Hosting on a custom domain

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This section only applies to folks who have signed up for Buttondown for Professionals.

There's no security, performance, or product-level benefit from hosting your newsletter on a custom domain. But, I think we all have to admit it — it's a little bit cooler. `this-week-in-poetry.com` is simply a cooler and perhaps even more impressive domain than `this-week-in-poetry.buttondown.email` or `buttondown.email/this-week-in-poetry`.

And there's nothing wrong with that! if you want to establish your newsletter as an independent entity, not simply a "Buttondown newsletter", setting up a custom domain on which to host it makes a lot of sense.

Setting up your custom hosting domain

A screenshot of the custom domain modal.
A screenshot of the custom domain modal.

  • Change the `CNAME` record of the domain you'd like to use as your custom domain to `buttondown.email`. The prompt should walk you through the rest of the process?

Using a subdomain of `buttondown.email`

This isn't possible to do in the UI, but there are no technical limitations. Email me and I'll get it wired up for you!

The difference between hosting domains and sending domains

Hosting on a custom domain means using a domain outside of `[buttondown.email](http://buttondown.email)` to host your newsletter and archives — for example, newsletter.jmduke.com.

Sending from a custom domain means setting up your DNS records so that Buttondown sends outgoing emails from your domain, improving reputation and delivery metrics.

Hosting requires you sign up for Buttondown for Professionals; sending does not. This is because, well, sending emails that actually get delivered is pretty dang important, and it's scummy to hide that behind a paywall.

Can I use the same domain for hosting and sending?

Unfortunately, some DNS providers will not let you set up the exact same domain or subdomain for both sending emails and as your custom archive.

For these DNSes, we recommend setting up completely separate subdomains — something along the lines of the following:

  • `[newsletter.janedoe.com](http://newsletter.janedoe.com)` for your custom newsletter domain (where folks view archives and subscribe to your newsletter)
  • `[mail.janedoe.com](http://mail.janedoe.com)` for your custom sending domain (where outgoing emails come from)

This is the best option to preserve the deliverability of your newsletter (and, frankly, most people are not particularly confused by this at all.)