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What's in a URL
Before we dive into using domains in your beehiiv account, it’s important to be clear on what the different parts of a URL are.
Let’s breakdown the 5 parts of this URL example:
- Protocol: Is the very beginning of a URL and can be either https:// (secured) or http:// (unsecured).
- Subdomain: Is often www, but not always as it can specify a location on a site like blog.beehiiv.com or newsletter.beehiiv.com.
- Domain name: Is the custom domain name you purchased that is often the name of your site (beehiiv in this example). The custom domain name is also called the root of the URL.
- Top Level Domain (TLD): The TLD can be .com, .net, or many others and is generally purchased with a custom domain. There can be multiple TLDs associated with one custom domain. The domain name and TLD together are often referred to as the root domain (beehiiv.com in this example).
- Path or page: Anything past the slash after the TLD (/pricing in this example) is considered to be the path of a URL and can have other components in it like a page name.
Your built-in beehiiv subdomain
By default, once you have added a Publication name to your beehiiv account, you will automatically receive a custom subdomain to use as your Publication URL where your newsletter will live online. It will look like your-publication.beehiiv.com, with the your-publication part being the name of your newsletter.
Now that we understand the different parts of a domain, it’s helpful to think of a subdomain as a separate section of your website that’s for a specific job, for example a blog or a store. It's like having different rooms in a house for different purposes, but on your website. A subdomain is added before the main domain name and can change as a user moves around on your site depending on how it's configured, which is how your website organizes content for the specific functions that a user selects and logs the customer journey.
For example, a new site visitor would go to www.yoursite.com first and then explore by clicking around, possibly checking out your blog, which if configured accordingly, can change the URL slightly to blog.yoursite.com, and so forth.
Advantages to using a custom domain
Using the custom domain of your website in your beehiiv account helps you have a continuous branded online presence that is recognizable to both new and existing customers, but it is not necessary to have your own website. You’ll automatically receive a beehiiv subdomain that you can use for the same purposes, it just won’t include your custom domain name.
It is also common to have a personalized email address attached to your custom domain like firstname.lastname@example.org. This type of email is a great option to use as your reply-to address under your Publication settings. Since it is where any replies from your newsletter will be sent to, using an email address with a custom domain helps to further build brand recognition and trust.
Tech Note: beehiiv accounts who are using or plan to be using a custom domain must also set up DMARC authentication as an added layer of security. Refer to this article for instructions on setting DMARC up for your account.
You can use one custom domain for each of your beehiiv Publications. After a custom domain has been verified and added to your account, you can configure it to be used as one or all of the following:
- Web Domain (where your beehiiv Publications live online)
- Email Domain (where your beehiiv Publications are sent from)
- Redirect Domain (an additional domain that can point to your Publications)
When using a custom domain, the Web Domain and the Email Domain can sometimes look the same (yoursite.com for the Web Domain and @yoursite.com for Email) but they can also be different from one another.
To recap, a custom domain is essentially the name of your website, or more broadly speaking, it is a unique, personalized web address that you can use for your website or email. It allows you to have a distinct online presence with a web address that reflects your brand or organization. Using the above example, it’s the domain name and TLD parts of the URL (beehiiv.com), which ideally you own, control, and build up a sending reputation from anytime you use it in your emails.
Pro Tip: Sending from a custom domain (instead of your beehiiv subdomain) helps you to further develop your own sending reputation and authority, which is essential as your subscriber list grows over time.
How-to articles on configuring a custom domain
Many customers prefer to use a custom domain that takes the place of beehiiv.com in their subdomain, so we’ve made it easy to set that up right from your account. Each of the linked how-to articles below provides instructions on configuring custom domains in your beehiiv account, from getting a custom domain verified, to setting it up to be used as a web, email, or redirect domain.
You will need to have the ability to modify your domain’s DNS settings on your website, which is why you need to be the domain owner or have someone from your technical team handle this for you.
How-to articles for using a custom domain with beehiiv
- How to add and configure custom domains from any provider
- How to set up a custom domain with GoDaddy
- How to set up a custom domain with Namecheap
- How to set up a custom domain with Hover
- How to set up a custom domain with Cloudflare
Tech Note: After adding a new custom domain, beehiiv will automatically warm up your domain via Smart Warming by gradually ramping up the volume of emails sent from your domain during the first 2-4 weeks after setup. Your subscribers, as well as your own user experience, will not be impacted by this process.
Frequently asked questions about custom domains
Do I have to use a custom domain?
No, which is why we give you a built-in subdomain that’s already part of your beehiiv account. The major difference in using a custom domain for your Publication is that potential subscribers would visit yoursite.com instead of your-publication.beehiiv.com to subscribe to your newsletter and view your content. The experience is the same to the person visiting your site, only the URL is different.
How many different custom domains can I use in my account?
Depending on your account type, you can verify multiple custom domains. Each beehiiv Publication can have one custom domain associated with it that would also need to be configured to be used as a web domain, an email domain, and/or a redirect domain. You can refer to the how-to articles above for instructions on adding custom domains from specific domain hosts.
How will I know if my domain has been verified?
In your account under Settings > Publications > Domains, you will see ‘Verified’ next to a green check icon under the domains that are verified, and those “in use” will be marked as such. You can also use this online tool to check your current DNS record status.
Can I use different sending email addresses for my different Publications?
Yes, but only if you are on a Scale (or higher) plan, which gives you 3+ Publications/newsletters. Since each Publication can have their own custom domain, you could use different sending addresses for each of the Publications in your account.
So while you cannot send from 2 different domains in 1 Publication, you could technically send from the same domain to 2 separate Publications. (Although this is not advised as it can put your sending reputation at risk because a lower reputation on one Publication could impact the deliverability of the other if they share the same domain.)
Do I need to set up a redirect to ensure traffic to the root of my custom domain gets to the www subdomain?
In many cases, this type of redirect is already in place via your web host and is not necessary. But if you'd like to ensure that both the root and a subdomain (ex: www, blog, mail) point to your newsletter, you can set each of them up as verified domains in your beehiiv account and then choose which one you'd like to add as your web domain or redirect domain.
What if I set up my custom domain in beehiiv and it still doesn’t work or says “Verifying Configuration” on the Domains page?
It’s important to allow proper time for your DNS settings to propagate, which can take up to 24 hours. This delay is the most common issue that we run into with new custom domains. If you have fully set up your domain and are still experiencing issues after 24 hours, we advise you to grab a full screenshot of your DNS records and then contact support so we can try and solve the issue with you.