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How do I set up a “naked” domain?

 

To set this up, you'll do two things:

  1. Create a 301 redirect (see options below)
  2. Configure your custom domain in Instapage to be mysubdomain.mydomain.com and publish an Instapage landing page to it. See this article for more details: Publishing on a custom domain

That's it!  Now visitors will be redirected from mydomain.com to your Instapage landing page at mysubdomain.mydomain.com.

How do I set up the redirect from my "naked" domain to "mysubdomain.nydomain.com"?

There are a number ways of accomplishing this, here are just a few:

  • If your host allows it (this won't work on Windows-based hosting), you can also use a .htaccess file. You can create this file with any plaintext editor, and then place the file in the root of yourdomain.com. It should look something like this:
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
rewritecond %{http_host} ^domain.com [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$1 [r=301,nc] 
  • There is also a great service called WWWizer which will handle the redirect for you. All you need to do is create an A Record that points to their IP address and they'll 301 your naked domain traffic over to your www domain. Instapage can't officially vouch for the service, but we've used them a few times and it works great!

Why can't I just directly use 'mydomain.com' without the redirect?

This is a common question. The full answer requires a bit of explanation.

First, we insist you create a CNAME record for your custom domain that points to secure.pageserve.co instead of an A record that points to a particular server's IP address.  The reason we do this is that we intend on continually upgrading our infrastructure, adding servers in multiple distributed locations to serve up pages faster worldwide, and if you pointed your custom domain at one particular IP address, your pages would break as we add servers.  That would be bad.

Now, there are apparently some mail servers out there that don't properly handle a mix of CNAME and MX records for the same name.  The MX record is how mail servers know where to deliver your mail.  So if you happened to set up something like the following:

yourdomain.com  CNAME  secure.pageserve.co yourdomain.com MX mail.yourdomain.com

some mail servers would look at this, and use the CNAME instead of the MX, resulting in them attempting to deliver mail to secure.pageserve.co  and ultimately in you not receiving your email.  That would also be bad.  Even worse, we've encountered some DNS servers that won't resolve this properly at all, resulting in some (but not all) visitors not being able to reach your pages.

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