Create a custom subdomain in ScreenSteps

Updated Jul 17, 2019

When you create a ScreenSteps site, the URL includes screenstepslive and looks something like this: mycompany.screenstepslive.com. If you want to create a URL that looks something like this, help.screensteps.com, then you will need to create a custom subdomain.

Some customers ask if ScreenSteps can be set up as a subdirectory on their site, for example http://www.mydomain.com/knowledgebase. This isn't possible. You will have to use a subdomain such as http://kb.mydomain.com if you want to use a custom domain with ScreenSteps.

Confirm host mapping with SSL is available on your plan

Custom domains are available on all plan levels; however, SSL certificates for custom domains are supported on Small Business plans and above.

If your company has a Non-Profit plan then SSL is supported on NPO Medium plans and above.

If you do not have an SSL certificate, your custom subdomain will only include http:// and it will not have the "s" indicating the site has established an encrypted link between the web server and a browser. Some browsers throw warnings when a site is not https://, and that might happen if you set up a custom subdomain without an SSL certificate.

If your ScreenSteps plan does not include this feature, you can upgrade to the Small Business plan.

Set up a CNAME record with your DNS provider

Before you can add a host mapping record in ScreenSteps, you must create a CNAME DNS record that points your custom domain name to ext.screensteps.com. Your web administrator who manages your company's domain should be able to help you with this.

Example using DNS Made Easy

Your company may use Hover, GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator, or other DNS providers to manage its domain. Below is an example of creating a CNAME record in DNS Made Easy. The process will be similar in other DNS provider interfaces.

In the example below, readers will go to help.mydomain.com to view your ScreenSteps content. help.mydomain.com points to ext.screensteps.com which points to the ScreenSteps server where your content is hosted.

Create Hostname, Record Type, Target Host > Save

Some DNS provider interfaces require you to add a . to the end of ext.screensteps.com while others do not. DNS Made Easy requires the ..

Add the custom domain to a ScreenSteps site

Navigate to Settings > Domain Settings for one of your sites

After you create the CNAME DNS, go to Settings for a site in your ScreenSteps account.

Navigate to the Domain Settings section and enter your custom domain in the Custom domain name field. Click Update.

IMPORTANT: Do not include the scheme in the custom domain name. For example, do not prefix the domain name with http:// or https://.

Verify DNS settings

After clicking Update ScreenSteps will try to verify that the CNAME DNS settings for the domain you entered are configured properly. If they are then you will see the DNS successfully verified button appear and you can move on to setting up SSL so that readers can securely connect to your site.

Was your DNS successfully verified?

Check if settings are correct

If your CNAME DNS settings are not correct then you will see the message below. Double-check your settings with your DNS provider and then click the Verify DNS button to perform the check again.

One way to confirm that your CNAME record is pointing to ext.screensteps.com is to visit a service such as https://www.whatsmydns.net/#CNAME and enter your custom domain name. The service will tell you if the custom domain name is pointing to the right place.

Were you able to successfully verify DNS?

Do you want to enable SSL for your custom domain?

Before you start using your custom domain name you should enable SSL. This will allow your readers to securely connect to your ScreenSteps content using your custom domain. In our example case, it would allow your browser to securely connect to https://help.mydomain.com.

Do you want ScreenSteps to manage your SSL certificate?

Enable ScreenSteps to provision the SSL certificate

Click Enable ScreenSteps-provisioned SSL.

ScreenSteps will automatically generate an SSL certificate for your custom domain using the LetsEncrypt service. ScreenSteps will also renew the certificate as needed so that you never have to worry about it expiring.

Example of what it looks like

This is an example of what you will see after successfully setting up an SSL certificate that is managed by ScreenSteps. It tells you who issued the certificate as well as the date by which the certificate will be renewed.

Provide your public certificate and chain

  1. Click the Upload a custom SSL certificate button
  2. Provide a public certificate and chain in PEM format
  3. Provide the private key in PEM format.
  4. Click the Update button.

Mouse over the i icons next to the Public certificate & chain and Private key fields for examples of what the certificates should look like.

You're done!

If you do not wish to enable SSL for your custom subdomain then you are done!

Contact Support

If you are unable to verify your DNS, send an email to support@screensteps.com and explain what is happening. Somebody from our team will be able to help out.

Do you want to enable SSL for your custom domain?

Before you start using your custom domain name you should enable SSL. This will allow your readers to securely connect to your ScreenSteps content using your custom domain. In our example case, it would allow your browser to securely connect to https://help.mydomain.com.

Do you want ScreenSteps to manage your SSL certificate?

Enable ScreenSteps to provision the SSL certificate

Click Enable ScreenSteps-provisioned SSL.

ScreenSteps will automatically generate an SSL certificate for your custom domain using the LetsEncrypt service. ScreenSteps will also renew the certificate as needed so that you never have to worry about it expiring.

Example of what it looks like

This is an example of what you will see after successfully setting up an SSL certificate that is managed by ScreenSteps. It tells you who issued the certificate as well as the date by which the certificate will be renewed.

Provide your public certificate and chain

  1. Click the Upload a custom SSL certificate button
  2. Provide a public certificate and chain in PEM format
  3. Provide the private key in PEM format.
  4. Click the Update button.

Mouse over the i icons next to the Public certificate & chain and Private key fields for examples of what the certificates should look like.

You're done!

If you do not wish to enable SSL for your custom subdomain then you are done!

Still Need Help?

Contact Us