Setting Up a Custom Subdomain

Setting up a Custom Subdomain is an excellent tool to boost your SEO since it will return the credit for all the keywords on all the IDX pages back to your primary domain.

What is a Custom Subdomain?

By default your IDX Pages are housed on a subdomain of idxbroker.com. For example, if your website address is:  

http://greatpropertyforsale.com

Your Standard IDX links would have an address starting with:

http://greatpropertyforsale.idxbroker.com/
(ie: http://
subdomain.primarydomain.com/)

Instead of using the standard idxbroker.com subdomain URL arrangement, you can implement a custom subdomain of your choosing. This accomplishes the following:

http://yourchoice.greatpropertyforsale.com/

  1. Ensures that pages which are indexed by Google, and other search engines, are associated with your primary website (instead of ours).
  2. Provides portability. If you choose to ever switch IDX providers, you can choose to retain ownership of the subdomain that originally hosted those IDX pages.

Your subdomain can be anything you would like, such as search.yourdomain.com, realestate.yourdomain.com, atlanta-homes.yourdomain.com, or something similar.

 

How Do I Set Up a Custom Subdomain?

Step 1

Create a CNAME record for the new subdomain you've chosen (see above). Point that CNAME record to this domain:

subdomains.idxbroker.com


Setting up your own CNAME requires some knowledge of the self-service domain management provided by your Domain Registrar.
(Your Domain Registrar are the people who sold you your domain name, this could also be your Webhost if you bought the hosting and the domain name together as a package.) If you don't feel comfortable managing the CNAME yourself, please contact your Domain Registrar to have them create the CNAME for you.

Here are some links to help documents from some popular Registrars: Godaddy DNS Management, HostGator's online support center, Blue Host's online help center.

What about a "A" Name Record? - Because the set of IP addresses associated with IDX Broker Platinum can change over time, you should never create an "A" record with any specific IP address.

NOTE: It is recommended to wait one day between completing Step 1 and doing Step 2. This will give your new CNAME record time to propagate across the Internet.

Step 2

Enter your new Custom Subdomain in your IDX Control Panel, in the Account Button > Account Info section:

Here you will see a section called Subdomain/Domain Control, your Standard IDX Subdomain is on the left and your Custom Subdomain settings are on the right. Enter in the word or phrase you'd like for your Custom Subdomain:

How do I check if my CNAME is set up correctly?

Once you set the toggle to "Yes" and add your Custom Subdomain you will see a notification about the status of your CNAME record. The possible statuses are listed below, along with what they mean:

  - If you have just created the CNAME record with your registrar and are checking this status immediately you may see this message if the CNAME has not had time to propagate yet.
  - If you have created a record with your registrar but it is another type of record other than CNAME.
  - If you have created a CNAME record but it does not point correctly to our servers.
  - If for some reason our system fails to read your CNAME. (This is rare, if you ever see this message please contact the Support Team.)
  - Your CNAME record is set up and pointing to our servers correctly. It may still take a few hours to fully propagate across the whole Internet, but you are safe to use your Custom Subdomain at this time.

 

What do I need to do after I switch over to a custom subdomain?

After switching to a custom subdomain, you'll need to make sure that you update any existing IDX links on your website or IDX global wrapper with your new IDX links using your custom sudomain. Typically, this can be accomplished with a find & replace.

 

Anything else?

Your IDX pages will now begin to be indexed organically by "Google Bot" and other search engine crawlers. If you would like to help Google find you faster, you can verify your ownership if the subdomain with Google Webmaster Tools. See this article for instructions about how to verify your subdomain.

If you have any questions about the SEO vaule of a subdomain vs a subdirectory, see this article and video from Google here.


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