Can I change online.flippingbook.com to my own domain?

Product: FlippingBook Online

Note! This article contains information on one of the advanced FlippingBook Online features. If you feel like it might be difficult to understand from just plain text or you need some help with the domain, feel free to book a meeting with one of our specialists.

 

Yes, it is possible to replace the online.flippingbook.com-part of your links with a subdomain of your own website, for example, brochures.mybrand.com. We call this feature Custom Domain. It is available in FlippingBook Online Advanced, Team, and Enterprise plans.

Such branded URLs look much more professional when you share them. It also increases trust when your clients find your flipbooks on search engines. (According to bitly.com, a branded URL can increase click-through rates by up to 34%).

Want to learn more about Custom Domain?

 

How does a custom domain work?

Even though the links will show your domain, all your flipbooks are still hosted on our cloud servers. You keep creating flipbooks in your FlippingBook Online account, just like you normally do. We just link your FlippingBook account to your domain, so when a viewer clicks your branded link, they see your flipbook. To achieve this, you will also have to make a small modification on your end. But this is just once, and all your flipbooks, new and existing, will be available via your branded URL.

 

What do I need to do to set up my custom domain?

Custom Domains are available for the Advanced, Team, and Enterprise plans only, so make sure that you are on one of these plans before continuing. If you use FlippingBook Online Starter or Optimal, then you'd first need to upgrade your account to at least Advanced.

Setting up a custom domain requires 4 steps:

  1. Decide what subdomain you want to use
    We advise you to carefully consider what your custom domain should look like. For example catalogs.yoursite.com, publications.yoursite.com, or ebooks.yoursite.com, etc. We would advise you not to set the scope too narrow. E.g. privacy-policy.yoursite.com will not be very useful for any other document than your privacy policy. It is possible to change the custom domain later, but the old links will stop working! Please note that it has to be a subdomain. We can't use yoursite.com directly. 

  2. Set up a DNS-alias for your subdomain to online.flippingbook.com
    You'll need to set up something on your end so the traffic for your custom domain is redirected to us. This requires a small technical change (you have to set up a CNAME in the DNS for your domain). You may need some help from your IT-staff or hosting provider. Please follow our instructions to set up a CNAME or forward them to your IT-staff. 

  3. Contact our support to finalize the setup
    After you have set up the CNAME, then please inform our support team which custom domain you have set up. We will check it and set up everything on our end. We'll also request an SSL-certificate so your custom domain will work over HTTPS. When all is done, we will get back to you to confirm that your custom domain is live. This typically takes an hour or so, but it could take up to 24 hours.

  4. Check your existing embedded flipbooks
    If you have embedded any of your flipbooks to your website prior to requesting a custom domain, the embed code needs to be updated (you can generate the new version of it with the same Embed button) when the domain starts working. 

 

Can I add a custom domain to my trial account?

Yes, sure, please send a message to our sales team!

 

What if a visitor goes straight to catalogs.mybrand.com instead of the flipbook?

Normally, you share a link to a specific book, like catalogs.mybrand.com/view/354803. A user clicks the link and the flipbook opens. But should a visitor remove the /view/354803 part from the URL, they will just be redirected to your website. For example, if your subdomain is catalogs.mybrand.com and a visitor tries to open it, they will be redirected to mybrand.com.

 

Can catalogs.mybrand.com become a starting page with all my flipbooks on it?

Not by default, but if you create a custom starting page (for example, an overview page where all your flipbooks are embedded or linked), then we can redirect your visitors to that page instead of the main page of your website. For example, if you have a page on your website called www.mybrand.com/marketing/catalogs/index.html with all the links to your catalogs, we can show that page to a user when they open catalogs.mybrand.com.

 

Can I create multiple branded URLs?

Yes, this is possible in the FlippingBook Online Team and Enterprise plan. If you are interested in using multiple branded URLs, please let us know. We will be happy to discuss the details with you.

In the FlippingBook Online Advanced plan, you can only have one branded URL. So, you could use either catalogs.mybrand.com or promotions.mybrand.com, but not both at the same time.

 

Can I use online.flippingbook.com domain when I use a custom domain too?

It can happen that you carefully thought of the name for your custom domain and suddenly you add a new flipbook that really doesn't fit under that domain. In this case, it is possible to use our standard online.flippingbook.com domain for that flipbook. There are however a few technical implications that you should know about. For that reason, we don't enable this option by default. Feel free to contact our support team to enable this option for you and to tell you more about the ins and outs when you use it.

 

How will a custom domain work with Search Engines?

If you set up your flipbooks to be indexed by search engines, then they will be indexed normally. When people search for them they will see the title that you gave with the link to your custom domain.

Here you see the results for one of our clients, with the top result showing a link to their own site, and the second result showing a link to their flipbook on their custom domain.

 

Can I use a special domain like https://mybrandcatalogs.com/ and omit the subdomain?

No, sorry, we only support domains that look like catalogs.mybrand.com or similar.

 

Is it possible to change my domain?

Yes, it is. But you should be aware that this will break all existing links. So if your catalog is on brochures.mybrand.com/view/354803 and you want to change that to catalogs.mybrand.com (or to brochures.mynewbrand.com), then people who visit the old link will get a ‘file not found’ error. But should the need arise (such as a company rebranding, for example), we will gladly help update your domain name.

If you set up your custom domain for the first time, then existing links will not break. So if you already shared links with online.flippingbook.com in them, then don't worry. Your clients will still be able to open those without errors.

 

I am concerned about security; how does this work exactly?

From a technical viewpoint, you will need to create a CNAME record in your DNS. A CNAME (canonical name ) is a type of DNS record that binds an alias to a valid domain name. 

So, suppose that you want to use catalogs.mybrand.com. Then the CNAME for ‘catalogs’ would have to be set to online.flippingbook.com. This has to be done in the DNS management of the server to which mybrand.com is delegated. 

We then obtain an SSL certificate for the full domain catalogs.mybrand.com. After you change the CNAME, you lose active control over the content published under catalogs.mybrand.com. We guarantee that we won’t publish any other content there or change your content in any way. Only your flipbooks will be stored there, exactly the way you designed them. No third-party content, no ads, no pop-ups, nothing.

 

How do I configure the CNAME?

To set up the CNAME it’s probably best to contact the administrator of your website or your hosting provider for assistance. But the general way to create a CNAME record is outlined in the instructions below.

  • The record should be created on those servers to which the domain "yourdomain.tld" is delegated.
  • Open the DNS management page on the website of the company that provides you with DNS hosting services.
  • Create a CNAME record with the following field values ​​(field names may differ in different control panels):
    • Name — “catalog”.
    • In some control panels, the record name must specify the full name of the subdomain, such as "catalog.yourdomain.tld".
    • Value — “online.flippingbook.com.”. Note that you don't need to change the server name (don't replace "domain" with the name of your domain).
    • The dot at the end of the server name is required unless your control panel adds this dot by default.
  • Wait while the changes take effect in DNS. This process usually takes 24-48, but it could even take up to 72 hours.
 
The exact way of adding a CNAME record depends on your domain provider. Here are instructions from some popular domain providers:
 

If in doubt please ask your hosting provider for help.

How long does it take to activate or change my domain?

After we set up your custom domain it can take up to 24-48 hours to work. We can't do anything to speed that up, sorry. This is inherent to the way the internet is built. All over the internet, there are Domain Name Servers that store information about which domain name is connected to which server. These servers don't update their information instantly. Changes in DNS are pretty rare, so they cache such information. Most commonly, this is somewhere between 5 minutes and an hour, but it can also be 24 hours or even longer.

Related articles

Would you like to know if it's possible to have more than one Custom Domain? Yes, it is, and you can find out more in the article on how to get and set up Multiple Custom Domains for your account.

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