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 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. 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
- HTTPS and SSL Configuration
- HTTPS should automatically be enabled for you
- Root & 404 Redirect – here is where you can set:
- Root URL – if someone just visits your BSD without a "/_____" where do you want them to go instead of the Bitly landing page?
- 404 URL – if someone visits spok.cc/______ and enters an invalid or uncreated keyword, where do you want them to go instead of a 404 page?
- Both of these can lead to your primary site, for example
- Mobile Behavior – only worry about this section if you have your domain connected to an app
- 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.