Connecting your Domain to SamCart

SamCart gives you the freedom to import a Custom Domain and discard the .samcart.com suffix on your checkout pages. 

Custom Domains require SSL security via CloudFlare. This ensures the security of your customers' data and keeps your checkout pages PCI compliant. 

Getting Setup With Cloudflare:

First, you'll need a registered domain. If you don't already have one, you'll need to choose one for your business. You can purchase a domain name from Google Domains, GoDaddy, Namecheap, or the domain registrar of your choosing. 

Once you're set up, you'll need to register for a free Cloudflare account. 

  • After you're logged in, enter your domain, click "Scan DNS Records" and wait for it to scan. Click "Continue Setup" once it completes its scan:
  • Essentially, what we are doing here is making Cloudflare your new domain’s DNS (Domain Name System). Any previous entries you had for your DNS like www.yoursite.com, blog.yoursite.com, etc. will now be brought over and managed in Cloudflare. So, what you will want to do next is make sure the DNS entries, if brought over from Cloudflare, are all correct before adding your new SamCart domain (i.e. checkout.mysite.com).  
  • NOTE: For customers who want their main domain to be pointed to a SamCart page (i.e. www.mysite.com) if you already have records for the main site brought over from your DNS you will receive an error stating "An A, AAAA or CNAME record already exists with that host. (Code: 81053)." You will need to locate the existing record in your CloudFlare list and remove it by clicking on the X at the end of the record.
  • Additionally, if you want to redirect all non-www traffic (mysite.com) to (www.mysite.com) create a new CNAME record with mysite.com and point it to www.mysite.com.  Cloudflare will take care of the rest.
  • Next, it will ask you to verify that all of your records are listed. If you're using a newly registered domain, you won't need to worry about what's on this screen. If you're using an existing domain, however, you'll want to double check that anything you previously had set up with your domain is still present. If anything is missing you can add it now or get it set up later. After you've verified everything is looking good, click " Continue" at the bottom.
  • You will again be asked for a plan. For the purposes of setting up a custom domain with SamCart, all you'll need is the Free plan. Go ahead and select "Free Website" and click "Continue" at the bottom.

CNAME

Now that your domain is set up with CloudFlare, you'll need to set up a CNAME record that will point your domain to SamCart. This can be done with "www" or another subdomain (e.g. "courses", "members"). For this example, we'll be using the hostname "www". Click the " DNS" tab at the top and add your CNAME record as follows:

Type: CNAME
Name: www
Domain: custom.samcart.com

Notes for This Step:

  • For "Domain name" be sure to enter "custom.samcart.com" exactly, and NOT your own SamCart subdomain!

Once you've added your record, you'll need to make sure it's enabled. Records can be enabled by clicking on the grey cloud icon on their right so that it turns orange.

Cloudflare nameservers:

NOTE: This step is critical and cannot be skipped.

The final step of the CloudFlare onboarding process is to change your nameservers over to the ones that CloudFlare provides you.

CloudFlare has many guides for changing nameservers with the most common domain registrars. Find your domain host on the list, then follow the instructions. Please contact your registrar if you have any questions. 

https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/206455647

Full SSL:

With your record all set up, the last thing you'll need to do is enable Full SSL for your domain. Click on the Crypto settings from the top menu. In the first section labeled "SSL" you'll want to select "Full" from the drop-down menu. This will result in a certificate being issued which can take a bit before it's active. You'll know it's okay to proceed when it says " Active Certificate" below the setting.

The SSL cert dropdown has “full” auto-selected. But only opening the dropdown and SELECTING full actually starts the process of issuing a certification.

Note: Often times this setting will revert back to "Flexible" from "Full" whenever a change is made in Cloudflare. Be sure to double check that this is still set to "Full" before sending in your custom domain request or before a big launch.

Add Your Custom Domain to SamCart:

Now for the easy part! After you've configured CloudFlare, you're ready to link your SamCart Products to a Custom Domain.

The preferred format for inserting a URL is subdomain.yoursite.com (i.e. www.mysite.com or checkout.mysite.com). If you do not have a subdomain (i.e. you want https://mysite.com) to point to SamCart as well you will need to add it as a separate domain.   

Click the +Add New button, enter the Custom Domain, and select which Product you'd like to link the Custom Domain to: 

Click Save, and that's it! The Default Product you selected can now be accessed by your shiny new Custom Domain

Adding a Custom Domain to Additional Products:

After a Default Product has been selected in your SamCart Marketplace Settings, you can add additional Products to a Custom Domain by going to any Product Edit page and clicking the Advanced Settings tab: 

Scroll down to the Advanced section, click Default Custom Domain, and select the Custom Domain you'd like to use for the Product. 

Save your changes and you're done! 

Why CloudFlare?

SSL certificates are installed on web host where your website resides. If you already have an SSL certificate, that applies to your exisiting web hosting company where they install your SSL certificate on their server.

CloudFlare is the only service that allows the use of our own certificate on our servers while providing free SSL for your domain itself, as we can not install additional certificates on our servers.

CloudFlare will be just the name server and they do provide option (per domain record) to bypass their cloud and send traffic directly to your web hosting company. You just need to disable the cloud icon for each domain record not for use with SamCart.

In CloudFlare DNS page, we only need a CNAME that points to our custom URL for a custom domain URL that would be used with a SamCart checkout page. It can be the domain main URL (www.domain.com) or a sub domain (portal.domain.com).

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