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Custom Domain Names

With ProBoards free forums, forum administrators always have the option to use their own custom domain names. For example, forum members would see www.yourdomain.com instead of yourforum.proboards.com.

ProBoards fee for adding a custom domain name to a discussion forum is $14 USD per year. Keep in mind, this expense is separate from the fees paid to purchase and maintain a domain with a registrar.

Adding your own domain name does not interrupt the original ProBoards domain so visitors can use both to access your forum. This is done for your convenience, such as in the event there's an issue with your custom domain or if you let your domain expire, you and your members would still have a method to visit the forum.

To get started, navigate to the admin panel and click the Domain Names link in the Paid Features section. Once there, click either I have an existing domain name or I don't have a domain name, depending on your situation.

I have an existing domain name

If you've already purchased a domain name from a registrar, we'll provide instructions on how to link the domain to your online forum. Click on one of the following options to view domain setup instructions:

I want ProBoards to manage my DNS: Choose this option if you want your domain name to be used for the discussion forum and nothing else. Here you'll be provided with two ProBoards DNS (Domain Name Server) addresses you'll need to enter into the nameservers section of your registrars website.

We've provided links to four of the more popular domain registrars. If you purchased your domain from one of these companies, click the link and you'll be taken to that company's support page explaining how to add the nameservers mentioned above.

If you purchased your domain name from a company not listed here and are unsure how to update the DNS information, contact the company you purchased the domain name from for additional instructions.

I want to manage my DNS: This option is generally used by forum owners with websites they want to link to their ProBoards hosted forum. For example, if you own the domain my-domain.com, you can create a sub-domain like myforum.my-domain.com. Visitors can then visit your linked discussion forum and you can continue to use your domain for your main website.

Also, when choosing the I want to manage my DNS option, you'll see an IP address that you'll need to add to your domain's A record. If you're unsure how to create a DNS A record, contact the registrar you purchased the domain name from for additional support.

After you've configured the DNS, proceed to the I'm ready, let's continue! section and enter the complete domain name you'll be using. Next, select the number of years you'll be linking the domain and click Continue. If the DNS settings have been set up correctly, a message will display confirming the domain name, the number of years selected, and the total cost for linking the domain.

Once confirmed, click Buy Now and you'll be taken to the Google Checkout page where you can use an existing account to pay or, create a new one. After you complete the transaction, please allow 30 minutes for the service to link the domain to your discussion forum.

After your domain has been set up and linked with your forum, you can return to the Domain Names page in the admin panel to view the domain expiration date or renew the account for another year.

Error Message: If you receive the following error message We could not verify that your nameserver settings are correct. Please follow... etc., either the various systems haven't finished processing the updates or, the DNS wasn't configured properly.

Updating domain DNS settings can take up to 24-hours for changes to take effect. If more than 24 hours have passed, check the DNS settings to ensure your changes were saved properly.

I don't have a domain name

In order to link a domain name to your ProBoards account, you must first purchase a domain name from a third party domain name registrar, such as Domain.com or GoDaddy. Once you've purchased a domain, refer to the instructions detailed above.