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Setting up a Custom Domain on Bandcamp

Please note that for accounts created after April 11, 2012, custom domains require you to be a Bandcamp Pro subscriber (for accounts created before April 11, custom domains remain free, forever).

Custom domains allow you to point a domain of your own to your Bandcamp site, removing the "bandcamp.com" from your URL and multiplying your site's already-impressive veneer of respectability. For example, let's say your current Bandcamp site is example.bandcamp.com. If you instead want your site to be at example.com or maybe music.example.com, Bandcamp can help.

Ahem! We strongly recommend you read this page in full before starting. Setting up a custom domain requires some advanced DNS fiddling, which is not for novices. If you aren't comfortable with any part of the instructions below, please call upon a knowledgeable friend to assist.

Instructions

First, some terminology:

domain registrar
A third-party company that sells and registers domain names. Bandcamp is not a domain registrar.
base domain
A domain name that you or someone else registers with a domain registrar. Base domains contain no extra dots. For example, example.com is a base domain (because that's what you'd register), but www.example.com is not, because it contains an extra dot. Another example: example.co.nz is a base domain, while music.example.co.nz is not. Versions with even fewer dots, like com or co.nz, are not base domains for our purposes because you can't register them.
subdomain
A base domain with one or more parts added to the beginning, like music.example.com or store.example.co.nz. In other words: a base domain with extra dots.
Bandcamp subdomain
The default domain name you chose when you signed up for Bandcamp, like example.bandcamp.com.
custom domain
A base domain or subdomain that you control and point to your Bandcamp site. Your fans will see the custom domain in their browser instead of your Bandcamp subdomain.
  1. Pick your custom domain.

    Bandcamp lets you use either a base domain like example.com, or a subdomain like music.example.com. Use the former if you want Bandcamp to be your entire site; use the latter if instead Bandcamp will be a section of a larger site (perhaps one that already exists).

  2. If you don't already own your custom domain, register it.

    If you already own your chosen domain, kudos! (Note that if you own example.com, then you already control its subdomains too.) If not, you'll need to confirm that the domain is available and, if it is, register it. Bandcamp doesn't register domains and doesn't recommend companies who do, but here (in no particular order) are a few of the more popular registrars:

    When registering a domain for use with Bandcamp, you don't need to pay extra for web hosting, domain parking, or other hooha. It's sufficient to buy just the domain, unless you have use for the extras.

  3. Tell Bandcamp about your domain.

    1. Visit your Profile page.

    2. Under "Custom Domain," enter your chosen custom domain in the Custom domain field. The value you enter here is what your fans will see in their web browser when they visit your Bandcamp site.

      Note: you very likely do not want the value here to begin with "www." If it does, Bandcamp might not behave as you'd expect. For example, your Bandcamp site would display correctly if fans go to www.example.com, but not when they go to example.com. Instead, leave off the "www." and read on.

    3. Click Save.

    We recommend you do this step first, before modifying DNS, so that if you're moving over an existing site there won't be any interruption in service. However, please don't complete this step until you're ready to update your DNS records, as described next.

  4. Point your domain's DNS records at Bandcamp.

    The Domain Name System (DNS) is the magical collection of gears and pulleys which allows a web browser to translate a domain to a website. Therefore, you need to tell DNS that your custom domain now should point to Bandcamp.

    The way you update DNS varies depending on your domain registrar. In general, the process goes something like this:

    1. Log into your domain registrar's website.

    2. Select the base domain you want to modify.

    3. Find the section for managing DNS entries. The name of this section varies, but is usually something like "DNS Configuration," "DNS Records", "Advanced DNS," "Total DNS", "Host records," or similar.

    4. Now the instructions branch depending on whether you've chosen a base domain (like example.com) or a subdomain (like music.example.com).

      • If you've chosen a base domain, edit the existing A record for your site and change the IP address to 75.126.76.138. If there is no existing A record (which is uncommon), add a new one. The A record's "host name" should be either the character @ or your base domain (both mean the same thing). For example, here's what GoDaddy's interface looks like:

        Defining an A record in GoDaddy's interface

        Please note that Bandcamp's IP address might change in the future. Before this happens we'll notify you so you have time to update DNS.

      • If instead you've chosen a subdomain, enter a new CNAME record which points your subdomain to dom.bandcamp.com. (That's right, dom.bandcamp.com, not your Bandcamp subdomain. Trust us.) When entering your subdomain, enter only the portion before the first dot. For example: music. Here's an example of what you might see; this one's from pairNIC.com:

        Defining a CNAME in pairNIC's interface

    5. In most cases you'll want to allow fans to optionally put "www." at the beginning of your custom domain. To get that to work, DNS requires that you add or modify a separate DNS record (ain't this fun?). Here the instructions branch again.

      • If you've chosen a base domain, add (or modify if it already exists) a CNAME record for www, pointing to dom.bandcamp.com. Note that the "name" (or "alias" in the picture above) of the CNAME should be www, nothing more.

      • If instead you've chosen a subdomain, add (or modify if it already exists) a CNAME record for www.[subdomain], pointing to dom.bandcamp.com. For example, if your custom domain is music.example.com, then the "name" (or "alias" in the picture above) of the CNAME should be www.music only. Similarly, if your custom domain is cool.tunes.example.com, then you should enter www.cool.tunes only.

    Digression: what not to do

    Registrars sometimes offer alternate domain mapping options. Alas, we don't support them. They go by various names:

    forwarding or redirecting
    Instead of mapping your DNS records directly to Bandcamp, your registrar will redirect a fan's browser from your custom domain to your Bandcamp subdomain. The fan will see your Bandcamp subdomain in their browser. Why we don't like it: This method is fine, but it doesn't accomplish the primary goal of a custom domain: to display that domain to the fan as they browse your site.
    cloaking or masking
    In this scenario, your registrar will load a page containing a frame. The frame will in turn load your Bandcamp site. Why we don't like it: Several reasons: Your fans will be unable to bookmark Bandcamp pages other than your homepage. After a purchase we will redirect the fan back to your Bandcamp subdomain (sans frame). We will be unable to automatically redirect your Bandcamp subdomain to your custom domain. We don't test this method. And so on.
    changing your nameserver(s)
    Some hosting companies (notably: WordPress) ask you to delegate your DNS records to their nameservers. This involves replacing your current nameserver IP addresses (usually there are two) with new addresses. Why we don't like it: Simple: we don't support this method. If you delegate your nameservers to us, your domain (and subdomains, and email, etc.) will stop working. If the edit field says "nameserver" or "DNS server," don't change it.

    In short, the only supported method of mapping your custom domain to Bandcamp is to edit DNS A and CNAME records as described above.

    Modifying DNS is the trickiest part of the whole process because of the variation in registrar web sites and because of DNS's strange terminology. You might need to hunt a little to find the right page. Bandcamp cannot help you with this step, so if needed you should ask a friend for help. In case you get stuck, we suggest you send an email to your registrar's support folks. Here's an example email:

    Dear Support,

    In order to map my domain [your domain here] to Bandcamp (http://bandcamp.com), a hosting service, I need to modify DNS to update my A and CNAME records. Please let me know how I do this through your domain management interface.

    With overflowing gratitude and respect,

    [you]

  5. Wait. Wait a little more. Then party!

    After updating DNS, it can take up to two days for the changes to "propagate" out to your many fans around the world. During this transition phase, some people visiting your custom domain might see your Bandcamp site, while others see your old site (if you have one). This is normal. You'll know things are set up correctly when entering your custom domain into your web browser brings up your Bandcamp site.

    During this period Bandcamp will be automatically checking DNS. When we see that it is set up correctly, we will automatically start forwarding your Bandcamp subdomain (for example, example.bandcamp.com) to your custom domain. This means that any existing links or bookmarks pointing to your Bandcamp subdomain will continue to work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Also see our general Help page.

Before the switch

  • I already have a website at moozik.com. Can I point moozik.com/tunes to Bandcamp?

    No. Bandcamp allows you to customize the domain portion of the URL, not the path portion. Instead, you could use tunes.moozik.com as your Bandcamp custom domain.

  • I already have a website at moozik.com. What will happen to my old site if I switch that domain to Bandcamp?

    If you point that domain at Bandcamp, then your old site will be unreachable (unless you give it a new domain). Existing links and bookmarks will take fans to your Bandcamp site, but some existing links might result in a "Not Found" page.

  • I want to point a subdomain (tunes.moozik.com) at Bandcamp right now, but in the future I might want to use the base domain (moozik.com) instead.

    That's great. If you start with a subdomain and later change to a base domain, Bandcamp makes the changeover seamless.

  • My registrar allows me to "forward" my domain to you (or "redirect" it, or "cloak" it, or "mask" it, or delegate its nameservers). Is that the same thing as a custom domain?

    No. Please see what not to do, above.

  • I've checked my registrar's web site and don't see any option for editing DNS records. I do see something that says "Transfer your DNS back to us."

    This means you've delegated your DNS records to someone else. You need to edit your DNS records via the web site of that someone, or transfer DNS back to your registrar.

  • Does Bandcamp handle email sent to my custom domain?

    No. Your email settings in DNS are completely separate from the web settings. However, it's possible to direct this mail to a third-party email service. Please contact your domain registrar or email provider for details.

  • Will switching to a custom domain affect my site's search engine ranking?

    Possibly, but only temporarily. We've heard that Google and other search engines are pretty smart about realizing that your domain has changed, so your ranking (if affected) should rebound fairly quickly. As stated above, Bandcamp will forward links pointing to your Bandcamp subdomain to your custom domain, so those links will still contribute to your search engine ranking.

  • How do I ensure that both moozik.com and www.moozik.com load my Bandcamp site?

    As explained above, you need to create or change two DNS records: one for moozik.com (an A record), and the other for www.moozik.com (a CNAME record). Then make sure that on your Bandcamp Profile page page you enter moozik.com in the Custom domain field. Why does this work? Because under the hood, Bandcamp accepts all possible subdomains of your custom domain. In other words, if you also added DNS records for songs.moozik.com and holy.cheesecurds.batman.moozik.com, Bandcamp would accept those too (and forward them to the custom domain).

During the switch

  • Bandcamp says it is "verifying" my custom domain. What does that mean?

    After you enter a custom domain, Bandcamp periodically checks DNS. When we see that your custom domain points to us, we consider the domain "verified" and fully active. At that point we will begin to forward your Bandcamp subdomain to your custom domain. If Bandcamp still shows the "verifying" message more than 48 hours after you've edited DNS, something is wrong. In that case please check the the next question.

  • I've followed the instructions, but my custom domain isn't working.

    There are a number of things to check:

    • Have you waited up to 48 hours since you modified DNS? In some cases it can take that long before the DNS change fully takes effect.

    • Log in to your registrar's web site and confirm the A and/or CNAME records(s) you entered match the instructions above. Make sure that you haven't used one of the unsupported domain forwarding methods described in what not to do.

    • Visit your Bandcamp Profile page and look in the "Custom Domain" section. Does the entry in the Custom domain field match the one you used in step 4d above? (Remember that in almost every case, the entry in this field should not begin with a "www.")

    • On the same page, look at the text underneath the field. Bandcamp displays information there about the status of your custom domain.

    • On the same page, next to the field, click the Test button. This will do a DNS lookup and tell you whether your DNS settings are correct. Note that it might take Bandcamp up to 48 hours to see a DNS change you've made.

    • If none of these steps help: if you added or changed CNAME records, some registrars require that the CNAME value end with a dot (.). Try changing the values of your CNAME records from dom.bandcamp.com to dom.bandcamp.com. (note the trailing dot).

After the switch

  • My custom domain is working, but when I go there, I don't see any editing controls like "New Track."

    Even when you're logged-in to Bandcamp, visiting your custom domain won't display editing controls. Instead, you'll see a "manage your site" link at the top of the page. Clicking this will switch you into editing mode.

  • My custom domain is working, but when I go to my Bandcamp subdomain it doesn't forward to the custom domain.

    When you're logged-in to Bandcamp, we do not automatically forward you to your custom domain. This is so that you can access the editing features of the service (see previous question). To see your custom domain in action, either enter it directly into the browser, or log out of Bandcamp.

  • I've already set up a custom domain, but now I want to change it to another one. Is that possible?

    Yes, just follow the instructions above again. If you're changing from a subdomain to a more general version of the same domain (for example, moving from tunes.moozik.com to moozik.com), then you won't experience any interruption in service to your Bandcamp site. For other changes, however, existing links and bookmarks pointing to your previous custom domain will break, so think about this type of change carefully. If you must make this type of backwards-incompatible change, we suggest that you use DNS to point your previous custom domain to another server so existing links will take fans somewhere useful.

  • I've set up a custom domain, but I've changed my mind and want to remove it.

    We are sad. But if you must, make sure you complete the following:

    1. Edit your DNS settings and remove or modify the A and/or CNAME records which point to Bandcamp. If you want existing links and bookmarks to take fans somewhere else, make sure the DNS settings reflect that.

    2. On your Bandcamp Profile page, remove the value in the Custom Domain field and click OK. This will allow fans to visit your Bandcamp subdomain (example.bandcamp.com) without being forwarded to your custom domain.

    Note that this process might cause a service interruption to your custom domain of a day or two, as your DNS changes propagate out into the world.

Still not sure? Contact Bandcamp Support.