With Ontraport, you can (and should!) use your own domain for membership sites, to host pages, send email, track your visitors and more.

In this article you will find our basic recommended settings for your custom domain and advanced email delivery options.

To remove “via ontramail.com” from your custom email “from” address, check out this article.
If you only need to publish your landing pages to your own domain, please refer to this article for instructions.

IMPORTANT: Editing your domain’s records incorrectly can cause several problems and, if you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with adjusting your settings yourself, we highly recommend hiring or consulting a trusted web-developer or Ontraport Expert to assist you with this process.

Situation 1: I just bought a brand new domain name


Use this method for the quickest and easiest setup if:

  1. You’re using your domain name for the first time, and…
  2. Nothing else is being hosted on it yet, and…
  3. You don’t have an email account set up yet, and…
  4. You’d like to use Gmail for your email.

IMPORTANT: If you point your Nameservers to Ontraport, please be aware that any DNS records that you have set up (MX Records for mailing, CNAME, TXT, etc.) will be replaced with default values.

This is why the first step of the instructions below is to reach out to Support before editing your nameservers — Support will ensure you never lose the ability to mail from your custom domain.

If the above situation describes you, then…

  • Contact Ontraport Support and tell them, “I want to point my nameservers to Ontraport and I’d like a DNS SPECIAL on my new domain [YourNewDomain.com].”
    1. This will create an open ticket with Support. Once you complete steps two and three, the Support team will set up your tracking domain, SPF, DKIM and DMARC records and point your MX records to Google so you can use Gmail as a personal inbox with your domain.
  • Log in to your registrar (the place you bought your domain name, such as GoDaddy) and navigate to DNS (domain name system) settings.
  • Set your nameservers to ns1.ontraport.com and ns2.ontraport.com, like this (Godaddy screenshot, but similar in all other registrars):

Situation 2: I have a domain already, but it is (or will be) used by other services


You may want to give Ontraport only partial control over your domain. In that case, you have a few more settings to adjust in the recommended setup.

Note that this is just the basic recommended setup and that you can actually do this in lots of ways. See the pages linked above for more information on advanced use cases.

PLEASE ALSO NOTE: Your DNS settings are critical and setting them up incorrectly can cause a number of problems. If you’re not comfortable with adjusting these settings yourself, we recommend getting qualified help such as an engineer or an Ontraport Certified Expert.

The example records below show you the right setup for our most common registrar — GoDaddy — which only requires you to create your records using the host name, such as “pages” or “smtp.” However, some other registrars require you to specify exactly which domain you would like each record to apply to, such as “pages.yourdomain.com” or “smtp.yourdomain.com.” If you are unsure which specific format your registrar requires, please reach out to them and confirm before adding these records.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Log in to your registrar and navigate to DNS settings.
  • Create these 5 (or 6) DNS records:
    1. Type: CNAME
      Name/Host: smtp
      IP/Content/Points to: returnpath.ontramail.com
      TTL: Leave it at whatever the default is, or change to 1 hour. Same for all below.
      At Godaddy, this will look like this.
    2. Type: A
      Name/Host: pages
      IP/Content/Points to: 209.170.211.187

      At Godaddy, this will look like this.
    3. Type: A
      Name/Host: *.pages
      IP/Content/Points to: 209.170.211.187
    4. Type: A
      Name/Host: go
      IP/Content/Points to: 209.170.211.187
    5. Type: Txt
      Name/Host: ontramail._domainkey
      Value: "v=DKIM1;k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQDiHV+GFJUPAtmIh26KHbn5PZXEFm3XK2XjEs4HFOSDZthULWyGvI5CqfYmNm7LFTWC3v5m6CtbLeNgDu0RwTw+94TSryL4ZYC6PESaJCHurmpREZTh+UFlLliRip3reqrNfoYpkiWa6fgu9vbyZob+W3d+leBP/p0mmOXeJiOjKwIDAQAB;"
    6. This one is optional and recommended but only if you have the skills and knowledge to edit this record confidently. (Do not add this record if you’re not completely familiar with Dmarc and what it’ll do.)
      Type: TXT
      Name/Host: _dmarc
      Value: v=DMARC1; p=none; pct=100; rua=mailto:youremail@yourdomain.com; aspf=r; sp=none;
  • Contact support and tell them, “I’ve set up all the basic records and I’d like a DNS LITE set up on my new domain [YourDomain.com].
    They will know that this means you want to use pages.yourdomain.com for hosting pages, and smtp.yourdomain.com as your ReturnPath, and go.yourdomain.com for your tracking links and they’ll set all that up for you.

Once that’s done, you’ll be able to use any permutation of your pages.yourdomain.com link to host Pages in Ontraport. For example, the following will all work if you simply type them in to the ‘use my domain’ setting of the Publish dialog in Pages:

  1. pages.mydomain.com/myPageName or pages.mydomain.com/AnotherPageName, etc.
  2. subdomainname.pages.mydomain.com
  3. pages.mydomain.com/foldername/anotherpage

…and so on.

Additionally, your emails will now be sent from smtp.yourdomain.com and you’ll begin to build your own sender reputation.

Of course, you can always point as many additional domain names (or subdomains) to Ontraport as you like and use them in the same ways.

That’s all there is to it! Nice work!