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Publishing your event web site under a custom domain

Use a custom domain for your event website

Whenever you create an event with Grenadine Event Planner, we automatically create an event website for you as soon as you hit the Publish button. This website can be used by your guests to view your event’s schedule, view your list of speakers and register for your event. Guests can also log on and build their schedule, update their public profile or answer surveys.

When we create your website, we use a grenadine address in the form:

https://sites.grenadine.co/sites/your-company/your-event-name

Your event website is instant and fully functional.

However, sometimes there are business constraints that mean that you may need your event website hosted under your own URL, such as for search engine rankings or branding purposes. To better meet the needs of our customers, we’re now offering the ability to publish your event website under a custom domain.

Custom domain is a paid add-on (see pricing information on our pricing page).

How to use your custom domain

Let’s say that your company is called Gamers United. You have your own domain which is called “gamersconvention.com” and you use this domain to host your own website. Your local techie has set up a DNS server for you, that points your domain to your main website, perhaps hosted under WordPress or Drupal or something similar.

Your company hosts an annual gamers convention called “International Gamer’s Convention”. For this year’s edition, the event will be imaginatively called “2018 International Gamer’s Convention“.

Here’s an example of how you could use Grenadine to host your instantly-generated event website under your gamersconvention.com custom domain.

Step 1. Pick a subdomain to point to your event.

You could choose “2018.gamersconvention.com” or “world-tour.gamersconvention.com“. You could even choose to send your whole primary (gamersconvention.com) domain to point to your event website, however, if you do this, your primary domain will no longer point to your own website. This can be useful for organizations whose website is only for their event.

In this example, we’ll use the domain “2018.gamersconvention.com”. This means that guests will access your event information at the address http://2018.gamersconvention.com.

Step 2. Contact the Grenadine support team to get things set up.

Contact our support team and tell them that you want to subscribe to the custom domain option. Also tell them that you want to use 2018.gamersconvention.com for your next event, the 2018 International Gamer’s Convention. Because you’ve set up your event in Grenadine, you already have an event website that’s currently listed under the following URL:

https://sites.grenadine.co/sites/gamers-anonymous/2018-gamersconvention

Step 3. Add a DNS record (or call your techie to do it!)

In this step, you’ll receive special instructions from Grenadine. Our support team will ask you to add a CNAME record to your DNS hosting server. Here’s an example of the CNAME record for the 2018 International Gamer’s Convention:

NAME                         TYPE          VALUE
--------------------------------------------------------------------
2018.gamersconvention.com    CNAME         custom-sites.grenadine.co

Here’s an example screenshot of how to do this at GoDaddy (things could look different at your DNS provider). First log on to your DNS administration system, then navigate to the area where you can manage your zone (your DNS records):

In this example, you may need to pick the domain for which you want to manage the zonebefore you can continue (i.e., it’s the one you want to use for your Grenadine event website).

Once you see the list of records for your domain, click the Add button to add a new record. In this example, the Add button is all the way down at the bottom of the list:

When the system prompts you to say what kind of record you want to add, select CNAME (canonical name):

Then add your record. The host should be the subdomain that you want to use. In our example, because we want to use “2018.gamersconvention.com”, the host is “2018“. Some DNS managers will require that you enter only the host portion (“2018” in this case), whereas some others may require that you enter the full name (“2018.gamersconvention.com”).

In this example, the DNS manager requires that we enter only “2018“:

Once this is done, please advise Grenadine support so that we may complete your setup.

Step 4. You’re done!

As soon as your CNAME record takes effect, your new address will point to your Grenadine event website. Here’s what your old URL was, and what the new one looks like:

Old URL:

https://sites.grenadine.co/sites/gamers-anonymous/2018-gamersconvention

New URL:

http://2018.gamersconvention.com/gamers-anonymous/2018-gamersconvention

 

Bonus points: use your own SSL certificate

If your organization has extra data security concerns and you want all of your site’s contents to be served over HTTPS, you will need to provide an SSL certificate to Grenadine, in addition to your custom domain configuration. You will need to prepare a certificate request and a certificate. Once the configuration is complete, your new website URL will also include the coveted “S” in the address bar as follows:

https://2018.gamersconvention.com/gamers-anonymous/2018-gamersconvention

Pricing for custom domains

You can see pricing options for using custom domains and/or SSL certificates on the Grenadine pricing page.

A note about secured URLs

When we use a custom domain for your event website, there are a few, special pages, that will need to remain under a “grenadine.co” domain. Those pages are:

  • Login page
  • Payment page
  • My account page

Those pages will remain secured with Grenadine SSL certificates, so as to protect user’s data. Other pages of your website such as program, speakers, etc. will remain under your custom domain.

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