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Adding a custom tracking domain

Custom tracking domain: what is it, and why use it?

A custom tracking domain is something different from your regular domain (website):

  • it’s used for technical (tracking) purposes only;
  • it’s more attractive both for visitors and search engines;
  • using a custom tracking domain instead of a standard tracking domain provided by the tracking tool is more secure, as such giants as Google, Facebook or Bing do not accept free tracking domains so your campaigns may be blocked;
  • the main reason for using a custom tracking domain is to replace the default (dedicated) RedTrack domain with something that belongs to you only. To identify the default RedTrack domain follow the path Tools -> Domains -> New and here it is at the top right corner of the pop-up window:

 

Expand to see the pros and cons of the dedicated and custom tracking domains

What are the pros and cons of using dedicated and custom domains?

Domain Type Pros Cons
Dedicated domain provided for free generated randomly for each user. If needed, you can customize it, nevertheless, there are a lot of restrictions and the root domain remains the same
you don’t need to set anything, it will work right from the start the root domain is the same for all and is used by the majority of RedTrack users. Consequently, due to the variety of advertising campaigns that they RT users are running, it may be blocked by antivirus software and ad-blocking plugins
does not work with Google and Facebook
Custom domain looks attractive and secure for users, advertising networks, antiviruses, and ad block plugins you need to buy the domain first before customizing it
Google, Facebook, and Bing-friendly adding a custom domain can be a bit hard in terms of settings

 

What do I need to add a custom tracking domain?

To add the custom tracking domain you need to:

1. Have a Domain Management (Name) System (aka DNS/ domain registrar), where you purchased your domain and where you’ll adjust its settings. Some examples of domain registrars (the most commonly used ones) are Godaddy, Namecheap, Cloudflare, etc.

Tip 1:

Usually, in your domain management system when you purchase a domain, you can get any number of subdomains for free.

Tip 2:

For the purpose of tracking you can use any word (e.g.: “trk.something.com” or “go.something.com”). Although it doesn’t have to be a subdomain of something.com, any other domain will do as well. The tracking domain will be used in the code that we will add to your website (in the “universal tracking script”). So, instead of domain.rdtk.io you’ll have something like trk.something.com.

Tip 3:

You don’t need to have a separate custom tracking domain for all your websites/online stores/clients. You can use one custom tracking domain for all of the websites that you integrate with RedTrack, moreover, you can add more if you wish. Once custom domain integration is done on the domain registrar’s side, you will need to obtain it additionally and can use one domain for all your Campaigns or create several sub-domains (CNAME records) under the same root domain.

2. Add a CNAME record

What’s a CNAME record?

CNAME (aka Canonical Name record) is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS) that maps one domain name (an alias) to another (the canonical name). It’s great for running multiple services from a single IP address. CNAME records must always point to another domain name, never directly to an IP address. In our case CNAME should point to your defalt (dedicated/free) domain in RedTrack.

 

Example:

a. name of my domain is redtrackfan.club

b. in my domain registrar I added a cname record with the name ilona:

c. now I have a custom tracking domain with the address ilona.redtrackfan.club

 

3. Have a valid RedTrack account where you will add the newly created custom tracking domain.

 

Adding custom tracking domain

CNAME records are added in the setting of your Domain Name System (DNS) / the registrar where you purchased your domain. Let’s break down how to add CNAME on the example of three of the most widely-known registrars:

To add a CNAME record in GoDaddy act as follows:

1. Go to your domain settings by pressing Manage DNS:

2. Press To add:

3. Fill in the fields -> press Add record:

Some hints on what to insert in the fields:
Type: choose the option "CNAME";
Name: can be anything you like. This is the word that will be placed at the beginning of your domain (e.g: track.mydomain.com);
Where the: put your RedTrack dedicated tracking domain here (can be found by following the path Tools -> Domains -> New and here it is at the top right corner of the pop-up window:

TTL: choose the lowest option possible

4. The domain will be updated and ready to use once the data replication is completed. It can take up to 24 hours for some registrars, but in general, it takes about an hour.

5. Once your domain is ready, proceed with adding your custom tracking domain to RedTrack.

To add a CNAME record in Cloudflare act as follows:

1. Log in to your Cloudflare account-> select the domain where you want to add the CNAME record:

2. Go to the DNS tab-> press Add record:

3. Fill in the needed details in your CNAME record form:

Hint!

Your RedTrack dedicated domain can be found by following the path Tools -> Domains -> New and here it is at the top right corner of the pop-up window:

Important!

When managing your DNS with Cloudflare make sure to use the "DNS only" Proxy status instead of "Proxied":

Click here to learn more about DNS records management in Cloudflare.

4. The domain will be updated and ready to use once the data replication is completed. It can take up to 24 hours for some registrars, but in general, it takes about an hour.

5. Once your domain is ready, proceed with adding your custom tracking domain to RedTrack.

To add a CNAME record in Namecheap act as follows:

1. Go to the tab Domain List-> choose the needed domain and press Manage next to it:

2. Navigate to the Advanced DNS tab where the hosts are added-> scroll down and press Add new record:

Note!

Make sure there isn't an already created CNAME record for the same host, as it may lead to a conflict.

3. Fill in the needed details in your CNAME record form:

Hint!

You can find your RedTrack dedicated domain by following the path Tools -> Domains -> New and here it is at the top right corner of the pop-up window:

4. The domain will be updated and ready to use once the data replication is completed. It can take up to 24 hours for some registrars, but in general, it takes about an hour.

5. Once your domain is ready, proceed with adding your custom tracking domain to RedTrack.

 

Adding your custom tracking domain to RedTrack

Once the CNAME record is added, you can proceed with adding the custom tracking domain to RedTrack. To do that act as follows:

1. On the main RedTrack menu navigate to Tools-> Domains-> press New:

 

2. Fill in the following fields in the pop-up window:

URL field: type in (paste) there the URL of the domain with the name you just added in the newly created CNAME record. In the example ilona.redtrackfan.club on screenshot:

  • ilona is the name you put in your domain registrar in the field “Name”;
  • redtrackfan.club is the domain you purchased via your webhosting service and via which .

Root domain URL field: in Root domain field you can put the URL visitors will be redirected to in case of a direct entry to the domain URL, or you can leave it blank. In case you still decide to put the root domain there, remember to type in https:// in front of it.

 

3. Install the SSL

You no longer have to deal with CSRs generation and DNS approvals. RedTrack provides free SSL certificates for all paid clients, where everything now can be done in one click. To activate this feature, turn the “Free SSL certificate” toggle on and save the changes. We are extra cautious about our service, so RedTrack generates certificates using open source Let’s encrypt technology, which claims to be free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA) run for the public’s benefit (it is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG)).

Important!

E-mail support@redtrack.io in case you have the following error:

It means that your RedTrack dedicated domain is obsolete and needs to be changed for the CNAME to point to the correct dedicated domain. Once the Support team changes your dedicated domain you’ll need to create your CNAME record all over again using the updated dedicated domain.

 

Useful!
Check out our video tutorial in case you still have any issues with custom tracking domain settings:

That’s it! Your custom tracking domain has been successfully added. Enjoy!

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