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  How To Use Your Own Custom Domain With Your Own Chained Certificate

If you are attaching a domain name to your tool, it must be secured with SSL encryption. This means that it must be accessible via the https:// secure protocol since the DoWellWebTools system sends personal information back and fourth from the browser to the server.

This process requires a system administrator who has root access to the server that the DoWellWebTools are hosted on, as well as someone who has access to the registrar account where the domain is hosted. This processes is summarized as follows:

  • request an SSL cert from your registrar
  • generate the cert on the server
  • install the cert
  • change a server file
  • point the domain to your server
  • update DoWellWebTools via the web interface

This whole process can take less than 10 minutes if you are using a chained certificate. This step-by-step document assumes you are using GoDaddy.com. I use them because I can a secured domain for about $15/year—perfect for creating my web empire.


  Important Note!

GoDaddy is consistently offering online cupons for as much as 35% off, which really makes a big difference when you are spending a couple of hundred dollars on a multi-pack SSL. Google "godaddy coupons" and don't give up until you find one.



A Unified Communications Certificate (UCC) is an SSL that secures multiple domain names as well as multiple host names within a domain name. A UCC SSL lets you secure a primary domain name and up to 99 additional Subject Alternative Names (SANs) with a single SSL. For example you can use a UCC to protect www.domains1.com, www.domains2.net and www.domains3.org.

  1. Go to GoDaddy's SSL page. This URL may change. If it does, go to their main home page and look for the SSL options.
  2. Look for the option to protect multiple websites (UCC). See the image on the right.
  3. Choose the number of sites to protect. Here you want to estimate how many secure sites you will be creating for your web empire in the next 12 months. The more you choose, the cheaper it is per domain.
  4. Choose type of SSL. Standard SSL should be fine for virtually all needs.
  5. Choose 1-3 years. If you have the cash flow, go for 2 years and get an addl 10% off.
  6. Complete your order.



Install the Main SSL

Follow the GoDaddy.com instructions for installing the main SSL and securing your first domain. The rest of this document covers how to set up additional domains after your first one. For the first domain, after you follow the GoDaddy instructions, pick up at step 5 to attach the domain to the DoWellWebTools tool.


Add the Additional Domain to the Chained Certificate and Install

  1. Login to your GoDaddy account. https://www.godaddy.com/
  2. Scroll down to SSL Certificates and click.
  3. Click the "Manage" button by your UCC domain.
  4. Click the manage gear large button.
  5. Click "Add Subject Alternative Name"
  6. Enter in your new domain name with the subdomain (usually "www"). For example, "www.mydomain.com". Save.
  7. When you get the e-mail confirmation from GoDaddy, click the link in the e-mail. This will take you to a web page where you are asked to click an "Approve" button. Click it.
  8. Now wait a few minutes for the "Your SSL Certificate Has Been Issued" e-mail from GoDaddy.
  9. Download the certificate as per the detailed instructions sent in the e-mail by GoDaddy.


Ask Us To Update /etc/rc.d/rc.local

DoWellWebTools reads the allowed domains from the rc.local file. Before making the domain live in the tool, we need to update this file with a strict format:

# www.your-new-domain.com xx.xx.x.xx xx.xxx.xxx.xx www.master-domain-on-cert.com

This has the following five parts separated by a single space:

  • a comment (#): this means that the like is ignored by the server OS
  • your new domain: this is the domain that you are adding
  • the domain's local IP address
  • the domain's public IP address
  • the master domain associated with the certificate

Once this file is updated, we restart the web server.

/etc/init.d/httpd restart


Change the IP Address of the Domain with the Registrar

Now you need to update the DNS settings so the registrar (in our case, GoDaddy) knows where to point the domain.

  1. Log in to GoDaddy.
  2. Click "My Domain Names".
  3. Click on your domain name.
  4. Click the "DNS Zone Files" tab
  5. Click the edit icon. Then change the IP address for the @ A record to the public IP address of the domain (the same IP as the master domain for the certificate).
  6. Be sure to Save and Confirm Save.

At this point, the domain should immediatly start pointing to the server.


Update Your Tool(s)

Now it's time to use the web browser, navigate to your tool that will be using this new domain, and update the tool with the domain.

  1. First go to the tool that you want the domain to forward to. So when someone types in the domain with no path (www.yourdomain.com) they will be taken to any one of your tools.
  2. Go to Configure >> Custom Header Image, Domain, Theme, and Menu.
  3. Enter your domain starting with the subdomain (usually www) in all lowercase in the secure domain area.
  4. Check the box indicating that this will be the landing page for the domain.
  5. Scroll down and click the "Configure" button.
  6. Repeat this step for every tool, except don't checl the landing page box.



  Important Note!

Once you change the domain, you may need to reload your page (shift and refresh) or restart your web browser. You will be logged off and you will need to log on again, because the logon is associated with a domain.

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