In this video, I'll show you how to publish your landing pages to your own custom domain or to an Ontraport domain. If you want to publish your pages on your WordPress site, you can do that too, and we have a separate video for that. Once you publish your page, it's live and accessible to visitors from your web address. Let’s dive in. With Ontraport, you've got three ways to publish your pages. You can use an Ontraport domain. This doesn’t need any setup and is great for testing, but it’s best not to use Ontraport domains when you go live. You can use your own custom domain. This is the most common way to host your pages, and we’ll explain how that works in this video. Or you can host your pages as part of your existing WordPress site. We won’t talk about that here because we’ve got separate videos on WordPress publishing. Before we start, it’s important to understand how the internet address system works because Ontraport lets you control every part of this. So, let’s talk about URLs. A URL is short for Universal Resource Locator, and it tells your browser where to find the page you’re looking for, like an internet address. And it has a few different parts: the root domain, the subdomain, the folders and page and the protocol. Let’s use a common example and take a look at it. If you use Gmail, you’ll recognize this domain. If you actually go to your Gmail account and look closer at your Gmail URL, it looks like this: Let’s look closer and break down what’s going on in this URL. We’ll start with the root domain that you buy when you go to a registrar like GoDaddy or whatever. In our example, the root domain is google.com. Google has hundreds of products and zillions of pages, but they all live on the root domain google.com. For Ontraport to host pages on your root domain, you’ll need to go to your registrar. and add settings that tell browsers that when people type in your domain, they should to come to our servers to find the page. This system is called DNS, short for Domain Name System - and we’ll cover those settings in a different video called ‘Setting up your custom domain’ in the Getting Started course. Next, let’s look at the subdomain. In this URLthe subdomain is mail. Normally subdomains are used kind of like separate sites. So mail.google.com is different than google.com and, of course, what you see when you go to each of those is very different. Google puts each of its products on a different subdomain. So they have mail.google.com and voice.google.com and keep.google.com and calendar.google.com and so on. You can do the same thing using Ontraport, and we’ll show you how in a minute. Folders and pages come after the root domain. Just like the folder structure on your hard drive, each of the bits separated by slashes here are separate folders, one inside the next. And inbox is the page that lives in the last folder. You can think of these as a hierarchy, where you’ll use a folder to put pages inside relevant categories. For example, at Ontraport, we use categories for our features, like this: https://ontraport.com/features/crm/pipeline-management/ In this case, ontraport.com is our root domain. Forward slash features is a category and forward slash crm is a category inside features. And pipeline-management is a specific page inside the forward slash crm category. Use this to organize the content on your site by building category structures like this in Ontraport. We’ll show you how in just a moment. But first, let’s cover the last thing on the list, protocol. There are only two protocols that you’ll need to worry about now, and those are http and https. The one with the S (which stands for secure) is encrypted and the other one isn’t. Ontraport automatically installs a SSL certificate for every page you host on Ontraport. An SSL certificate authenticates a website and encrypts information sent to the server. So you can use the secure or insecure versions. The https secure version is basically always best, but we leave you the option in case you have some reason not to want your page to be secure. Now that we’ve gone over the parts of an internet URL, let’s host your page using this information. We’ll start with using an Ontraport domain. We offer these domains only for quick setup and testing. After you've built your page and are ready to go live, you can move it to your own custom domain. It’s not a great idea to use Ontraport domains for your live pages. You want to build your own reputation and SEO, not Ontraport’s. To publish a page on an Ontraport domain:
Click the Publish button in the upper right-hand corner.
Select the “Use our domain” radio button to publish your page to an Ontraport domain for testing.
Pick the Ontraport root domain you want to use from the “Select domain” dropdown
Choose a subdomain, which will usually be something that reflects your business name.
Note that in several of the domains Ontraport offers, there is already a subdomain. So when you add your own, there will be a sub-subdomain. For example, in the URL yourbusiness.pages.ontraport.net, ‘yourbusiness’ is a sub-subdomain. That’s ok and, in fact, you can go as deep as you like on this, in our domains or your own. Here’s an optional step: Add a file path — the text that appears after the forward slash in your web address. This is useful if you want to publish many pages to the same subdomain/domain combination. For example, yourbusiness.pages.ontraport.net/welcome and yourbusiness.pages.ontraport.net/pricing have different file paths. Again, a file path really just means a single page as opposed to a folder. When you’ve done all that, click publish. Wait a few moments for our system to generate an SSL certificate for you to make your page secure, and voila... Your page is live on the internet! Ok, let’s switch gears to talk about how to use your own custom domain to publish your pages. First, you need to set up your domain’s DNS to point to Ontraport. We covered how to do that in a video in the Getting Started course called “Setting up your custom domain” but it’s really simple: just point your DNS settings to Ontraport. Our nameservers are at NS1.Ontraport.com and NS2.Ontraport.com. If you don’t know what to do with that information, watch that setup video. You can point as many domains as you like to Ontraport, and you’ll only need to do this once per root domain. Once it’s done, you’ll be able to host pages on subdomains, in folders and on any page you want. It’s easy: type in the URL you want to host the page on, and click publish. So, if you want to host a page at mymembership.mybusiness.com/lesson1 you simply type that URL in, and we’ll take care of the rest. You can add as many sub-subdomains or folders as you want. Now that you know how to host a page, let’s unhost one. If you want to take a page down, click the "Publish" button and then "unhost this page." You can also host your pages on your own WordPress site, but we cover that in a different video. Finally, let's chat about using secure vs. insecure pages. The rule of thumb is: use secure pages unless you have a good reason not to. Ontraport will always create a secure version of every page. And if you go to the insecure, http version of your page, we’ll redirect you to the secure https version. We’ve covered how to publish your pages to your own domain, to an Ontraport domain for testing, and to HTTP so you can use PURLs! Now you can get your site and pages up and running. In future videos we’ll go over your third publishing option, publishing on WordPress.