Choosing a Domain

Last modified March 25, 2020

Disclaimer: Xerox customers, please refer to your contract as some of the processes listed in this document may not apply to your workflow.

An Overview of Digital Edition Domains and URLs

Part of setting up a new title includes choosing a domain where readers will be able to access your digital publication on the web. GTxcel will acquire and manage the domain you select as part of our basic service (option 1). For an additional fee, you may either transfer ownership (option 2), or allow GTxcel to use a domain you already own via CNAME (option 3).  Each of these options is outlined in more detail below.

Each issue that is converted will be available via a unique URL.   The issue URL structure is:

domain/titlepath/issuepath

  • The domain is typically something like www.mymagazine-digital.com.
  • The titlepath is how the publication is identified. This needs to be at least 5 characters long. It also needs to be unique within GTxcel’s system, so should be specific to your publication. For example, instead of “directory” use “hrbuyersdirectory”. GTxcel will assign this based on the url you select (e.g. “mymagazine” from www.mymagazine-digital.com) unless asked otherwise when the domain is requested.
  • The issuepath identifies the issue. You will have the opportunity to define this path when you create a new issue via the Publisher Dashboard. Each issue must be uniquely identified, e.g. by including the full date of publication. For example, If you have a seasonal issue you would want to specify this as “spring2012″ instead of just “spring.”
  • GTxcel will set up your domain to redirect to the full path for the latest issue.

Domain selection options: 

Option 1: You pick a domain that GTxcel acquires and manages

This is the default option, included in your base pricing. We strongly recommend this solution for a quick and seamless setup of your new digital publication.  You tell us what you’d like the domain to be. As long as it is available for purchase and meets formatting guidelines, we take care of the setup.

Format should begin with www. and end with .com (typically), or .org. If you’re not sure what to choose, we recommend:

www.mymagazine-digital.com

mymagazine” would be replaced with a shortened version of your publication’s name.

Other ideas for domains:

  • www.mymagazine0nline.com
  • www.digital-mymagazine.com
  • www.mymagazine-digital.org
  • www.mymagazine.com (e.g. if the digital edition is the primary web property for your publication)

GTxcel can only acquire domains that are available for purchase, so please do not purchase the domain yourself. Check that your domain is available here: http://www.checkdomain.com/ 

Should you choose to terminate your contract with GTxcel, ownership of this domain can be transferred to you (upon request).

Option 2: Transferring Ownership of an Existing Domain to GTxcel

If you already own the domain that you would like used for your digital edition, you may transfer that domain to GTxcel. Per ICANN rules, this can only be done after 60 days of initial purchase. To accomplish this, please provide contact information for the domain owner’s admin to your GTxcel contact to coordinate the transfer. Once complete, the domain will be set up as a GTxcel-owned domain. Setup fees apply for this option to account for the additional coordination.

Should you choose to terminate your contract with GTxcel, ownership of this domain can be transferred to you (upon request).

Option 3: CNAME Setup of Publisher-Owned Domain

Mapping a customer’s master domain to a GTxcel-owned and controlled hostname can be done with a “CNAME” solution. Additional fees apply, as this involves additional interactions to set up and maintain.

Domain mapping is done using a canonical name or “name-to-name” mapping in DNS. The publisher owns and controls the master domain, and assigns a CNAME record which maps to a GTxcel-owned and controlled hostname. So, for example, the customer’s site is magazine.publisher.com and the site that is mapped to the published web format magazine is publisher.GTxcel.com, where the latter is owned by GTxcel. When the reader goes to a page on the publisher’s site they will continue to see the publisher’s name as the root URL, but the page in fact is mapped to the GTxcel site.

Readers would only be exposed to the URL http://magazine.publisher.com.

The DNS zone record for this setup would be as such:
magazine.publisher.com. in CNAME publisher.GTxcel.com. (NOTE: This is an example only, not for use as an actual zone record)

Why a CNAME? 

GTxcel does not support “ANAME” mapping where a customer maps to an IP address.  This restricts our ability to move magazines to different machines in our hosting facility, as well as causing problems if the customer is experiencing problems with their site configuration. The CNAME removes those downsides.

Concerns and Considerations for CNAME Setup

There is additional troubleshooting which is not present with our standard domain set up. If readers complain of not having access, there is a question as to whether the owner of the domain’s DNS is having a problem or GTxcel is having a problem.

Also, if a current publisher decides to change their set up to convert to using a CNAME, then the tracking database will cut over to the new url, and there will be a discontinuity between the old tracking data and the new data. This will essentially start tracking all over again. The old data will not be lost but it will not be contiguous with the new data after the cutover.

CNAME Setup Process

  • Publisher provides the hosting domain to GTxcel
  • GTxcel assigns a hostname and provides this information to the publisher
  • The Publisher creates their CNAME which maps to the GTxcel CNAME target.
  • GTxcel tests the name, verifying that it is a CNAME, not an ANAME, and that it is working correctly.
  • GTxcel then creates the CNAME target on our end and the CNAME mapping is complete.

Downtime and Troubleshooting

In the event of a complaint, GTxcel checks internal systems. We check DNS internally to see if it’s working properly. We check master domain DNS to determine that the CNAME mapping is still in place. If not, there is something to fix on the publisher’s side. This process of interaction is the most problematic part, as it can add time and confusion and cause longer downtime. To minimize downtime, we need the current contact information of technical people at the publisher’s site.

Need Help?
The Digital Help Desk is the process for communicating with GTxcel regarding new title setups, questions, and technical issues for the Web Reader and/or Apps.

You can submit a request to us through the Request Help button located in the Publisher Dashboard or call the support number: 800-609-8994, option 3.
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General Question/Requests – A Digital Specialist will begin working on your request within one to two hours of receipt. We will complete the request as soon as possible; we aim to have all requests completed within 24 hours.