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How to use a custom domain
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dotcomboom (120)

In case you've worked with repl.it before, you may have noticed that you are given a decently long subdomain for your project, like the following:
my-little-blog--dotcomboom.repl.co

You may have wanted to change that into a shorter, more memorable domain name, like this: mylittleblog.cf

Let's see how.

Getting your domain

This section will cover registering a domain name with Freenom. If you already have a domain, skip this part.

A word on Freenom

You don't own it

Freenom hands a selection of domain names out like free candy. If you've heard of dot.tk, it's these guys. In this tutorial I'll walk you through them, but I'd also like to point out that by registering a domain name with Freenom, you are still not entitled to it. It's perfectly valid and legal for them to all of a sudden deactivate your domain and use it to make money with ads, without notification. This is just a fair warning, some people have had domains from Freenom for a long time without any issues, but anything can happen. In short, nothing could be actually free. You are borrowing Freenom's domains for your purposes, and don't own them like you would from another registrar.

HTTPS

If you use Freenom, you won't be able to use HTTPS. You need to use "http://" before your domain instead. You will still be able to use your repl.co domain name if you need to use HTTPS, so make note of that. As https://repl.it/@turbio pointed out, HTTPS does work with a Freenom domain! You just need to wait a little bit of time for it to get set up. As for "mission critical" applications, like, say, Uptime Robot or something like that, you will probably want to use your repl.co domain.

Registering the domain

You will want to make or log into a Freenom account first. Then, you will be brought to the Client Area. Once you're signed in, you will find "Register a New Domain" under the Services menu.

This will bring you to Freenom's domain search. Type in the name you want. In this example, I searched for "mylittleblog". It will give you a list of what domains they have available.

Choose the one you want, then scroll down to the bottom and choose "Checkout". Don't touch the section in the middle, we'll cover that later. Choose the period you'll be using the domain, which is from 3 months to 12 months. (If memory serves, when you're going close to the due date, you are offered the opportunity to renew.)

Check the box to agree to the Terms and Conditions (reading them is a good idea too) and complete the order. Then, go back to your client area.

Attaching to repl.it

Repl.it setup

Go to your repl and click on the pencil icon next to the address in the preview pane.

Type in your domain name and if the domain is registered correctly, it will prompt you to add a CNAME record to your domain:

Copy where the record should point to, then go to your client area at your registrar (in my case, Freenom).

Registrar setup

From My Domains, go to the management page for the domain you chose. From Management Tools, choose Nameservers. Make sure it is checked to use default nameservers.

Then, find the area where you can add records; for Freenom, it is "Manage Freenom DNS". In the Name textbox, enter your domain name, nothing more, nothing less. Change the type to CNAME. Then, set the target to what repl.it asked you. Then, choose Save Changes.

Finish

Now go back to your repl. Repl.it now should have noticed that your domain is set up correctly and now lets you click on the Link button.

You're done! Your domain should now be attached to your repl.

Commentshotnewtop
Scoder12 (771)

I was having the issue of where its saying "CNAME records should have a name set! " but I just used www for the name and it worked as long as I put www.mydomain.tld in repl instead of just mydomain.tld

EDIT: I would honestly recommend using the free service cloudflare as DNS as it has a bunch of cool features in addition to supporting @ signs in their DNS. All you have to do is uenter the custom nameservers they provide in freenom.

ayuubOmer (10)

@Scoder12 Thanks that really helped me!

AgastyaSandhuja (166)

@Scoder12 If you want your domain to be the cname, just put an @ sign as the name. If you want a subdomain, put the subdomain name. It helps too.

Scoder12 (771)

@AgastyaSandhuja thats exactly the error I get when I put that lol. Freenom dns is so bad just use cloudflare

AgastyaSandhuja (166)

@Scoder12 worked for me :/ maybe freenom is different.

Scoder12 (771)

@AgastyaSandhuja maybe they changed it since then but many people including me have gotten that same error when following the tutorial (judging by the other comments mentioning it and the amount of upvotes on my comments). Thanks for trying to help =)

LuukWalstra (6)

@Scoder12
In Freenom you can't use the @ anymore as CNAME name. To use the website with a non-www domain, you have to use an A-record. To use it you have to get the IP Address of your website. Follow the next steps to do it.

  1. Open the command prompt (Windows) and type 'nslookup '[PUT HERE THE CNAME LINK FROM REPL.IT].
  2. You will see the next thing:

    Under 'Non-authoritative answer:' You will see an IP Address.
  3. Make a new A-Record in the DNS managemant. Leave the name blank and set the target to the IP Address what you see in the Command Prompt. This is what you should have:
  4. Save it and link the domain WITHOUT www.
Scoder12 (771)

@LuukWalstra that is a bad solution as repl.it's IP could change at any time. It is better to use cloudflare for this.

LuukWalstra (6)

@Scoder12 They bought that ip address via Google. All codes from every website is in the Google Cloud so if they change there ip, everybody will lose there repls. So they won't change it.

Scoder12 (771)

@LuukWalstra technically true but I'm pretty sure repl.it checks for a CNAME and won't link unless the record is a CNAME, not an A. Using cloudflare takes like 2 extra minutes and gives you automatic TTL, which I'd say is worth it.

Blankjp (0)

@Scoder12


is this correct or am I doing something wrong(its at cloudflare)

Scoder12 (771)

@Blankjp you need to click the orange cloud to turn off proxying.

Blankjp (0)

@Scoder12 acually even before I connect to replit, cloudflare and freenom aren't connected.

I've changed the nameservers and already waited half a day.But still it won't connect.

Scoder12 (771)

@Blankjp Thats weird. Can you send a screenshot of the nameservers screen on freenom?

timmy_i_chen (1132)

Thanks for writing this up! Solid!

Scoder12 (771)

I would really advise against using freenom's built-in DNS and using a provider such as cloudflare instead. Aside from cloudflare many additional features (many of which are less useful on repl.it but still really good) it allows you to change the DNS root values unlike freenom and allows you to specify an automatic TTL. Just make a clouflare account, put in your freenom domain, log into freenom, and change your nameservers to the ones clouflare provides for you. I fully recommend it to anyone trying this.

dotcomboom (120)

@Scoder12 Will definitely give this a shot sometime! If I could pin this, I would, since that'd solve the issue with needing to use a subdomain for the CNAME record.

AgastyaSandhuja (166)

@Scoder12 would my DNS records from before save? I'm trying to consider it.

Scoder12 (771)

@AgastyaSandhuja yes it transfers all of your old records. Quite painless just takes a few mins to set up.

saulbaizman (1)

Freenom is dead. Whenever you try to register any domain name, the confirmation screen says "Thank you," and in text toward the bottom that is easy to overlook, it reports an error: "Some of your domains could not be registered due to a technical error. These domains have been canceled." See attached screenshot.

This tutorial should be either 1) removed or 2) revised to discuss in generic terms how to add a CNAME DNS record to a domain name, irrespective of Freenom or 3) revised to discuss how to add a CNAME DNS record with another domain name registrar that still functions.

Hopefully this post will save someone several minutes of confusion / banging your head against the wall.

ErrorbotTHE2nd (3)

do you have to use freedom and are there any other websites that offer the same things?

Blankjp (0)

@ErrorbotTHE2nd Freenom and dot.tk are the two site that provide free web-hosting.
domains.google.com,hostinger do host websites thought all of them are paid.

Nefomemes (1)

Freenom is now broken. Anyone know how to resolve this?

I haven't created a Freenom account with this email btw.

turbio (63)

This is super cool!
I want to mention though that HTTPS should work just fine. The first time you visit your domain it might take a few seconds to get a cert, but after that, it'll be fast forever. Let us know if you ran into any problems getting https to work.

dotcomboom (120)

@turbio Thanks for pointing that out! I'll update the tutorial.

Coder100 (12674)

The REPL doesn't connect for some reason :(

Tricksyz (18)

@Coder100 what do you mean it doesn't connect? Does the repl not load even with the default URL? Is it not detecting the CNAME record?

Coder100 (12674)

@Tricksyz It's not detecting the CNAME record :(
Sometimes it does work, but I think I got the REPL wrong: http://cma-chat.cf/

Tricksyz (18)

@Coder100 Since CNAME doesn't support root domains, you will have to change the name in Freenom to www. Then, when you're linking the domain on repl.it, type in www.cma-chat.cf. It should work then.

CoolCoderSJ (292)

@Tricksyz I saw this way too late, but yeah this should be mentioned somewhere

LuukWalstra (6)

In freenom you can't use the @ anymore as CNAME name. To use the website with a non-www domain, you have to use an A-record. To use it you have to get the ip address of your website. Follow the next steps to do it.

  1. Open the command prompt (Windows) and type 'nslookup '[PUT HERE THE CNAME LINK FROM REPL.IT].
  2. You will see the next thing:

    Under 'Non-authoritative answer:' You will see an IP Address.
  3. Make a new A-Record in the DNS managemant. Leave the name blank and set the target to the IP Address what you see in the Command Prompt. This is what you should have:
  4. Save it and link the domain WITHOUT www.
MrDragonDev (1)

I know a site that has (kinda) cheap domains, its called oxide.host, its a United Kingdom based company founded in London, and the domains are kinda cheap. I got mine, but I recommend doing oxide.host for domains. You can do it in EUR or USD.

KrishnaDas3 (1)

Quick question, is there any way to get www to work with the @ in Cloudflare?

BulletOtaku (1)

Hey, I'm using Cloudflare DNS, and I added an unproxied CNAME record. The windows says 'You're All Set!', but when I press link the button just stays buffering. Any idea what to do - do I just wait?

RaidTheWeb (74)

Great Tutorial dotcomboom but Scoder is right Cloudflare works better.

Baconman321 (569)

@dotcomboom Nothing works. Every single time I try to check availability, it says not available, but if I look it up, it says the ip address of that site isn't found. I think it means the website isn't even there. And also, I can't sign up. There is no sign up option anywhere. I don't think this works.

AgastyaSandhuja (166)

Worked fine, but when I went to the website I hosted on, it just said "run your repl to see the output"
how can I fix this?

[deleted]

@AgastyaSandhuja I'm getting this same issue by the googling I did seems like it might be broken

Xiija (3)

working after about 30 mins of trying...
my experience:
1. couldn't find a sign-up on Freenom, so just searched for a domain, and registered.. then got a sign-up .
2. made a node express app repl, and clicked the pencil to get a cname.
had to return to this a few times, as i needed to get the domain name from freenom.
3. got the domain tikiheads.tk , and put www in the DNS name area.
( just www ... nothing else, used the cname value i got from clicking the pencil in the repl i made.
4. entered the domain www.tikiheads.tk in the repl.
5. finally got it linked.

LeoXu2 (24)

How do i do a subdomain?

EclipseEevee (2)

says gotta run repl to do it... https://www.bothelpertk
idk why, mine is running :/

EclipseEevee (2)

wont work :sob: It juts says invalid url, that the url doesnt exist :((

SadafYurei (0)

Can i still do this?

Cooolcoder (86)

This is awesome! However if it gives you a cname error look at @Scoder12 's comment. Other than that, if you follow the directions, it will work :D :O

Squirrel777 (91)

Mines just gets stuck on the last step :(
And I already tried to change the name to www

IchBinTimmy (0)


I don't have the pencil icon. Can some one help me?

ch1ck3n (154)

What about dreamhost, or AWS?

Code1Tech (91)

@dotcomboom I have a question, how do I unlink if my free domain time runs out?

Code1Tech (91)

how long would i have to wait and can i close the site?

Code1Tech (91)

OK HELP its saying the ip is not found:
knowitcode.tk
@Code1Tech

Code1Tech (91)

nvm (again) it works now lol
@Code1Tech

SamuelBlue (0)

Can I do this for repl.run repls? I'm not seeing the edit button.

AloegelhiPlaysR (51)

No. Create a http server inside the repl. @SamuelBlue