Setting Up a Custom Domain With Bluehost

This article goes over the process of setting up a custom domain with Bluehost. This requires 5 steps: purchasing a domain name, adding your domain to your school, changing your domain's nameservers, creating CNAME records, and making your domain your primary school domain. Note that these steps must be done sequentially.

Purchasing a Domain Name

In order to set up a custom domain, you'll first have to purchase one. If you've already purchased a custom domain name, you can skip this step. To purchase a domain name through Bluehost:

  1. Go to Bluehost's domain name search.
  2. In the search bar, type in your desired domain name.
  3. If your desired domain is available, select it and go through Bluehost's checkout process to purchase it.

Adding Your Domain to Brainstorm

Once you've purchased your desired domain name, you'll have to add it to Brainstorm. To do so:

  1. Log into your Brainstorm account.
  2. Select Site from the admin sidebar.
  3. Choose Domains from the submenu.
  4. If you have not yet verified your original Brainstorm subdomain, you'll see this screen, where you can confirm the standard subdomain or add the custom domain instead. (We recommend that you confirm the standard free .brainstorm.co subdomain first and then add a custom domain using the process in steps 5-7, as you'll need a Brainstorm subdomain to connect certain programs like Zapier.)
  5. Otherwise, if you have already verified your original subdomain, click the New Domain button. 
  6. In the Domain Name text box, enter the url of the desired custom domain INCLUDING "www." Click Add Domain.
  7. Similarly, also enter the url of the desired custom domain WITHOUT "www." Click Add Domain.

Changing Your Custom Domain's Nameservers

After adding your custom domain name to your Brainstorm school, you'll have to change your custom domain's nameservers. This step requires the use of Cloudflare.

  1. Go to http://cloudflare.com and click the Sign Up link.sign up for cloudflare
  2. Enter the domain name that you want to use for your Brainstorm school without "www".
  3. Click the Scan DNS Records button. scan DNS records
  4. Click the Continue button.
  5. After you've reviewed your DNS records, click Continue.
  6. Choose the Free plan, leave the other settings the same, and click Continue.free website cloudflare plan
  7. Copy the names of the two nameservers listed.copy nameservers from cloudflare
  8. Log into Bluehost.
  9. In the dashboard, the checkbox next to the domain you would like to use.
  10. Click the Name Servers tab.
  11. Toggle Use Custom Nameservers.
  12. In the text fields below, enter the nameservers you copied from Cloudflare.
  13. Click Save Nameserver Settings.

Creating CNAME Records

After you change your custom domain's nameservers, you'll have to create CNAME records that point your custom domain to your Brainstorm school. This also requires the use of Cloudflare.

  1. Log into your Cloudflare account.
  2. In the menu, click DNS
  3. Change the record type to "CNAME".
  4. When setting up a custom domain, “www.” is not included in the URL. This is due to the “www.” domain and the custom domain being two separate entities. To use both domains, you'll have to create 2CNAME records  — one that reflects your custom domain with "www", and one that reflects your custom domain without "www".
    • In the Name field, enter "www". In the Domain name field, enter your Brainstorm domain (i.e. school.brainstorm.co). Click Add Record. This will create CNAME record that reflects your custom domain with "www." included. 
    • In the Name field, enter your custom domain without "www" (i.e. Brainstormtest.com), In the Domain name field, enter your Brainstorm domain (i.e. school.brainstorm.co). Click Add Record. This will create a CNAME record that reflects your custom domain without "www".

Making Your Custom Domain the Primary Domain

  1. Log into your Brainstorm account.
  2. Select Site from the admin sidebar.
  3. Choose Domains from the submenu.
  4. Verify that the new domain names work by clicking the Check Domain button. If they work, you will see a Verified message next to your domain.

    CAUTION: Do not set your new domain as Primary in Brainstorm until you know the transfer is complete. If you have set your new domain as the Primary too early, you will be unable to log into your school.

  5. Next to the domain you would like to make your primary domain, click Make Primary.

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