How to manage the domain names, certificates, and HTTPS settings for your Springshare systems

For each Springshare product you subscribe to, there will be a variety of options available to you for managing their domain names, certificates, and HTTPS settings. LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal allow for you to use your own custom domain -- 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. And if you've opted to use a custom domain, you'll have additional controls for managing the certificates and HTTPS requirements.

Even when you're not using a custom domain, you will have control over the HTTPS requirements (for LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal), and you can also request a change of the subdomain for any product by contacting the Support team.

This springboard is intended for LibApps Admin users who are interested in all things related to the management of the domains and security certificates for the Springshare products your institution subscribes to. You'll learn more about the options you have for changing domain names, installing/updating/managing certificates, and the HTTPS settings for each product.


Managing domains

By default, all of your Springshare products will use a domain name provided by Springshare. These are domain names ending in the following:

  • libanswers.com
  • libapps.com
  • libcal.com
  • libcrm.com
  • libguides.com
  • libinsight.com
  • libstaffer.com
  • libsurveys.com
  • libwizard.com

The first portion of your domain name (known as the subdomain) is unique to your institution. So, for example, Anytown Library's LibGuides site might have a domain name of: anytown.libguides.com

These domain names are all managed by Springshare, so you don't have to worry about setting up or managing your own DNS records. What's more, they will all support HTTPS traffic out of the box. If for any reason you need to change the subdomain of one (or all) of your Springy sites, please contact the Support team and let us know. We'll make the necessary changes and ensure that your old Springshare domain name redirects to your new domain name.

If you want to use a domain of your choosing, LibApps allows you to customize the entire domain for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal sites. This process is referred to as custom domain mapping and does require a little prep work from your IT staff. It is also important to note that changes to a custom domain (whether you're moving off of a Springshare-managed domain or updating to a different custom domain) require at least 1 business day to take effect, to ensure appropriate security certificate handling. Please plan accordingly, as it is not an immediate change.

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Managing security certificates

For sites using a domain provided by Springshare, you don't need to do worry about the status of your security certificates at all. We handle the management of the certificates for all sites on those domains.

For those of you using a custom domain for a LibGuides, LibAnswers, or LibCal site, we will automatically install and renew a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. Similar to the certificates that we manage for Springy domains (e.g., libguides.com), these short-term certificates are managed by us at no cost or bother to you. Simply change your site’s domain to your desired custom domain, and LibApps will automatically do the rest. Or if you had been using your own certificate and want to move to a Let's Encrypt certificate, there's nothing more you need to do. Once the certificate approaches its expiration date, we will automatically replace it with a free Let's Encrypt certificate for you.

If you prefer to obtain your own security certificate or use an existing KEY & CRT pair (including wildcard & SAN certificates), you can do that as well. This, like setting up a custom domain, will require some work from your IT staff/Certificate Authority (CA). 

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Enabling and managing HTTPS settings

These days, it's never been more important to protect the privacy and security of your users. By enabling HTTPS for your Springy sites, you're giving your users the peace of mind that their connection is secure and encrypted. HTTPS can be enabled for sites with Springshare domain names, as well as custom domain names. Newly installed sites will have HTTPS enabled by default, but for those of you managing sites that have been active for some time, enabling HTTPS (and making sure that the content that you've added to your site is HTTPS-ready) is something that you should strongly consider doing. 

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