’s official documentation, they seem to imply that only IP addresses can be used, and they seem to have missed a step in explaining how to do it with an actual domain name.
So I will let this guide help you. If you don’t use GoDaddy, please refer to the regular CNAME method tutorial.
Step 1: Make Sure Your Domain Can Be Used
In order to use a CNAME, make sure you are not already using this domain for your website, WordPress blog or other uses. Once the CNAME is complete, every URL from this domain will map to the LinkTrackr application.
Also make sure that you are using the default GoDaddy nameservers. If you are using another nameserver, switch back to the default.
You may want to allow a few hours for the changes to take effect, before GoDaddy will show you the advanced options for the domain.
Step 2: Edit Your GoDaddy CNAME Settings
In the Domain Manager, for the domain you want to use click “Manage DNS” like the image below. You will then see the main settings page for your domain.
You will see the CNAME options first. Click the Edit icon for the “www” portion, and enter your default LinkTrackr URL for example gobala.linktrackr.com and leave the TTL as “1 Hour”.
You do not need to edit the “@” settings, and if you try to enter the default LinkTrackr URL here you will see an error message like this:
Other registrars will allow you to use an actual domain here, GoDaddy will insist on IP address.
Step 3: Create a GoDaddy Redirect
To overcome this issue, the next step is to create a domain redirect in GoDaddy. Click on the edit icon and enter your redirect like the image below.
Click save. Make sure you check the last check box to update DNS. You need to give GoDaddy at least 8 hours to propagate this new settings. The CNAME will not work right away!
Step 4: Add the Domain in LinkTrackr
In your LinkTrackr account, click on Domains right under your name.
Then, enter the new domain name using the CNAME method and click Add Domain.
Now the domain has been entered into your account.
Step 5: Assign the Domain to A Project
Here’s the final step but DO NOT DO THIS unless you have tested your domain. When you type your custom domain in the browser, it should redirect you to the LinkTrackr login page. This means that the mapping is already functional. Otherwise, you need to wait for the domain to propagate or check if you’ve done the steps above.
Once you’ve confirmed the domain works, enter the project you want to use it with, and click on Settings. In the project settings page, choose the domain from the drop-down list.
Now all your links and campaigns will use the custom domain you have added. Please take note that if you placed conversion codes or pixels using the default LinkTrackr URL before adding this domain, you will need to replace them with the new pixel codes.
I believe that’s about it. I’ve tested it and it works, but do email us if you have any issues with the GoDaddy CNAME option for adding custom domains in LinkTrackr.
The process to modify your domain’s CNAME is pretty much standard, but different registrars have different interfaces for getting it done. We will give you the NameCheap example as a guide. If you are using GoDaddy, their method is quite different. Please refer to the GoDaddy CNAME guide instead.
In Namecheap.com, once you’ve clicked on the domain you wish to use, you should be able to see an “Advanced DNS” option as shown below. Click on “Manage” for Host Records.
Check to see if there are any entries for www or @ under host. If there are (like the example below), click on Edit. Otherwise, click on Add Records button.
From here, select CNAME Record from the drop-down menu for the Record Type.
And key in the following information as shown in the screenshot below.
Please remember to set the Target to your own Linktrackr account.
For example, if your username is peanuts, your target will be peanuts.linktrackr.com. By setting the host to www as shown below, you will automatically redirect all traffic from http://www.yourdomain.com to Linktrackr.
Next, we need to create another record, to redirect the non-www URL of your domain (http://yourdomain.com) to Linktrackr as well. This time, set the Host to @.
Advanced Tip: You can choose to only redirect just either the www or non-www version of your domain to Linktrackr, which is useful if you’re using Linktrackr for certain networks that doesn’t allow a redirect to an external domain such as AdWords.
If you don’t know how to make CNAME changes, please refer to the examples below based on domain registrar.
If your registrar is not in this list and you don’t know how to make the changes, please contact us. Also please allow up to 8 hours for the CNAME to take effect.