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OCLC Support

Custom domain names for your CONTENTdm site URL

When you subscribe to CONTENTdm, your end-user website is assigned a domain name automatically. The domain will contain a five-digit ID number and look something like this:

You can choose to use this URL as your public domain. This domain includes free support for HTTPS to secure user logins and to protect end user privacy.

You can also choose a custom subdomain at *.contentdm.oclc.org. For the above example, we have chosen to use this public-facing URL:

Both of the above URLs resolve to the same website, but only the latter URL is used publicly. This gives you an easy way to have a custom domain that supports HTTPS without having to purchase an SSL certificate and manage renewals and other configurations.

If you would like to choose a custom subdomain at *.contentdm.oclc.org, please contact OCLC Support.

Using a domain at your institution

If you prefer to use a URL from your institution domain for your CONTENTdm site (and you have the IT support to configure your DNS), you can work with OCLC networking staff to set this up. This will require some DNS changes to be made within your institution's system and within OCLC’s servers. What follows is an outline of the process:

  1. Contact OCLC Support to initiate the process and specify the full domain that you would like to resolve to your CONTENTdm website URL.
  2. OCLC will need to configure our web servers to expect requests to your institution domain. This installation needs to be scheduled for a time window outside of regular business hours.
  3. While you wait for the installation at OCLC, you can work with your IT staff to configure your DNS to point your domain at the CONTENTdm system-assigned URL. For example, if your institution domain is digital.hawkins.edu and your assigned CONTENTdm URL is cdm10000.contentdm.oclc.org, then you will need to create a DNS rule that looks like:

    digital.hawkins.edu. in cname cdm10000.contentdm.oclc.org.

    You must use the system-assigned CONTENTdm URL. Do not run a tracer to determine intermediate URLs or try to use the IP address. Any intermediate load balancer URLs and IP addresses can change at any time so are not good targets for DNS.  

Note that you can time step 3 whenever you prefer. OCLC can complete step 2 independently and nothing will change with your domain resolution until you complete the DNS change at your end. If you complete step 3 before OCLC has completed step 2, then your custom institution domain will not resolve correctly in the intervening period.

If you need to support HTTPS with your custom institution domain, please see Configure CONTENTdm domain with SSL to support HTTPS.
 

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