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Custom Domains

Danielle Kellogg Updated by Danielle Kellogg

Custom domains can be used as an alternatic if you don't have a website to embed your app into but still want a custom domain to point directly to the app.

A custom domain is not specific to one app. You would be able to access any of your apps with that domain simply by including the app name after the custom domain in the URL.

Custom Domains are not available to accounts in the trial period and are ONLY available on Pro plans and above.

Decide on a Domain

Before you request a custom domain, know what the domain is you are going to use. Keep in mind that some domains may not work.

  1. If you have an existing website at www.mydomain.com, you can't use that domain for Knack, or the website will no longer function.
  2. With Knack, you must register a subdomain in all cases. You cannot use a root domain such as mydomain.com by itself for your Knack custom domain. DNS systems typically don't allow CNAME records for root domains. Rather, you'll use a subdomain such as app.mydomain.com, members.mydomain.com. The subdomain www.mydomain.com is okay as long as you don't have an active website at www.mydomain.com.

Request a Custom Domain

To request a custom domain, you can submit a request to support either in the messenger in the Builder or at support@knack.com. Once we've received the request and responded, you'll be able to proceed to the DNS change. This can take 24-48 hours.

Update your DNS Settings

It is important that you have received confirmation that your custom domain has been attached to your account before proceeding with this step.

The final step is to change or add a DNS CNAME record for your domain. You'll need to have access or know who has access, to make DNS changes for your domain. The CNAME record should point to customdomains.knack.com. It also is helpful to be knowledgeable about DNS.

Please allow a few hours for propagation to occur.

Setting up the CNAME

  1. Login to your hosting provider and edit the DNS settings for the domain you’ll be configuring to work with Knack.
  2. Create a new CNAME record with the Host value set to what you’d like to use for your subdomain. For example, if you want your Knack App to be accessed via portal.domain.com you would enter ‘portal’ as the Host value
  3. Point the record to our subdomain: customdomains.knack.com.
  4. Save your handywork.

These exact instructions may differ among hosting providers. Below is an example of what this would look like:

Add_DNS_REcord.png

  • Host Record: This is the domain or subdomain you wish to use.
  • Points to: This is the destination server that the domain or subdomain is sending the traffic to.
  • TTL: The 'time to live' value indicates the amount of time the record is cached by a DNS Server, such as your Internet service provider. The default (and lowest accepted) value is 14400 seconds (4 hours). You generally do not need to modify this value.

How Your Custom Domain Will Look

We are able to pre-set what account goes with your domain, but there isn't a way to automatically default an app. This means you'll need to include the app name in the URL for anybody to access it. Without the app name, you'll see a login for the builder.

For example, when directly your users to your app it will look like: www.mycustomdomain.com/myappname

SSL Certificates

At this time, SSL is not automatically included when using a custom domain. That means that when trying to access your Live App using HTTPS and the custom domain, some browsers might show the page as insecure.

While all the data being transmitted is still encrypted by Knack, the URL shown in the end-user's browser won't show HTTPS. It will also show up in Chrome as "Not Secure" or in Firefox as "This connection is not secure." since there isn't an SSL certificate being used for your domain. If you require a custom SSL, you'll want to look at embedding your app into a site where you can install your secure certificate.

Use Your Own SSL Certificate

If you'd like to use your own SSL certificate, we suggest embedding your app with a web host that allows the purchase and installing a certificate. This is especially important to note for our EU customers needing to comply with GDPR.

Request An SSL Certificate

Knack currently has a limited number of SSL certificates available and we may be able to accommodate SSL for your custom domain.

Please contact our support team for more information in the messenger or at support@knack.com.

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