How to connect a custom subdomain on Tangram

Learn how to connect a subdomain on Tangram and what to expect.

Paris Mielke

January 13, 2023

January 13, 2023
~10 min
What is a Subdomain?

A subdomain is a subsection of a main domain.

It allows you to create a separate space within your main website, for example, blog.example.com, store.example.com, or help.example.com, that can be used for different purposes. Subdomains are useful because they allow you to organize and separate different types of content or functionality on your website. This can make it easier for users to find what they are looking for, and can also help with search engine optimization. Additionally, subdomains can be useful for testing new features or designs on your website without affecting the main site, or for creating unique landing pages for specific campaigns or promotions.

How to create a subdomain

Creating a subdomain through your domain registrar or DNS provider involves a few simple steps:

1. Log in to your account on the domain registrar or DNS provider website where you registered your main domain.
2. Navigate to the section for managing DNS settings, this could be called "DNS management", "Advanced settings", "Name servers" or similar.
3. Locate the option to add a new record, this could be called "Add subdomain", "New record", "Add host" or similar.
4. Enter the name of the subdomain you wish to create (e.g. blog, store, help) and select the type of record you want to create, usually "A" record or "CNAME" record.
5. Enter the IP address where the subdomain should point to or the target hostname if you are using a CNAME record.
6. Save the changes.
7. Wait for the DNS changes to propagate, it could take up to 24 hours for the changes to take effect globally.

It is worth noting that the process could vary slightly depending on the provider, but the general idea is the same. Also, depending on the provider, they might have a different way to add subdomains like a wizard or a form.

Adding a Subdomain to your Tangram app

Generally, Tangram powered apps have a domain structure that consists of two parts:

1. A root domain that is connected to webflow, and used to render all webflow side pages
2. A subdomain that is connected to your Tangram instance, and used to render all Tangram side pages.

To connect your subdomain to your Tangram application, you’ll want to do the following: 

1. Log in to your Tangram instance as an administrator.
2. Click the wrench icon in the bottom left corner of your screen to open the Tangram builder menu
3. Click on the “Platform Settings”
4. Click on the “Publishing” tab
5. Click on the “+ New” button
6. Enter the subdomain you’d like to use for your tangram pages. This can be any subdomain you own.

The most common prefixes we see are things like: app.{your_domain}.com, marketplace.{your_domain}.com, accounts.{your_domain}.com

7. After saving, you should see a row in the custom domains table on the publishing tab that has two columns. The first column says hostname and should include the value you just entered. The second column says value and should include a Tangram generated url. You’ll need to enter these details on your DNS management panel.
8. Open a new tab and login to your DNS management panel as described in the "How to Create a Subdomain" section.
9. Create a new DNS record using the following instructions

a. The type of the record should be CNAME
b. The hostname of the record should be the subdomain you want to use, ex: if you are using app.{your domain}.com, the hostname should be app

In some cases, hostname may be labeled something different, like “host” or “subdomain”. If you’re having trouble identifying this column, you may need to reach out to your hosting provider for clarification

d. The value of the record should be the value provided by the Tangram app under the Value column
e. If your provider asks for a TTL, don’t worry too much about it–in most cases you can set this to anything and you won’t run into issues. We recommend using their default or 15 minutes if applicable.

10.That’s it!

Domain Resolution

After following the above steps, your Tangram domain should begin working immediately.

In some cases, due to the way DNS systems resolve, this can take up to 72 hours–this amount of time is not usually able to be sped up in any way.

If you’re still having trouble after 72 hours, it’s likely your DNS record was configured incorrectly, and you should review and try to identify any issues. DNS configuration can be difficult, especially if you’ve never done it–if you’re running into issues, please feel free to reach out to our team for assistance.

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