Set Up a Subdomain for a Donation Website

GiveSignup allows you to use your own custom domain with your donation website for free. By bringing your own domain to GiveSignup, you are able to have a fully branded, professional website. GiveSignup provides the hosting and SSL certificates free of charge.

This tutorial demonstrates how to link your subdomain with your GiveSignup event website in a subdomain configuration (e.g., register.hillvalley88miler.com or volunteer.mynonprofitevent.org).

Note: You must have an approved payment account associated with your event to link your domain to your website.



Set Up Donation Website Domains with a Root Domain

If you wish to set up your GiveSignup event website in a root domain configuration (e.g., hillvalley88miler.com or mynonprofitevent.com), you can learn how to set this up here: L I N K 



Obtaining Your Domain

In order to use GiveSignup’s domain feature with your event website, you must first own a domain name and be able to modify its domain name system (DNS) records.

If you do not currently own a domain, you must first purchase one from a reputable domain registrar that allows DNS modifications such as GoDaddy.

Note: GiveSignup currently only allows .com, .net and .org domain extensions.



Initiating Domain Request

To begin the process of using your domain with your GiveSignup event website, go to Donation Website>> Web Page>> Domains.



Simply type in the subdomain (along with your root domain name) that you want to use with your event website and click Add Domain.


If you are using a domain with an extension other than “.com," select the extension from the dropdown.

Note: GiveSignup currently only allows .com, .net and .org domain extensions.


Ownership Validation

In order for GiveSignup to set up an SSL certificate for your custom domain, we must first validate that you control the domain you are requesting to link to your event website. This process is done via installing TXT records in your domain registrar’s DNS zone editor.

Note: If you have your domain’s nameservers pointing to a host other than your domain registrar, your DNS records have to be installed on that system instead.

TXT records are DNS records that do not impact where your website points, which means that you can migrate your domain to GiveSignup with zero downtime during the transfer process.

After initiating a domain request, GiveSignup provides you with a TXT record to install.

To add the TXT record to your domain, you must go to your domain registrar’s DNS editor. In GoDaddy, this can be accessed by clicking the DNS button under the Domains list.

Note: This tutorial demonstrates using GoDaddy. Instructions may be different for your domain registrar’s DNS zone editor.



To add a TXT record, click the Add button.

For the Type, select TXT.

All TXT records provided by GiveSignup must be installed to complete this step. If the host or TXT values are not correctly installed, your domain request will not move to the next step.

Tip: Use the copy button next to the TXT records on GiveSignup to minimize errors.

In GoDaddy, add the corresponding host and TXT values, and click Save.

Note: GiveSignup provides you with 72 hours (3 days) to validate domain ownership, after which the request will be marked as expired.

GiveSignup automatically checks every 30 minutes to validate domain ownership; however, it may take longer for changes to take effect depending on if prior TXT records have been installed.

Once GiveSignup detects the correct setup, this step is complete.


SSL Certificate

After domain ownership has been established, GiveSignup will obtain an SSL certificate to use for your donation website.

This process happens automatically in the background and should complete with 30 minutes of domain ownership validation.


GiveSignup Installation

After an SSL certificate has been obtained, GiveSignup will automatically provision its infrastructure to handle requests for your domain during U.S. business hours.

Note: GiveSignup’s installation window is 7AM - 8PM Eastern Time (ET) daily.



Client Installation


Once GiveSignup has provisioned your subdomain, you are now able to point your domain to your race website using the provided DNS record.



This tutorial demonstrates how to update your DNS records in GoDaddy; if you are using a different domain registrar, the instructions may vary.



Adding CNAME Record


To add a CNAME record, click the Add button.



Note: If you are already using this subdomain with a different provider, first delete any A or CNAME records for the subdomain only.

For the Type, select CNAME.



Fill in the DNS record with the values provided by GiveSignup and click Save.



GiveSignup automatically checks every 30 minutes for valid domain installation using the provided DNS records.



Domain Live


Once GiveSignup detects valid domain installation, your subdomain is live.


As long as your subdomain is pointed to GiveSignup, it will automatically receive security updates and SSL certificate renewals on your behalf.


Since your race subdomain is an extension of your race website, any content modifications made to your race website will appear on your race domain.


Important! Once your site is live, do not put it in draft mode.