FAQ content

Adding or changing a custom domain name for a site

In this article

Getting there

To manage the domain names of your LibApps sites, go to Admin > Domains and Certificates.

Navigating to the Domains and Certificates page

Changing a domain name

LibApps allows you to customize the domain names for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal sites. For example, if your library's website uses the domain name of springylib.org, you could give your LibCal site a custom domain name of libcal.springylib.org (instead of a domain name ending in .libcal.com). This process is referred to as custom domain mapping and does require a little prep work from your IT staff. 

Please follow the directions below and you'll be set up in no time. :)

HTTPS by default for custom domains

When you save your new domain name in LibApps, we'll attempt to automatically obtain and install a free Let's Encrypt certificate for your system (please allow one business day for it to be installed). This will ensure that there is no interruption in the ability to access your site over a secure HTTPS connection. These are maintenance-free certificates -- Springshare will automatically take care of renewing them, too!

  • Please allow up to 1 business day for your Let's Encrypt certificate to be installed. For more details and information about using your own certificate instead, please see our article Using your own SSL certificate for a Custom Domain Name.
  • If there is a CAA record in place for your domain, your IT staff may need to make changes before we can request and renew certificates for you. Learn more.

Once the security certificate has been installed, we will make the domain change, and you will be able to access your site from your new, custom domain name. Until then, your old domain name will remain active.

Step 1. Create your DNS records

  1. Decide on the domain name you'd like to use for your site (this is the fun part!).
    • If you must for legacy reasons support a domain beginning with www, you will need two separate DNS entries, one for each domain.
    • Your custom domain should not contain slashes, folders, or sub-directories.
    • For example: "library.school.edu/libguides" is not allowed, but "library.school.edu" or "libguides.school.edu" are both just fine!
  2. Ask your IT staff to create CNAME records for that domain name, pointing them to the appropriate product's server.
    • These should be added for both your internal and external nameservers.
    • See the table below for a complete list of server addresses by product and region.
    • HTTPS is supported through these endpoints.
  3. Test out your domain name using our DNS Mapping Tool.
    • If you get a success message, then you're ready to proceed to the next step.
      • Note: you may need to allow a little time for the changes to propagate across the internet before they will be detected by the mapping tool.
    • If you do not get a success message, then double-check that the CNAME records are pointing to the correct server and try again. Also, confirm that a CNAME record was properly configured on your external name server.

Product Asia-Pacific Canada Europe Everyone Else
LibAnswers region-au.libanswers.com region-ca.libanswers.com region-eu.libanswers.com region-us.libanswers.com
LibCal region-au.libcal.com region-ca.libcal.com region-eu.libcal.com region-us.libcal.com
LibGuides region-au.libguides.com region-ca.libguides.com region-eu.libguides.com region-us.libguides.com
Please note: LibConnect, LibInsight, LibStaffer, and LibWizard do not support custom domain names. They can only end in .libconnect.com.libinsight.com, .libstaffer.com, and .libwizard.com, respectively.

Step 2. Apply your custom domain name in LibApps

  1. Click on the site's Edit Domain () icon in the Actions column.

Screenshot of the Edit Domain icon 

  1. If you'd like to change the name of your site (i.e. how it appears in breadcrumbs, etc.), enter it in the System Name field on the Edit Domain modal.
  2. If needed, you can update the Admin Email for the site, as well.
  3. Enter your new domain name (without the https://) for your site in the Domain field.
  4. Save your changes.
    • LibApps will check that CNAME records exist for the domain name you entered and that they are pointing to the correct endpoint for your region.
    • If this check fails, an error message will appear and your changes will not be saved. Please check your domain name for typos and ensure your CNAME records are correctly configured for your region, then try again.

Example of customizing a domain name

Check domain change status / cancel request

While the domain change is being processed, you can click on the site's Edit Domain () icon in the Actions column to confirm that the change is still ongoing and/or cancel the request

  1. The Edit Domain modal will list the Old Domain and New Domain during the request.
  2. Additionally, if you need to cancel the domain change, you can click the Cancel Domain Change Request button. Canceling the request will end the domain change process and keep your site on its current domain.

Example of a domain name change in progress

Frequently asked questions

What if I just want to change the subdomain of my .libanswers.com, etc. domain name?

No problem! To change the subdomain for your site (i.e. the part that comes before .libguides.com, etc.), just contact Springy Support. We'll create the necessary DNS records and apply the changes for you lickety-split.

My IT department says we have to use an A record. What do I do now?

We strongly advise customers to use CNAME records because it provides your site with a lot of performance advantages compared to an A record. That's because an A record locks you into a specific server, whereas a CNAME record will allow your site to switch to different servers as conditions change. That's all thanks to the nifty features built into our cloud hosting infrastructure. :)

For example, if a server's load becomes really high or happens to go down for some reason, sites using CNAME records will seamlessly switch to a different one without any impact on your users. If you were using an A record, however, you would be stuck on that one server for better or worse.

That said, we understand that sometimes you may not have a choice but to go with an A record. If that's the case, please contact Springy Support and we can help you get this set up.

Will my old domain redirect to our new domain?

If you are switching from a Springshare-provided domain (i.e. ending in .libguides.com, .libanswers.com, or .libcal.com) to your own custom domain name, we will automatically set up a redirect to your custom domain name. That way, if someone visits a URL with your old domain name, they will automatically be redirected to the same page at your new domain name.

If you are switching from one custom domain name to another, please note the following:

  • We can redirect old custom domains to new custom domains, as long as you keep the old custom domain DNS records pointing to the Springshare servers.
  • However, this redirect will only work when visiting the old domain name over HTTP, as we do not have the ability to do these redirects over HTTPS.
  • With that in mind, we recommend setting up this redirect on your own servers so you can manage both the redirect and its certificate on your end.