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Custom domain setup

When you create a Wild Apricot account, you are provided with a free website address. If you already have your own custom domain address, you can use your custom domain name in place of your free Wild Apricot address. For example, instead of using a free Wild Apricot address like nycs.wildapricot.org, you can use www.nycs.net.

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Custom domains are only available to paid plans (see Pricing).

Correctly setting up your domain can be tricky, and this is further complicated by the fact that domain setup process is different from one domain registrar to another. We have provided an overview of the process and key instructions – if you need any assistance with it, you should contact your domain name registrar.

1. Choose and Register Your Domain Name

Chose a domain name registrar. There are many companies that offer this service. From our experience, Hover.com and NetworkSolutions.com offer a competitive price and all the necessary capabilities for domain management.

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Make sure that your selected domain name registrar offers online self-service for DNS management. This will give you direct control over the DNS records for your domain, and the ability to create and modify A, CNAME, and SPF records as needed. (Most registrars offer this as part of the basic domain registration, but there are still a few that do not.)

2. Set up your domain to point to Wild Apricot

Setting up with your domain name provider's assistance

Contact your domain name provider directly and ask for their assistance with the setup. Use the following email template – just copy and paste it, and adjust as required.

Within your email, replace yourdomain.org with your custom domain name. With some domain registrars, the name is not required.

Setting it up yourself

If you want to set up your custom domain yourself, following the instructions below.

We have also provided a more detailed examples for two domain registrars – see GoDaddy DNS setup instructions and Network Solutions DNS Setup Example. Even if you are using a different domain registrar, you might still find these two examples helpful.

"CNAME" record

First set up a canonical name (CNAME) of www for your DNS servers which points to sites.wildapricot.org.

For example:

Copy this code exactly as shown above – do not replace sites.wildapricot.org with anything else (except the legacy domain memberlodge.org).

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This only sets up www.yourdomain.org and not yourdomain.org.

"A" record

If you want yourdomain.org (without the leading www) to work as well, you need to set up an A-record for yourdomain.org to point to our server IP address 66.29.208.61.

For example:

The required value of Name could vary from provider to provider. In most cases, you would use @ or yourdomain.org. It may also not be required, in which case it would be blank. Follow up with your domain provider support for more details.

3. Set up SPF record for your domain

You need to create a TXT record for your domain (this is usually in the SPF setup section). This specifies that Wild Apricot servers are allowed to send emails on your behalf. Without a TXT record, the From email address will be automatically generated from the free sub-domain we provide you, and you will not be able to create a custom From address that is based on your custom domain. (For more information, see Organization details - email settings.)

If your domain currently does not have a SPF record, you should add one as follows:

Copy the code exactly as shown above – do not replace wildapricot.org with anything else (except the legacy domain memberlodge.org).

If you already have a TXT record then simply modify it by adding include:wildapricot.org before ~all. For example:

With some domain registrars the name is not required, or it can be set to your domain (e.g. yourdomain.org).

4. Add your custom domain to your Wild Apricot account

To add your custom domain name to your Wild Apricot account, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Settings tab.
  2. Under Site settings, click Domain name management.
  3. Click the Add custom domain name button.



  4. Enter your domain name, then click the Save button.



  5. If you add a custom domain name without the www prefix, we will automatically add domains both with and without the www prefix. If you don't want to use both domains, you can remove one by clicking the Remove button beside the appropriate entry. If you want to keep both, you must designate one at the primary domain by clicking the Set as primary link beside the domain name. 

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While the process on Wild Apricot's end takes only a few minutes to complete, the process on your registrar's end can take 24-48 hours. During this time, your free Wild Apricot can function as a backup option.

Optional settings

Subdomain

Subdomain is a type of domain address. For example, if you have an existing website at www.abc.org, you can set up Wild Apricot on a subdomain like memberarea.abc.org. For more information on how to set this up, contact your domain name provider.

Email hosting

Wild Apricot does not include email hosting so if you are using your own domain, you have to set it up so that web traffic is sent to our servers while email traffic is sent to your email hosting company. You can use free email hosting, for example from Google (see Using email hosting services).

Traffic encryption

Wild Apricot provides free encrypted access to wildapricot.org domains. You can use the secure wildapricot.org domain in addition to your regular website address, or you can switch your website to the wildapricot.org domain. For custom domains, you can also use the wildapricot.org domain for secure access, or we can install your own custom security certificate on your custom domain for a separate charge. For details and pricing, see Securing custom domains.

For example, if your custom domain is http://www.abc.org, a free secure URL for your account would be https://abc.wildapricot.org. Your own secure custom URL would be https://www.abc.org.

Membership Software - Wild Apricot For sales and support questions, call us!
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Wild Apricot Inc. 144 Front Street West Suite 725, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 2L7