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Connect a custom domain

Follow four easy steps to connect your customer domain to your nation (NationBuilder managed DNS).

Updated over a week ago

Four steps for connecting a custom domain to your nation

Step 1. Purchase a domain from a registrar

  1. Buy a custom domain from a domain registrar/provider, like NameCheap or GoDaddy. Once you connect your domain, you must keep the registration active with the provider to keep it connected to your website. Make sure you set up auto-renew or remember to renew.

  2. Most domains connect within 12 hours, but it can take up to 48 hours. Keep this in mind if you have a close deadline.

Step 2. Add your domain to your nation

It is very important to complete the steps in this order. By adding your domain to your nation first, you create a place for the domain to land once you point your nameserver records to NationBuilder. Go to Settings > Domains. Click on + New domain

1. Enter the domain name in the text box. Do not include 'www.' or any other subdomain. For example, our domain would be entered as: nationbuilder.com 

If you answer Yes to any of the following statements, click here to connect your domain another way. Otherwise, continue to step 2.

  • I want to manage my own DNS

  • I already have email set up on my domain

  • I have other DNS records in place for other services

2. Check the “NationBuilder should manage this domain” box.

If you have subnations, you'll be given the option to allow them to use the domain. Checking the box allows them to access this domain. Keeping the box unchecked means only the parent nation can connect to the domain.

3. Select a site to connect to the domain. The site selected here will live at https://www.yourdomain.com .

4. Click the Add domain button.

Step 3. Edit domain settings: name servers and email

When you add a domain, you'll be taken to a domain settings page that looks like this:

1. Update your nameserver records. In a new browser tab or window, log into your domain provider account, and find where you manage your DNS settings. Depending on your provider, this may be called Zone File Settings, Manage Domains, Domain Manager, DNS Manager, or something similar.

Add all six of the nameserver records to your domain registrar's control panel. This list is under the "Required value" column.

ns10.nationbuilder.com

ns11.nationbuilder.com

ns12.nationbuilder.com

ns13.nationbuilder.com

ns14.nationbuilder.com
ns15.nationbuilder.com

Here are instructions for changing nameservers with a few of the most popular domain registrars:

📌 Note: Google Domains has been acquired by Squarespace Domains and will soon be migrating all hosted domains to Squarespace.

If you don't see text boxes for inserting six, there is usually an option to add additional nameserver fields.

When the nameservers are saved correctly, the records in the 'current value' column (pictured below) will match those in the 'required value' column.

2. Confirm your Email Provider in the dropdown menu. If you are already using email with your domain, it is extremely important to make sure the correct email provider is selected on this page. 

If your email provider is not listed in the menu, select Custom Email and email [email protected] for additional support. You will need to send any email-related records to NB support.

Click Save to confirm your email provider selection.

Name server changes usually take effect within an hour. Remember that it can take up to 48 hours for your changes to propagate across the internet.

Step 4. Pointing your custom domain to land on your NationBuilder website

After the domain name servers match the required values, you can finalize attaching your site to the domain. 

Click on Sites, and you will see the website attached to the domain.

Hover over the domain and click Edit.

Click the Save button at the bottom of the screen.

Congratulations! Your custom domain is all set. You should not need to make any other changes. You may see error messages on your site for a few minutes while the site connection is established.

Reasons to contact NationBuilder Support:

  • If your site does not display your custom domain after 48 hours, first make sure you re-saved your site. That step is required to complete the connection process. 

  • If you need to add any DNS records to a domain managed by NationBuilder.

📌 Note: SSL will take some time to be applied, usually a few minutes up to a few hours. If you have been waiting more than a day, please reach out to [email protected] for assistance.

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