Connecting Your Site(s)

 

Overview

Many clubs and organizations that use Uplifter will have domains and sites of their own. Since Uplifter offers many tools that allow you to recreate your site and/or connect to an existing site, you and your team will want to discern how you wish to move forward.

In order to follow through the steps below you will need access to your current site and DNS. This means you will need login credentials for both Uplifter and your domain host. 

 

Your Uplifter Space

Signing up with Uplifter grants you your own 'Uplifter Space'. This is your club's/organization's unique URL that allows you to access your Uplifter site. Normally we will use your club's/organization's name and create a 'short' name, appending that with.uplifterinc.com. For example:

Club Name: Townsville Skating Club
Short Name: townsvillesc
Uplifter Space: townsvillesc.uplifterinc.com

If you would like, you are completely free to use your Uplifter Space address for all intents and purposes. However, most clubs/organizations will prefer to use their own, purchased domain. In this way, you can turn townsvillesc.uplifterinc.com into www.townsvilleskatingclub.com. Of course, that is not the only option. As such, you will want to decide your preferred connection option, get prepared, and make the required changes.

 

Select A Connection Option

To connect your current site with you Uplifter site there are three main options. These options are: connecting with a button/link, connecting with a subdomain, and connecting with a CNAME.

Connecting with a button/link means that you will create a button or link on your main site. This button/link will direct users from your current site to your Uplifter site. This is one of the least conducive methods to use, as it is often very evident that you are moving from one site/system to another. If this is the method you wish to pursue you will want to ensure you communicate with your members to let them know that you are using Uplifter and to expect the shift in systems. Emulating your site within the Uplifter system will also go a long way to increasing continuity and trust (see: Public Website Management).

Connect With A Subdomain

Connecting with a subdomain means you are creating a new page on your current site, then using your Uplifter site as the content for that page. The new page you create on your current site is often register.yourdomain.com or www.yourdomain.com/register, but there are not requirements for the name of the page. This option is a good choice if you have a great looking site, up-to-date site that you would like to continue using. This option offers great continuity for your users.

If your present site already requires your members to login/create an account, you may wish to consider the Connect With A CNAME option isntead, as the dual log in requirements may be confusing or even worrisome to some users.

Connect With A CNAME

Connecting with a CNAME means that you will be using your own, purchased domain name, but the content of your site wil be solely your club's/organization's Uplifter site. This option has the highest continuity, as there is only a single system for your users to interact with. This option may also save you a bit of money, as you can reduce your third-party hosting from 'site hosting' to only 'domain hosting'.

Please note, if you are planning to drop your current hosting status with your third-party site host, you will want to ensure you have all of your current site's data before doing so.

 

Getting Ready

Preparing for the steps ahead is important. Not only will it make things easier, but a few steps are absolutely required in order to be successful. Please ensure you review the recommendations below, noting that any marked with an asterisk(*) are required steps.

Confirm access to site host*

Required for: Button/Link; Subdomain; CNAME

Please ensure that you have the log in credentials for your site host. Most site hosts will have an administration panel, but some may require you to contact an IT support person. Should the former be true, please log into your domain host's admin panel to ensure you have complete access.

Research your site host's button/link creation documentation

Recommended for: Button/Link; Subdomain

If you are moving forward with the button/link option you will want to review your site host's documentation in advance. If you have any questions you can reach out to either your site host's support line or Uplfiter's.

Research your site host's subdomain documentation

Recommended for: Subdomain

If you are moving forward with the subdomain option you will want to review your site host's documentation in advance. If you have any questions you can reach out to either your site host's support line or Uplfiter's.

Research your site host's CNAME and redirect documentation

Recommended for: CNAME

If you are moving forward with the CNAME option you will want to review your site host's documentation in advance. If you have any questions you can reach out to either your site host's support line or Uplifter's.

Obtain your site's content

Recommended for: CNAME

If you are reducing your current site from site hosting to solely domain hosting your site host may completely remove your site content from their servers. In that case, you will no longer have access to your content. To avoid any mix ups of this nature we highly recommend that you save/transfer all of your current site data, either to documents on your computer or to your Uplifter site (see: Public Website Management). Please ensure you do this before reducing your hosting option. 

Confirm your TTL

Recommended for: Subdomain; CNAME

In advance of your changes, you will want to log into your domain host's admin panel and confirm your CNAME and/or A Name record's TTL (time to live). Ideally, you will want to set this to around 300 (5 minutes). Note that if you have this value set unusually high (ex: 86400 (1 day) or 604800 (1 week)) you will need to wait that long before your settings will be updated. As such, it is prudent to check this setting in advance of your changes.

Update the Uplifter team*

Required for: Button/Link; Subdomain; CNAME

In all cases, please ensure that you have updated us here at Uplifter regarding your domains that will be connecting with Uplifter (even via the button/link method) as well as your selected time to make these changes. Having a specific day selected allows our team to perform the steps required on our end in tandem with your changes. This will greatly expedite the completion of the process.

 

Connect Your Site(s)

Once you are prepared, and the day you have selected has come, you will want to follow the steps below for your chosen connection method. For best results, please forward a commencement email to support@uplifterinc.com to ensure we are aware you are initiating your changes.

To connect your site via a button or link please follow the steps below.
  1. Log into your host site and navigate to the page you wish to add your button/link to.
  2. Create your button/link based on your site host's documentation.
  3. Add your Uplifter Space URL, preceded by https://, as the 'href' or 'URL' of the button/link.

Depending on your preferences, you may wish to have your users land on your main Uplifter page. This is found at the root of your Uplifter Space (ex. https://townsvillesc.uplifterinc.com/). Alternatively, you may wish to send your users directly to your registration page. This is found at your Uplifter Space URL/registration (ex. https://townsvillesc.uplifterinc.com/registration). You can also direct users to any custom registration pages you may create as well, using the specific URL of the desired page.

Connect With A Subdomain

To connect your site via a subdomain please follow the steps below.
  1. Log into your host site's admin panel.
  2. Add a CNAME record for your desired subdomain.
    • ex. register.townsvilleskatingclub.com pointing to townsvillesc.uplifterinc.com
    • Note that some DNS panels will require that you have a period at the end of the values you enter, while some will not. It will be important to review your host site's documentation to determine the best practices.
  3. Once your TTL has passed, check your subdomain URL to ensure it lands on your Uplifter page.
  4. Update Uplifter at support@uplifterinc.com that your subdomain has been established.

Once you have completed the steps, your subdomain is ready, and you wish to offer access to your Uplifter page, create your desired button/link to your subdomain on your main site.

Connect With A CNAME

To connect your site via a CNAME please follow the steps below.
  1. Log into your host site's admin panel.
  2. Add a CNAME record for your domain.
    • ex. www.townsvilleskatingclub.com pointing to townsvillesc.uplifterinc.com
    • Note that there is no https:// present in these URLs.
    • If you presently have an A record for 'www' please remove it.
  3. Add a redirect (sometimes referred to as a 301 redirect) for your domain
    • ex. townsvilleskatingclub.com pointing to https://www.townsvilleskatingclub.com
    • Note that there is an https:// in the second portion.
    • Note that some site hosts will not support redirects, while others may require that you contact their support line to have it installed on your behalf.
  4. Update Uplifter at support@uplifterinc.com that your domain records have been updated.

Once these steps are complete you will find that your site offers a security warning until we've had a chance to install your site's SSL certificate. Early notification and updates can reduce this time drastically.

 

Additional Resources

DNS Lexicon

Domain Registrar: This is the company that you've used to reserve and register your domain name. This registration proves that you own "myclubdomain.com". Always make sure that the contact information for you domain registration is YOURs. If you are not sure, use a whois tool (like this one: http://whois.domaintools.com) and check to see who owns your domain. The administrative contact (especially the email address) should be an email address you have control over. a.k.a. site host, domain host
DNS Records: These are the records (Domain Name System) that contain lookups that the internet uses that assigns a domain name to a particular server IP address. Basically, everything on the internet has a numerical addressed call an IP. A DNS record translates a series of letters and numbers or words into that address.
DNS Server: This is the server that provides the service that announces to the internet what the translation of your domain name is to a particular IP address
A Record: This is a DNS address record that points a domain name to a specific IP address (e.g.: myclub domain.com > 111.111.111.111)
CNAME Record: This is a DNS address record that aliases another DNS record (e.g.: myclubdomain.com > myhostserver.com)
Domain Forwarding: This allows you to direct your domain name to another website.

Domain Host Documentation

Go Daddy Button/LinkRedirectCNAME
Network Solutions 1 RedirectCNAME
Host Gator RedirectCNAME
1 and 1 Button/LinkRedirectCNAME
CanHost Redirect/CNAME
Yahoo RedirectCNAME
Rebel 2 RedirectCNAME
1 Network Solutions cannot implement both a CNAME and a redirect.
2 Rebel.ca requires you to create your Domain forward first, then create your CNAMEs and also requires you to remove a few additional A records that are created in the process of creating the forward. You'll need to keep the APEX record to their forwarding server of "54.208.21.117" but remove any other records either point to the APEX, wildcard or "www". For further instructions, you can contact Rebel.ca.

 

Additional Assistance

These changes and updates are among the most technical of steps within the Uplifter setup. We certainly understand that these steps may fall a little (or a lot) outside your comfort zone. That's totally okay! If you would like any additional assistance with any of the elements noted above please don't hesitate to let us know. We can help you with:

  • Selecting and signing up with a registrar
  • Configuring your registrar services and payments
  • Connecting your domain to your Uplifter site

 

Powered by Zendesk