Reminder: Your Branded Short Domain must be less than 15 characters, including the dot.
Once you have purchased a BSD you’ll need to login into your bitly account and your BSD domain registrar site to set up your BSD with your bitly account.
1) Setting your DNS Settings to Bitly’s IP
The Domain Name System (DNS) is what allows a web browser to translate a domain to a website. You will need to tell DNS that your custom domain now should point to Bitly.
The way you update DNS varies depending on your domain registrar. In general, the process goes something like this:
- Log into your domain registrar's website.
- Select the Branded Short Domain you want to modify.
- Find the section for managing DNS entries. The name of this section varies, but is usually something like DNS Configuration, DNS Records, or Advanced DNS. Links to instructions for popular hosting providers can be found here.
Depending on whether you are setting up a domain or subdomain your next steps will vary.
For a domain:
Edit the existing A Records for your site and change the IP addresses to 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52. If there is one or no existing A Record, add new ones.
Edit the A Record’s Hostname to the character “@” or your base domain (both mean the same thing). If you have additional A Records pointing to other IP addresses, remove all others and leave only the ones pointing to Bitly's IP addresses.
For a subdomain (such as on.wsj.com):
Edit the existing CNAME Record for that subdomain to point to cname.bitly.com. When entering your subdomain, enter only the portion before the first dot. For example, with ‘on.wsj.com’ you would just type in ‘on’.
Note: In your DNS, you can also add a ‘www’ entry for your domain name, which you will point to 'cname.bitly.com'. For example, if your Branded Short Domain was 'fred.me' you'd point your CNAME Record for 'www.fred.me' to 'cname.bitly.com.'
2) Setup your domain in bitly.com
For Bitly Enterprise Users:
Sign into Bitly and navigate to the Brand Manager, keep in mind you need to be an Brand Admin in order to access Brand Manager. From the brand name in the top righthand corner, located between the “Create” button and Hamburger menu, select the “Manage” button next to your brand’s name. Once in Brand Manger select Branded Short Domains from the lefthand menu. Select “Add Branded Short Domain” and follow the instructions to setup your BSD. Your BSD will display "verified" when it is ready for use.
For Free Bitly Users:
Sign into Bitly and navigate to the hamburger menu in the top righthand corner and select, "Settings". From there select "Advanced Settings" and continue to "Branded Short Domains" and follow the instructions to setup your BSD. Your BSD will display "verified" when it is ready for use. Make sure to set your new BSD as the default domain for your account.
After you set up your BSD, you must enable it as your default domain. To do this, first access the hamburger menu. Next go to "Settings", then "Domain Default", click on your BSD and make it your default domain.
- Only accounts with verified email addresses can setup Branded Short Domains. You can verify your account’s email address here.
- If you are migrating short links from another platform, contact your Customer Success Manager for options to import existing links.
- It can take up to 24 hours for domain changes to propagate across the internet. You’ll know the DNS has been set up correctly once it is listed as valid in the Bitly Advanced Settings.