Linking to a Domain

You can link your domain names to your Simple Hosting instance to serve your website from the URL of your choice.

If you’re using Gandi LiveDNS, the process is mostly automatic and a few clicks will suffice. If you’re using other DNS platforms, you’ll have to create a couple of DNS records to complete the setup.

Overview

To link a domain name to your instance, access the “Sites” (for PHP instances) or “Domains” page (for all other instances) in your instance’s management interface.

Then click the “Create” button on the upper-right-hand corner of the page to create a new Site or Domain.

The creation and setup process will involve the following steps:

1 - Enter the domain name

You can use the root domain, subdomains or a wildcard subdomain, such as example.com, www.example.com, dev.app.example.com or *.example.com.

Note

Only one wildcard address is supported per hosting instance

2 - Confirm ownership

If the domain name is managed with Gandi and uses LiveDNS, this step will be performed automatically. Otherwise, you’ll have to create a TXT record with your DNS provider. The values you need to enter will be provided to you.

3 - Setup the DNS records

  • when linking a root domain (e.g. example.com), you’ll have to create A and AAAA records
  • when linking a subdomain (e.g. www.example.com), you’ll have to create a CNAME record
  • when linking a wildcard (e.g. *.example.com), you’ll have to create a CNAME record for the “*” subdomain , or for each subdomain that you want to link to the instance.

4 - Wait for DNS records validation

Our platform will periodically check that the DNS records were correctly setup for root domains and subdomains. You can also click on the “refresh” buttons you’ll find on the instance management page to perform the check on demand.

Once the DNS setup is confirmed by our platform, you’ll be able to visit your site or application using the domain you have linked.

Note that wildcard subdomains will not be checked and will be immediately considered as valid, since many different use cases and setups are possible.

Remember that even if our platform has validated the DNS records, it might take up to 24 hours for DNS settings to propagate accross the Internet. So it may take some time before you can actually access the website using the new domain.

DNS validation details

Here’s how Simple Hosting validates your DNS setup, in case you’re interested.

After you have confirmed the domain ownership (step 2), the service will start performing HTTP challenges on a special URL, artificially created by our hosting platform. It will be looking for a challenge header in the HTTP response.

Once our service is able to retrieve and authenticate the challenge on the special URL, it marks the DNS settings are completed.

Note that this HTTP request doesn’t hit your website. It’ll be intercepted directly by our platform and therefore it won’t show up in your log files.

Here’s an example request and response:

$ curl -I http://www.example.com/.well-known/gandi-challenge

HTTP/1.1 204 No Content
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2017 13:49:12 GMT
Server: Varnish
challenge: 1234567890
Content-Length: 0
Connection: keep-alive