Post Affiliate Pro Domain parking guide

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Each hosted Post Affiliate Pro account initially uses a standardized domain, e.g., mycompany.postaffiliatepro.com. However, as this isn't very appealing when you'd like to use the mini website, it is a good idea to park your custom domain to your Post Affiliate Pro account to make it look more professional. Therefore instead of https://mycompany.postaffiliatepro.com/affiliates and https://mycompany.postaffiliatepro.com/merchants, you could be using something like https://affiliate.mycompany.com/affiliates and https://affiliate.mycompany.com/merchants.

Note that your custom domain needs to be a third-level domain like affiliate.mycompany.com. For second-level domains like mycompany.com, it is impossible to create a CNAME record, so they cannot be parked.
To be able to park your custom domain to your Post Affiliate Pro account, it is also required to have an SSL certificate for your custom domain. You can use either a certificate created directly for the specific subdomain, e.g., affiliate.mycompany.com, or a top domain wildcard certificate, e.g., *.mycompany.com.
If the SSL certificate requirement should be a deal-breaker for you, feel free to check our guide on how to generate a temporary free SSL certificate to test the domain parking feature.

Creating a CNAME record

To set up your custom domain, it is needed to create a CNAME record in your domain management panel. The CNAME record has to point FROM your custom domain which you wish to use (e.g., affiliate.mycompany.com) TO your Post Affiliate Pro account's domain (e.g., mycompany.postaffiliatepro.com). If you don't know how to set up a CNAME record, please consult it with your hosting provider or server admin and ask them to set it up for you, as every domain management panel is different. The goal is to point it from the custom domain to Post Affiliate Pro.

Some hosting providers are proxying DNS records. To your custom domain for your Post Affiliate Pro account, the CNAME record cannot be proxied.

In the following image below, there are two wrong examples and one correct - the last one. Note that the record type is CNAME, domain to which is the AFFILIATE third-level domain (affiliate.mycompany.com) pointing is the default Post Affiliate Pro domain (mycompany.postaffiliatepro.com), and the record is not proxied.

Checking if the CNAME record is already propagated

Once the CNAME record is set, you should make sure that it is already applied and propagated worldwide. It can take up to 24 hours to propagate, although usually, it is a matter of minutes. You can check it with online services like whatsmydns.net, where you enter your custom domain and hit Search. When you see your Post Affiliate Pro account URL noted at all locations, you can proceed with the next step.

Another way of checking is to open the custom domain in your browser and see if it says "Your account has been suspended" message originating from us. When it does, the CNAME already points to our servers, and you can proceed with the next step.

Two possible ways of setting up a custom domain

To be able to park your custom domain to your Post Affiliate Pro account, it is also required to have an SSL certificate for your custom domain. It is possible to use either a certificate created directly for the specific subdomain, e.g., affiliate.mycompany.com, or a top domain wildcard certificate, e.g., *.mycompany.com. If you don't know which type you have, please approach your hosting provider's support, SSL issuer's support, or your server admin.

You can also work with free SSL certificates if you do not want to pay for the SSL certificate. Free certificates are most commonly valid just for a few months. Therefore when your certificate expires, it is needed to renew it and insert a new certificate into Post Affiliate Pro domain settings. It is not possible to update certificates automatically.

After your CNAME record is propagated,  there are two possible ways to park your custom domain, depending on whether an SSL certificate currently secures your custom domain or not.

1. An SSL certificate already secures my custom domain

Suppose you already have your custom domain secured with a valid SSL certificate. In that case, in Post Affiliate Pro domain settings, you can insert just the certificate, but it is not possible to insert the private key, which is also required to complete the parking process. If this is your case, don't hesitate to contact us via email or live chat, and our team will be happy to set up your custom domain and install the certificate right away from our system.

Note that to set up your custom domain and install your SSL certificate, we require providing us your private key by which your SSL certificate was issued, the SSL certificate issued for your custom domain, and all further intermediate/root certificates. It is commonly used that SSL issuers or domain hosting providers provide not only the end-user certificate but a whole ZIP file, where also all needed intermediate/root certificates are included or provide them in an all-in-one file altogether. Such a file is most commonly called a "CA bundle". If you did not get such ZIP/file, you need to search on your issuer's/provider's website or contact their support.

2. My custom domain is not secured by an SSL certificate yet

Suppose your custom domain currently is not secured by an SSL certificate. In that case, it is possible to generate a certificate signing request (CSR) directly from Post Affiliate Pro domain settings, by which you can issue your SSL certificate. Such certificate you can then upload into the domain settings on your own, without the need to contact us.

In your merchant panel, navigate to Configuration > Domain settings, check both the "use custom account domain" and "use custom certificate" checkboxes, and insert your custom domain without any protocol (http:// or https://) to the Custom domain field. Additionally, fill up all the fields below the "use custom certificate" checkbox and click on the "Generate" button next to the "Your signing request" below the form.

A .txt file with similar content like below will be downloaded to your PC. You need to provide to your chosen certificate authority (SSL issuer) to generate a new SSL certificate.

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----
MIIC0zCCAbsCAQAcgY0xCzAJBgNVBAYTAlNLMREwDwYDVQQIDAhTbGscYWtpYTfT
MBEGA1UEBwwKQnJhdGlzbGF2YTEcMBoGfUECgwTUXVhbGl0eVbx
...A LOT OF SIMILAR LINES LIKE THESE...
ggYv2PliL+vf4r+s5OegwSs6ydd0scg/WAJ0v9vk7LLIiX7bdaNcvdsBUAG/sSv6M
KzivY9fRZg==
-----END CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----
Some SSL issuers are asking for the server type on which the certificate will be installed, choose either Nginx or Apache-ModSSL.

After you receive the new SSL certificate for your custom domain, you need to insert the content of your certificate and any other intermediate certificates via the "Setup" button next to the "Certificate" field. Do not insert the previously downloaded CSR into the Certificate field, just the content of the certificate and further intermediate/root certificates.

If your certificate consists of a longer certificate chain containing end-user, intermediate, and root certificates, you need to add them all one after another in the exact given order. Otherwise, you'll receive an error. Such an all-in-one certificate chain file provided by certificate authorities is commonly called a "CA bundle".

The settings and the SSL certificate get applied within several minutes after saving. After the settings are saved, your Post Affiliate Pro mini website, merchant portal, and affiliate portal will be available also from your custom domain.