What is a CNAME and how do I create one?

A CNAME, or Canonical Name, record is an entry within the Domain Name System (DNS) that specifies how a client can find your web site domain. In order to activate Yottaa - to start optimizing live traffic to your site - you simply point a CNAME to a special unique Yottaa URL, and we take care of the rest.  

A CNAME looks something like this:

74f7ad00a459012eb4e412313919bca1.yottaa.net

If you have added your site to Yottaa but have not yet activated optimizations on live traffic, your site will be in Preview mode, which allows you to preview how your site will perform with Yottaa by pointing your browser to a Yottaa CNAME. If you view source to analyze this page, you'll see that its resources (images, scripts and stylesheets) have been rewritten to use a yottaa.net CDN URL. Because we use a CNAME, actions like clicking links may take you to pages back on your unoptimized server, and any scripts or application logic that depend on the request URL containing your domain name may not work as expected. These issues are resolved when you activate your site, which requires that you add a CNAME.

General Instructions for Adding a CNAME

The standard way to activate your site on Yottaa Optimizer is to add a DNS CNAME.

The following are the steps for adding a CNAME:

  1. Sign in to your account at your domain host's website and go to the site's DNS management page (which might also be called something like Name Server Management). You might have to enable advanced settings for your account to access this page. For help, contact your domain host directly.

  2. If applicable, delete any conflicting DNS records for a URL prefix that already exists. For example, if you're creating a CNAME record for www, delete any existing CNAME (or A) records for www.

  3. Create your new CNAME record by entering a Host Name/Alias and Value/Destination (the exact terms may vary by host) as shown below:

    Destination | Yottaa CNAME
    www abcd123eee999fff000aaa111bbb9ca1.yottaa.net

That's it. In the next step, you can check the status of your CNAME record.

Specific Instructions for Popular Domain Hosts

You create a CNAME record with your domain host. The exact steps for doing so are slightly different for each host. See Google Apps Support Documentation for specific instructions for several popular hosts. If your host isn't listed there, follow the general instructions, in the above section.

How Do I Know Whether My Changes Work?

Creating a CNAME record is a common DNS operation that System Administrators are very familiar with. Yottaa will help verify your changes during the activation process.

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