Launch on a custom domain
Once your website is finished, the next step is to launch it on a custom domain (e.g. myorganisation.org). This article explains how to get one and how to launch your site securely.
1a. Get a new custom domain name
If you don't have a domain name (e.g. mycharity.org) then you need to register one. Popular companies that offer domain registration services include 123- reg, theukdomain.uk and Ionos. Once purchased, all of these providers will let you manage your domain settings.
1b. Get access to your existing domain settings
If you already own the domain that you wish to use, you'll need to get access to the domain settings. If you can't access your domain name account you need to track it down. Here are the steps to take:
- Go to Whois lookup service and type in your domain. This will tell show you the name of the person to whom your domain is registered and the business that handles the registration.
- Get in touch with this person or the company and ask them for access details or to help you arrange a transfer.
2. Send us details of your custom domain
Once you've got access to your domain settings please email email@example.com and give us the full name of the custom domain you wish to use. We will then setup your website so that it is ready for the new domain and give you specific instructions on what to do next.
3. Change your name servers
Once we have setup your website so that it is ready for the new domain, you should log in to your domain name account and change the settings. We will give you specific details of what settings you need to change but in most cases it will involve changing your name servers and pointing them to us.
We manage name servers through a third party platform run by CloudFlare. They provide a range of security services including SSL certificates, which provide encryption for data as it travels from a website browser to our servers. For the vast majority of our customers, their free plan is sufficient and in those cases there will be no additional costs for adding the layer of security that an SSL certificate provides.
4. Launch the website on your custom domain
After allowing 24 hours for the changes to your name servers to take effect, we will launch the website to your custom domain. Once this has been done your myorganisation.whitefuse.net address will forward automatically to your myorganisation.org custom domain. If your new website is replacing an old one then there should be no downtime. While the launch is progressing, visitors to your domain will see either the old or the new website.