Custom Domains

Rachael Norris
Rachael Norris
  • Updated

Setting up a Custom Domain is an essential step to let customers complete purchases on your website. 

In this article, we’ll explain what a Custom Domain is, why it’s required, and how you can use it within your website integration to provide a seamless online booking experience for customers.

 

Why use a Custom Domain?

Setting up a Custom Domain is an integral part of your Website Integration. 

Your website domain is the address or URL where your website can be found.

For example, www.mywebsite.com

When you integrate your website with Spektrix, the default web address for iframes and Web Components is generated using your client name and the domain system.spektrix.com.

For example, https://system.spektrix.com/[yourclientname]/website/…

Because this domain does not match your website’s domain, during the purchase path when a customer is handed over from your website address to the iframe address, some web browsers, such as Safari, will block this request. Since using the iFrame is the only way to process payments through Spektrix on your website, this impacts all websites that integrate with Spektrix. 

If the request is blocked, your customer will receive this Cookie Message which explains why the error has occurred:

 To book tickets online, we use Cookies to keep track of your shopping basket while you move around our site. These Cookies don’t collect personal information and aren’t used for advertising. Because of recent changes to the way your browser handles Cookies, you may not be able to complete your booking on this page; read below for assistance.

 

 

This can occur because the browser assumes that the cookies of the iframes are ‘third party’ and are being used to track the user's behaviour. As a result, the browser will block Spektrix from reading the cookies, which will stop customers when they are trying to purchase tickets online. 

  • A cookie is a small amount of data sent from a website which is stored on a user’s web browser. Websites use these temporary files to store information that allows them to identify a user for the duration of the time they spend on the site. These are known as ‘session cookies’.

    Why does Spektrix need session cookies?

    Spektrix uses session cookies any time a customer interacts with the booking iframe on your website (or any Spektrix venue’s website). This lets us keep track of each customer’s session so that we know which customer’s basket/cart to display.

    These cookies let customers move between the different areas of a website without losing information about their authentication (login), or basket/cart contents. We use the same approach to this on all of our user’s websites.

As a solution to this problem, you must use a Custom Domain which will let your customers stay within a single domain and browse and buy items. This is because Safari and other browsers see the Spektrix cookies needed for booking as ‘first party’ (i.e. coming from your site), rather than ‘third party’. 

 

What is a Custom Domain?

A Custom Domain in Spektrix allows you to use your existing domain (mywebsite.com) to provide the Spektrix iframes.

This is achieved by adding a short prefix such as tickets (your web developer will know this as a subdomain) to your website domain. 

For example, https://tickets.mywebsite.com/[myclientname]/

This gives you a range of benefits, including:

  • A smooth online customer experience: no need for customers to change browser settings.
  • Avoid classification as a ‘cross-domain tracker’: customers can browse and buy across a single domain.
  • Easier analytics: in Google Analytics, transactions happening end-to-end on one domain mean that conversion tracking is more accurate and far easier to configure.
  • Easier for password managers: a simpler experience for any customers who use password managers (applications which store and manage all of your online passwords).

 

Running multiple websites on one Spektrix system

If you’re using your Spektrix system to run multiple websites from separate domains then you’ll need to set separate subdomains for each site

This will mean that customers have separate sessions (i.e. separate baskets/carts) across both sites, although their login credentials will remain the same across both sites. 

TIP: A session is the period between when a customer starts and stops interacting with your website and can contain multiple page views and transactions.

 

How to set up a Custom Domain

To set up a Custom Domain, you’ll need the assistance of your web developer.

The steps to setting up a Custom Domain need to be completed in this order:

  • Choose a subdomain
  • Ask your web developer to complete some network configuration
  • Complete a Custom Domain request form
  • Ask your web developer to update (or, if it’s a brand new site, set) the references in your web integration
  • Complete the Domain Specific Config for your new Domain.

In the next sections of this article we’ll go into more detail on what’s required at each stage. Your web developer will be able to find all of the technical documentation they'll need in order to set this up on our Integration Portal

 

Choosing a subdomain

The first step for you to think about is what subdomain you want to use. You can use anything you want, but we suggest you add tickets to the start of your existing domain. For example, if your website is myvenue.com then use tickets.mywebsite.com as your subdomain.

 

Network configuration

Once you’ve decided upon a subdomain, you’ll need to ask your web developer - or whoever controls your domain/DNS such as your IT team - to complete some network configuration to create your Custom Domain.

REMINDER: If you’re creating a Custom Domain for use with Spektrix Link, you’ll need to set up two different Custom Domains, as outlined in the How to get Started with Spektrix Link article.

  1. Ask your web developer to create a Custom Domain as a CNAME record, and point this to customers.spektrix.com. You can find more technical documentation for your developer on our Integrations Portal.
  2. Ask your web developer to check whether there are any CAA records set up for your website. If you already have a CAA record, then in order for your site’s SSL certificate to be issued successfully, your developer will need to add additional new CAA records to your main domain (not your new subdomain) for the following:
  • digicert.com
  • letsencrypt.org

 

Custom Domain request

Next, you or your web developer will need to contact Support to let us know the Custom Domain you have chosen. This is so that we can configure your new Custom Domain within your system.

Make sure you include the following information:

  • The Custom Domain you’ve chosen
  • Your Spektrix clientname
  • Your web developer’s name and contact details
  • Confirmation that your web developer has created a CNAME record for this Custom Domain, and pointed it to customers.spektrix.com
  • The date you need everything switched on by
  • Any other notes about what you need

Once you have this information, fill in the Support Request form.

REMINDER: Please make sure you submit this information the Support Request form, rather than in an email or over the phone.

 

Update references

Once you’ve had confirmation from the Spektrix Support team that this work is completed, the last thing to do is to ask your web developer to ensure your web integration references the custom domain rather than system.spektrix.com. 

If you’re setting up a new website, make sure your web developer sets all of the references using the correct subdomain from the outset.

If you’re moving to a Custom Domain from system.spektrix.com, a full list of the references that need to be changed can be found on our Integration Portal. Once they’ve done that, your new subdomain should be up and running within the next 24 hours.

REMINDER: It can take up to 24 hours for references to change over.

 

Domain Specific Config

You’ll need to complete the Domain Specific Config set up for your new domain to be linked.

Domain Specific Config can be found in the Website Admin Interface and is where you can apply settings which relate to your website integration.

Follow the steps under the Domain Specific Config section in the Website Admin Interface article.

 

Additional considerations

If you have been using system.spektrix.com and are now moving to a Custom Domain, there are a number of other considerations. We’ve listed them here and linked out to where you can find more information on each topic. 

REMINDER: These considerations may not be applicable if you're already using a Custom Domain instead of system.spektrix.com for your web integration.

 

Cookies policy

If you have a cookies policy on your website, and if this policy mentions cookies set by system.spektrix.com, you should update this to refer to your new subdomain. 

The names of the cookies set, and their usage, will be the same as before, so if you don’t specifically mention the domain in your policy, then you won’t need to change anything.

You can read more about Spektrix Cookies on our Integration Portal.

 

Password managers

Some of your customers may use password managers in their own browsers to store their login details to your site. 

These tools will likely have been storing customers’ credentials against system.spektrix.com, therefore any customers using them will need to re-save their credentials against your new sub-domain.

 

Further Reading

To continue learning about Web Integrations, take a look at the Integrate your Website with Spektrix category on the Support Centre.