Thinkific Custom Domain

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Thinkific offers customers with a Basic plan or above the option to use a custom domain for their site.

As you are unable to purchase domains directly from Thinkific, you’ll have to use a third-party provider such as GoDaddy or CloudFlare to purchase one before connecting it.

Key Takeaways:

  • To use a custom domain on Thinkific, you must have at least a Basic subscription plan
  • You have to buy a custom domain from a third party before connecting it with Thinkific

What Is a Thinkific Custom Domain?

A Thinkific custom domain is when you use a personalized URL for your Thinkific site.

For example, instead of mycourses.thinkific.com, with a custom domain, it can be mycourses.com.

This will make your site more professional and easier to remember when customers search online.

Thinkific Custom Domain Requirements

There are several things to consider before setting up your Thinkific custom domain:

  • Thinkific Doesn’t Sell Them – Currently, the platform does not allow you to purchase a custom domain on the site – you’ll need to buy it from a third party.
  • Where To Buy – You can get your custom domain from a range of sellers; the most common are GoDaddy and CloudFlare, but other services are available.
  • Paid Plan – The custom domain feature requires a Basic subscription plan, which costs $49 per month, reduced to $36 when paid annually. 

How to Set up a Thinkific Custom Domain

After you’ve purchased your custom domain, you’ll need to set up the CNAME records before connecting it to Thinkific.

We cover both the CNAME setup and connection below. 

For setting up the CNAME record, we will cover both GoDaddy and CloudFlare, as they’re the most commonly used options.

If you’ve already purchased and set up your CNAME record using another domain provider, you can skip to the ‘How to Connect Your Custom Domain with Thinkific’ section.

GoDaddy CNAME Setup and Domain Linking

  1. Once on the GoDaddy site, navigate to My Products
  2. Under Domains, select the domain that you want to connect
Thinkific Custom Domain
  1. Click on the three vertical dots in the top right-hand corner of the domain box
  2. Select Manage DNS and you’ll be redirected to the Manage DNS page
Thinkific Custom Domain
  1. Now check the DNS records to ensure that the subdomain that you want to include is displayed there
Thinkific Custom Domain
  1. You’re now required to add a new CNAME record. To do this, select Add
Thinkific Custom Domain
  1. For Type, select CNAME
  2. For Name, add your subdomain (most commonly www.)
  3. For Value, enter your current Thinkific domain (if you’re unsure or don’t know, navigate to site settings to confirm)
  4. For TTL, it’s not necessary to touch – leave it as Default
  5. To finish up, select Add record
Thinkific Custom Domain

CloudFlare CNAME Setup and Domain Linking

This tutorial also assumes that you have purchased and have a domain name in your CloudFlare account. If you don’t, then you’ll need to purchase one before continuing.

Here’s how to connect your custom domain:

  1. Once on your CloudFlare home page, select the domain that you want to link
Thinkific Custom Domain
  1. In the top tab, click on DNS
  1. On the first dropdown, make sure it’s showing CNAME
  2. For Name, add your subdomain (most commonly www.)
  3. For Domain Name, enter your current Thinkific domain (if you’re unsure or don’t know, navigate to site settings to confirm)
  4. For TTL, it’s not necessary to touch – leave it as Automatic
  5. For the Cloud Icon, keep selecting it until it becomes gray (this sets it to DNS only)
  6. To finish, select Add record
Thinkific Custom Domain
  1. Your DNS records should now appear like the one below
Thinkific Custom Domain

How to Connect Your Custom Domain with Thinkific

After 24 hours: here’s how to connect your custom domain:

  1. Head back to your Thinkific dashboard and select Settings on the left-hand side of the panel
  2. At the top tab section, click Site
  3. Navigate to Site URL
  4. Click ADD CUSTOMER URL
  5. Enter your GoDaddy custom domain in the box that says New Custom URL
  6. Make sure that the Make Primary box is checked
  7. Then click Save
Thinkific Custom Domain

How to Make Your Custom Domain the Primary Domain

After successfully connecting your Thinkific domain, you’ll need to set it as your primary domain.

By setting it as your primary domain, when people are browsing your site, it will show in the navigation bar.

Moreover, if someone searches for your previous Thinkific URL, they’ll be redirected to your custom domain.

To make your custom domain the primary, follow the steps below:

  1. On your homepage, select SETTINGS on the left-hand side of the page
  2. Scroll down to the Site URL section
Thinkific Custom Domain
  1. Click on the three dots to the right of your custom domain
  2. Then select SET AS PRIMARY
Thinkific Custom Domain

How to Test a Thinkific Custom Domain

Now you’ve connected the primary domain, you’ll need to test it.

Here’s the simple process:

  1. Type into your navigation bar the primary URL
  2. If your site shows up, and the primary URL stays in the top navigation bar, then you’ve successfully connected your custom domain

How to Change Your Thinkific Site Name and URL

For site owners that want to keep the existing .Thinkific.com extension and not set up and connect a custom domain, they can still change the subdomain.

To change your site URL (the words that appear before .thinkific.com), follow the steps below:

  1. From your Thinkific dashboard, click SETTINGS on the left-hand side panel
  2. Scroll down to the Site URL section
  3. Click the three dots to the right of the Thinkific URL
  4. Select Edit URL
  5. Then input your new site name
  6. Select SAVE
Thinkific Custom Domain

Your site URL will now have been updated to: newname.thinkific.com.

To check that it’s worked, input the name into your navigation bar.

Your site name will appear in your email notifications and site header; therefore, once you’ve changed your domain, you’ll also need to update the name.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. On your dashboard, select SETTINGS in the left-hand panel
  2. On the Site tab, select Site details
  3. In the Site name box, update it with your new name
  4. Select SAVE

Your site name will now be updated.

Thinkific Custom Domain

Common Thinkific Domain Connecting Issues

When you’re connecting your custom domain, there are a few issues that you should be aware of, which we cover for you below.

First, ensure you’ve met the Thinkific custom domain requirements, which can be referenced at the top of this post.

Once you’ve done that, make sure that it meets the following criteria:

  • It’s between 3-61 characters
  • It has a subdomain

Common Error Messages

  • Host Has Already Been Taken – If you see this, another user is already using the custom URL you want to use.
  • Host Is Invalid – The formatting of your domain may be incorrect, or the subdomain entered is less than two characters. All subdomains must be three or more characters in length.
  • URL Format Is Not Valid – When entering your domain, make sure you haven’t included http:// or https://. Also, check that your domain is formatted in the correct way, subdomain.domain.com. These are two common reasons that you’ll see the message.
  • Host Does Not Have Value CNAME Record – It may mean that you’ve incorrectly set up your CNAME record. Make sure that it’s been more than 24 hours before you’ve tried to connect your domain and that you’ve double-checked all of the settings to make sure they’ve been entered correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can use your custom domain on Thinkific. However, to do this, you’ll need to purchase the domain from a third-party provider such as GoDaddy or CloudFlare before linking it to your site. The minimum subscription required is a Basic plan to have access to this feature.

Unfortunately, Thinkific doesn’t allow you to purchase a domain on the platform. To purchase a domain, you must use a provider such as GoDaddy or CloudFlare.

Yes, you can have multiple domains linking to one Thinkific site. However, you’re still limited to one primary domain. All non-primary domains will be re-directed to your primary domain, and only the primary will show in the navigation bar.

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Samuel Fletcher
Samuel Fletcher is an entrepreneur with over ten years of experience in knowledge commerce, business development, SEO, social media management, and blogging. Sam enjoys researching and experimenting with the latest online marketing trends and tools. Beyond this, Samuel is a blogger, online business coach, and regular contributor to community and volunteering projects. Samuel believes strongly that dedication, perseverance, and commitment are keys to success in any business. He was motivated to start SupplyGem after discovering how difficult it was to find good, honest, unbiased information online about knowledge commerce tools. Sam is a current member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), ISA (the Association of Learning Providers), The Learning Guild, and the Training Magazine Network.

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