Attach a Domain & Create Branded URLs

What is a branded vanity URL?

A vanity URL, sometimes called a vanity link, is a short, customized, branded tracking link that redirects to another URL.

Vanity URLs can be customized any way you like, but retain all tracking features
Vanity URLs can be customized any way you like, but retain all tracking features

Why use a vanity URL?

  • Improved click-through rates, as links include your domain & brand. Users can see where they’re going before they click.
  • Improved brand awareness - users will see your brand even if they don’t click.
  • Ability to build custom audiences with retargeting pixels, such as Facebook Pixel & Twitter Tailored Audiences.
  • Details metrics & tracking for your links.
  • Ability to change the destination after the link has been shared.

Creating Vanity URLs

You can use your own domain to create vanity URLs.

These have a number of benefits:

  • Use your own branding, for example, https://link.yourdomain.com/awesome-product.
  • Higher click-through rates.
  • Foster trust from users.
  • Simple, beautiful URLs.

In order to use a custom domain, you must:

  • Own the domain you want to use.
  • Be able to adjust the domain’s DNS settings.

Let us help you

Setting up domains can be tricky.

If in doubt, just reach out and we’ll help you set it up.


Purchase a domain

If you don’t already own a domain you’d like to use, then Namecheap is the easiest way to buy a domain. Use the form below to search domains available for purchase.

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Set up DNS settings for your domain

Domain host specific instructions:

For Subdomains e.g. link.mydomain.com

Go to your domain’s DNS settings, and add a CNAME record for this domain. Most providers have two fields, usually labelled Name and Value.

For the subdomain link.mydomain.com, fill in the fields as:

Type Host/Name Content/Value/Data Proxy Status (Cloudflare only) TTL
CNAME link domains.linklyhq.com DNS only 600

For Root Domains e.g. mydomain.com

Some domain providers allow you to add a CNAME record for the root domain. If you can, then add the following:

For the root domain mydomain.com:Type: CNAMEName: @
Value: domains.linklyhq.com

If your domain provider does not allow you to create a CNAME record for the root domain, then you must create an A record.

Type Host/Name Content/Value/Data Proxy Status (Cloudflare only) TTL
A @ 35.226.132.161 DNS only 600

Setting up the domain in Linkly

You'll need access to your domain's DNS settings in order to attach it to Linkly. This can usually be found where your purchased your domain.

  1. Click Domains in the left hand menu.
  2. Click + Add a Domain.
  3. Type in the domain you want to use. You can use a subdomain, for example, link.mydomain.com, or the root domain mydomain.com.
  4. Follow the instructions to set up your DNS records.
You’ll see DNS Active when Linkly detects the right DNS settings. Linkly will generate an SSL certificate, which takes about 20 minutes, and then finally you’ll see SSL Active. After that, your domain will be ready for use.
You’ll see DNS Active when Linkly detects the right DNS settings. Linkly will generate an SSL certificate, which takes about 20 minutes, and then finally you’ll see SSL Active. After that, your domain will be ready for use.

If you are using Cloudflare, make sure the ‘cloud’ icon on the CNAME record is grey:

This is the CNAME record you must create. Here is an example from DNS provider Cloudflare. Yours may look different. If you’re having trouble, contact us and we can help.
This is the CNAME record you must create. Here is an example from DNS provider Cloudflare. Yours may look different. If you’re having trouble, contact us and we can help.

Troubleshooting Domains

After you set up the domain, you may see a security warning when you test a link out, for example:

Security warning
Security warning

Whenever you attach a custom domain to Linkly, we request a secure certificate for you, which can take a few minutes to generate.

If you’re still seeing an error after a few minutes, let us know and we’ll investigate.

Create a Vanity URL tracking link with your custom domain

After completing the steps above, you can create links with any URL you like on your domain.

  1. Click Create New Link from the menu.
  2. Add a NicknameDestination, and any other parameters you want for the link.
  3. Click Custom domain & URL in the link form.
  4. Choose your domain from the dropdown.
  5. Add an URL suffix for the domain, e.g. /awesome-product. These need to begin with a /, be unique for this domain, and only contain characters you would find in an URL. You can also use just ‘/’ for the naked domain without a suffix.
  6. Click Save Link to save and test your link.

Creating a Default Redirect

You can also use domains without a suffix: mydomain.com/suffix. This means that any visitors to mydomain.com will go to that Linkly link.

To do this, follow the instructions above, and in the suffix field, enter /.

Frequently Asked Questions about Domain Setup

Why do I see a security warning on my domain?

It takes around 20-30 minutes to set up an SSL certificate for a domain, which is needed for a secure connection. If this time has passed, let us know and we’ll take a look.

I cannot setup my domain’s DNS settings. Can you help?

Setting up domains can be tricky, with differing providers having differing set ups. If you’re having trouble, send us a message and we’ll try and set it up for you for free.

Can I attach a domain to multiple workspaces?

Domains are attached to workspaces, so you’ll need to use a different domain or subdomain for each workspace. The full URLs, i.e. domain.com/suffix, must be unique.

How do I redirect the root of the domain?

Use / as the suffix to capture users to the naked domain (e.g. mydomain.com)

How do I redirect 404/not found URLs on my domain?

Where a user visits a suffix that doesn’t exist, they’ll be redirected to the root of the domain. Create a link with the suffix / as a catch all.

Our corporate IT doesn’t allow us to attach a domain. What can we do?

Generally speaking, marketing teams will purchase a look-a-like domain that they manage. This is easier and more secure.

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