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How To Personalize Website URL with Vercel?

29 September 2023 by Sara Wahba

In the digital realm, your website's URL is your online identity. It's not just a string of characters; it's the gateway to your brand, content, and online success. This is where the Vercel custom domain comes into play as the primary tool for enhancing your web presence. 
 

In this blog post, we'll explore why you need to personalize your website URL with Vercel and how it can transform your online identity. 

Join Kapsys to explore your site's possibilities with Vercel. 

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What Is Vercel?

vercel domain

Vercel is a cloud platform known for streamlining the deployment and hosting of web applications. Among its notable functionalities is the capability to set up a Vercel custom domain as the primary address for your web application. 
 

This function allows you to personalize your website's URL, which is valuable for improving your brand recognition and user engagement. Vercel simplifies configuring and managing custom domains, making it a preferred choice among developers and businesses seeking to optimize their online presence.
 

Read: How To Deploy Your First Site Online with Vercel?

Are Your Prerequisites Ready? 

Before you can create a Vercel custom domain, there are some essential prerequisites you need to have in place:
 

A Vercel Account

  • To get started, you'll need an active Vercel account. You can sign up for a Vercel account on their website if required. It's a straightforward process that involves providing some basic information.

A Deployed Project on Vercel:

  • Ensure that your web application or website is already deployed on Vercel. Vercel provides a simple and efficient deployment process, allowing you to host your projects effortlessly. This step is crucial because you'll need an existing project to associate with your custom domain.

Access to a Custom Domain from a Domain Registrar:

  • You must have access to a custom domain from a domain registrar like GoDaddyNamecheap, or any other domain provider of your choice. You should have purchased or registered a domain name through one of these services. If you don't have a custom domain, you can acquire one through your preferred domain registrar before proceeding.

These prerequisites ensure a smooth and successful process when personalizing your domain with Vercel. Once these elements are ready, you'll be well-prepared to enhance your web presence with a custom field on Vercel.

Step By Step Guide To Create a Vercel Custom Domain

There is nothing complicated in creating a Vercel custom domain. Let us show you how you can do it in eight easy steps.

Step 1. Login to Vercel

  • Begin by visiting the Vercel homepage at https://vercel.com.

  • Locate and click on the "Login" button.

  • Enter your Vercel account credentials and complete the authentication process.

Step 2. Select your project

  • Once logged in, access your Vercel dashboard.

  • Select the specific project from the dashboard for which you wish to establish a custom domain.

Step 3. Setup domain

  • Within your project settings, navigate to the "Settings" tab.

  • Scroll down to the "Domains" section.

  • Click on the "Add Domain" button.

  • In the provided field, input your preferred custom domain.

Step 4. Domain verification

  • Vercel will guide you through the domain verification process to confirm your domain ownership.

  • The domain verification process often involves adding a DNS record, such as a TXT record, to your domain registrar's settings.

Step 5. Update DNS settings

  • After successful verification, Vercel will provide you with the necessary DNS settings, which may include ANAMECNAME, or ALIAS records.

  • Access your domain registrar's dashboard.

  • Update your domain's DNS settings to match the values provided by Vercel.

Step 6. Propagation wait time

  • It's important to note that after updating DNS records, global DNS propagation may take some time, usually between 24 to 48 hours, although it can be quicker.

  • Periodically check your custom domain in a web browser to see if it correctly points to your Vercel project during this propagation period.

Step 7. Enable SSL (HTTPS)

  • By default, Vercel will initiate the provision of an SSL certificate for your custom domain.

  • Once DNS changes are fully propagated and detected by Vercel, it will automatically secure your domain with HTTPS.

  • Check the SSL status in your Vercel dashboard to ensure it shows as "Active."

Step 8. Final checks

  • To confirm that everything works as intended, open your personalized URL in a web browser.

  • Look for a secure padlock symbol in the browser's address bar, which indicates that SSL encryption is active, ensuring a secure browsing experience for your visitors.

Following these steps, you can seamlessly set up and make a Vercel custom domain for your web project, establishing a professional online presence.

SSL certificate

Troubleshooting

Setting up a Vercel custom domain is an excellent way to enhance your web presence, but it can be challenging. If you encounter issues during the process, here's a structured troubleshooting guide to help you resolve common problems:

Domain verification issues

  • If your domain needs to be verified, the culprit might be conflicting DNS records. Check for multiple A records configured for your domain.

  • Remove all conflicting A records, leaving only the one pointing to Vercel.

Subdomain configuration

  • When adding a subdomain to your project, ensure the correct CNAME record is configured with your domain registrar.

  • The record's name should match the subdomain for your project, and the value should be obtained from the domain card in your Vercel project settings.

  • Important Note: The domain should never be part of the name field in your CNAME record.

Handling 404 errors

  • If you encounter a 404 error for either your apex domain (e.g., example.com) or the www subdomain (e.g., www.example.com), it's crucial to add both to your project manually.

  • Vercel does not automatically include these domains for you.

DNS propagation delays

  • DNS changes can take time to propagate across the globe. Certain regions may access your site as intended during this period, while others may experience delays.

  • Please allow some time for these changes to take effect; typically, this process is completed in less than 48 hours.

SSL certificate

  • If you face SSL certificate-related issues, remember that Vercel usually defaults SSL certificates for your custom domain.

  • Ensure that your DNS changes have propagated and are detected by Vercel. You can check the SSL status in your Vercel dashboard to verify if it's "Active."

Addressing these common troubleshooting scenarios allows you to navigate potential challenges and ensure a seamless experience when configuring your Vercel custom domain.

Don't let technical hiccups deter you; use this guide to troubleshoot and optimize your custom domain for the best results.

Conclusion

Vercel custom domain serves as the primary gateway to your online identity. It's a crucial step in enhancing your web presence, providing a unique and memorable URL that represents your brand effectively. With Vercel, configuring and managing your domain is seamless and efficient, allowing you to focus on what truly matters—delivering an exceptional online experience. 

Whether you're a developer, business, or creative individual, the benefits of using Vercel for your custom domain are evident in establishing a professional and distinct online presence, all while delivering a reliable and performant web experience to your audience.
 

Take the chance to learn about your online possibilities with Kapsys!