Dealing with domain names

Written by on Monday, September 24th 2018

Dealing with domain names
A lot of people find the idea of changing the domain on their GoodBarber project appealing as it allows them to build a stronger image without the presence of another brand. GoodBarber doesn't sell domain names, you'll have to purchase one from an external provider if you want to take advantage of this option, and you'll then be able to configure it from your provider's platform and install it in your GoodBarber backend as you'll be using our servers. 

Setting up a new domain name can look a bit daunting for first-timers, but it's no big deal. Take a look at some basic info you need to know and some of the most common issues users struggle with to avoid common pitfalls. 

Some vocabulary...

Domain name

A domain name is basically the address you need to get to a website, for example:
goodbarber.com
The ".com" part (or any suffix that comes after the last dot) represents what's called the TLD (Top Level Domain). 
The "goodbarber" part of this URL represents the SLD (Second Level Domain) .

Subdomain

The subdomain is the part that comes before the first dot in the URL. For example:
www.goodbarber.com
myproject.goodbarber.com

Registrar

This is the organization selling the domain names to the public. Some examples of registrars you can buy a domain name from are:
https://www.ovh.com/
https://www.gandi.net/
https://www.1and1.com/
https://www.godaddy.com/

DNS

This stands for Domain Name System, and it controls the domain name and email settings. When a user visits your domain name, the DNS settings determine which server it reaches out to. 

DNS is made up of a few elements; some of which GoodBarber users may need to understand are the following:
  • NS (Nameservers)
    • Nameservers point the domain name to the company that controls its DNS settings
  • CNAME Records
    • Point subdomains to a server
  • MX Records
    • Point the domain name's email to its email provider

What's the difference between a DNS configuration and an external configuration?

Opting for a DNS configuration means you're handing over the management of your DNS zone to GoodBarber. You can still set custom MX records for your domain, but you won't be able to set subdomains. 
This is the simplest option. You should choose it if you're in one of the following situations:
  • If you're using this domain only for your GB project (it's not already being used elsewhere) 
  • If you don't have existing emails associated with this domain (you would lose them and have to reconfigure them) 
Choosing an external configuration puts you in charge of managing your domain DNS zone. This option applies to you if you're in one of the following situations: 
  • You also want to use your domain somewhere other than on your GoodBarber project 
  • You have existing emails associated with this domain
  • You need to create subdomains and/or edit/create records in your DNS zone
  • You want to install a subdomain on your PWA

If I'm a reseller, does the domain have to be the same on all of my apps?

It's up to you, you can set up one domain in your reseller dashboard that will be used in all of your apps (with the subdomain differentiating them), which will look like this: http://projectname.yourdomain.com/manage/.
You can also set up each domain individually. 
Or you can do a mixture of both (use subdomains of your reseller domains by default for all your projects, and install a specific domain name on some projects).

I've configured my domain with my registrar, why can't I finalize its installation in my GB backend?

When new domains are configured, they can sometimes take several hours (up to 48 in some cases) to propagate, and until this is complete, you won't be able to finalize the installation of the new domain in your GoodBarber backend. You'll still be able to access your GB backend, but only from the original URL (www.projectname.goodbarber.com). If this happens to you, just wait a few hours and try again.

You can check the following sites to find out whether or not the propagation has successfully been carried out yet:

https://www.whatsmydns.net/
http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools

Everything in my GB backend has been correctly setup, but all of a sudden my site is inaccessible. Why?

If the propagation has been completed and you've finalized the installation in your GB backend, but all of a sudden the site is inaccessible, it's usually due to one of two things:

1) You've modified the domain settings at your registrar and the domain is no longer pointing towards our servers, therefore the site is no longer accessible.

To avoid this scenario: 
If you need to use the domain somewhere else other than on your PWA, make sure you delete the existing domain from your GoodBarber backend BEFORE making any modifications in your registrar, in order to avoid cutting off your backend access.

2) There was a payment issue with your registrar upon the renewal of the domain name (you forgot, your card is expired, etc.) so they cut off your domain usage, therefore the site is no longer accessible. 

To avoid this scenario:
Make sure the email address associated with the account you have with your registrar is one that you regularly check so you don't miss any renewal/payment reminders. 

Other issues

These are the most commonly brought up issues and questions, but of course the scope goes much broader than this. Feel free to let us know in the comments if you have other concerns to share.  



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