Each podcast that you create with Captivate has the option of launching a beautiful podcast website alongside it, using Captivate's stunning podcast website platform.

When you create a website for your podcast with Captivate, you have two options when it comes to the domain name that you use.

You can use either:

  • The built-in Captivate domain name, for example: https://yourpodcast.captivate.fm; or

  • A custom domain name that you have registered elsewhere, for example: https://www.yourdomainname.com.

Using a Captivate domain name is easy, and the domain name will be formatted in the same way as your RSS feed URL to make it nice and simple.

However, some of our podcasters want to use a custom domain, allowing you to link a "branded" domain name to your Captivate Site to give your podcast that polished feel.

How to use a custom domain name with your Captivate Site.

To do this:

  • Log in to your Captivate Dashboard

  • Click Website from the left-side navigation

  • Under the Basic Settings tab, choose turn Custom Domain to "On"

  • Enter the domain name that you wish to use

  • Save your settings

At this point, Captivate is ready to "accept" your domain name when the domain name is "pointed" to the Captivate servers.

Changing your DNS Records with Google Domains

The next step is to tell your Google Domains that you would like to "point" that domain name to Captivate so we can control the URL.

To do this, you will need to make a couple of small changes to your domain name DNS settings.

DNS is the way the internet tells domain names where to look to find the websites that they are associated with, so you need to tell your domain name where to look for your website.

Each domain name registrar is a little different but they all require an IP address.

To find the IP address that you need to point your domain name to:

  • Log in to your Captivate Dashboard

  • Click Website from the left-side navigation

  • Under the Basic Settings tab, copy or make a note of the IP address that you see next to your domain name. It will look something like this: 123.45.67.890

Now head on over to your Google Domains dashboard, so you can make the required changes to your DNS settings.

Find the domain you want to use, and click on Manage, which will take you to that domain's settings screen. In the left hand navigation menu, click on DNS, then scroll down to Custom resource records.

Here, you will have four options to choose from:

  • Name - the host name, without the domain

  • Type - the type of record (so, web host address, email, etc)

  • TTL - how long between a domain's cache being cleared

  • Data - where the domain should point to

Don't worry, you don't need to know the technical ins and outs of their meaning, this is just to highlight what each record does. 😁

You need to set up two "A Records", one for the '@' host and one for the 'www' host. You will not need to create a CNAME.

To set up these A Records to point to your Captivate Site, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click the Add button to the right of the existing record

  2. Select @ icon from the dropdown in the Name column

  3. Select A from the dropdown in the Type column

  4. Choose 1 minute from the dropdown in the TTL column

  5. Enter your Captivate IP address in the Data column

  6. Click the Add button again to the right of the existing record

  7. Select www from the dropdown in the Name column

  8. Select A from the dropdown in the Type column

  9. Choose 1 minute from the dropdown in the TTL column

  10. Enter your Captivate IP address in the Data column

  11. Click Save/update.

Once done, your new domain records should look similar to this screen.

And that's it - your custom domain is now set up to point to your Captivate Site! Depending on Google Domains, It can take anywhere between 24-72 hours for the updates to take effect worldwide, but usually you should be good to go within a few hours.

Recommended Reading: Captivate Sites™ 2.0: The Most Powerful Podcast Websites from ANY Hosting Platform

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