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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:
Your Standard IDX links would have an address starting with:
Instead of using the standard idxbroker.com subdomain URL arrangement, you can implement a custom subdomain of your choosing. This accomplishes the following:
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?
Create a CNAME record for the new subdomain you've chosen (see above). Point that CNAME record to this domain:
What about a "A" Name Record? - Because the set of IP addresses associated with IDX Broker 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.
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.
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.
If you're attempting to use "www" as your custom subdomain, you'll also need to verify that your own homepage continues to function. If you have been using the www prefix in other places, including what's on file for your IDX account, and then set up a different CNAME record, otherwise you may experience some website issues.
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.