Custom Domains

Billy Fluck
Billy Fluck
  • Updated

Using a Custom Domain for the ticketing elements of your website allows customers to browse and buy tickets (as well as everything else you sell) across a consistent domain. Given the behavior of modern web browsers, setting up a custom domain is an essential piece of the puzzle to allow customers to complete purchases on your website.

The online experience you provide for your customers is critical to your success; while using a Custom Domain technically isn’t essential, with the newer default settings of most Apple devices (and some others) parts of the purchase path will be inaccessible and customers will be unable to complete purchases.

The default domain

When you integrate Spektrix into your website, by default we provide all of the Spektrix Iframes and Web Components from the web address associated with your system. For example:

  • https://system.spektrix.com/[myclientname]/website/…
    • Where [myclientname] is your unique system name

Because this web address doesn’t match the main domain of your website (e.g. www.myvenue.com), some web browsers – such as Safari – assume that the Spektrix Iframes are being used to track customers’ behaviour. As a result, these browsers may try to block Spektrix (or, more specifically, prevent the reading of cookies), causing problems for customers when they try to purchase tickets online. 

You can read more about the specific issues surrounding Safari in this article.

We want to make sure that all of your customers, as long as they’re using up-to-date versions of the major browsers, are able to use your website and make purchases without any restrictions. Browsers regularly make changes, meaning this can be a challenge for us – but we recognise that it’s an important challenge to meet.

The benefits of a Custom Domain

With all of that in mind, the Custom Domain feature in Spektrix allows you to use your existing domain to provide the Spektrix Iframes, by adding a short prefix such as tickets (your web developer will know this as a sub-domain). For example, instead of using this:

  • https://system.spektrix.com/[myclientname]/website/…

You would use something like this:

  • https://tickets.myvenue.com/[myclientname]/website…

This gives you a range of benefits over using the default domain, including:

  • A smooth online customer experience: no need for complex instructions 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)

What do you need to do?

If you want to make use of this feature and set up your own sub-domain, you’ll need to arrange for your web developer to do some work on your site – we recommend you discuss your requirements with your web developer before you start the whole process.

There are a few steps in the process, which you’ll need to follow in this exact order:

  • Decide which sub-domain to use
  • Ask your web developer to do some network configuration, including adding a CNAME record that points to customers.spektrix.com and adding a number of CAA records if required (guidance on this can be found on our Integration Portal, linked below)
  • Complete a Custom Domain request form to let the Spektrix Support team know what you want to do
  • Ask your web developer to update (or, if it’s a brand new site, set) the references in your web integration

Your web developer will be able to find all of the technical documentation they'll need in order to do this on our Integration Portal. In order to clearly explain what you will need to do though, we’ll go through these step by step, starting with the sub-domain.

Choosing a sub-domain
The first step for you to think about is what sub-domain you want to use! You can use anything you want here, but we would suggest you append tickets to your existing domain. For example: 

  • If your website is myvenue.com
  • Then use tickets.myvenue.com as your sub-domain

Network configuration
Once you’ve decided upon a sub-domain, you’ll need to ask your web developer to do a small amount of network configuration for your Custom Domain.

Firstly, when you speak to your web developer, ask them 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 here.

Secondly, 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 sub-domain) for the following:

  • digicert.com
  • letsencrypt.org

Let us know
The next step is to let us know the custom domain you have chosen, so that we can set things up at our end. In order to do this, please fill in this form with 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, pointed to customers.spektrix.com
  • The date you need everything switched on by
  • Any other notes about what you need doing

IMPORTANT: please make sure you submit this information via this form, rather than in an email or over the phone.

This will open a Support ticket in the same way as sending us an email would, so that we can let you know that we’ve received your request and keep you updated on its progress.

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 update all of the references in your current web integration to use the new sub-domain. 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 sub-domain should be up and running.

NOTE: if you’re setting up a new website for the first time, just make sure your web developer sets all of the references using the correct sub-domain from the outset.

Additional considerations

Here are a few other things you may want to think about, depending on what your current setup is like.

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 sub-domain. 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.

Google Analytics
If you have Google Analytics currently set up on your Spektrix system, you’ll need to make some changes based on your new sub-domain. Check out our developer portal for more information about what to do here.

Running multiple websites on one Spektrix system
If you’re using your Spektrix system to run multiple websites from separate domains (for example if you’re providing ticketing services for a second venue) then you can set sub-domains 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. This is in contrast to using system.spektrix.com, where customers who navigate between sites in a single session share a single basket/cart.

It is possible to run both sites off one shared sub-domain, and therefore share sessions, but this approach is likely run to into issues with browsers classifying cookies as third party.

Password managers
Some of your customers may be using 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.

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If you have any questions about this process, or would like to discuss anything in more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team.

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