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Steps to Setup Custom Hostname and SSL Certificate for your LMS Domain in 5 Minutes

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5 mins read
You can easily map your external domain to the BrainCert sub-domain using a CNAME entry in your DNS server in order to receive the performance and security benefits of BrainCert. CNAME stands for 'canonical name' and is a redirection to the zone file of the entered target domain.

After you have added the CNAME entry in your DNS server, click the 'Request SSL Certificate' button in the 'Global Settings' --> 'Domain' area, and BrainCert will attempt to issue an SSL certificate for the custom hostname without any other validation or private key requirements. It's that simple!

HTML5 Virtual Classroom relies on SSL (HTTPS) to function and it will not work with external domains. BrainCert recommends using our native enterprise SSL feature for this service.

Follow the instructions below


Step 1: Create a CNAME Record in your DNS Server

Alias - For example, www or live(indicating that the www.yourdomain.com or lms.yourdomain.com record should point to your LMS sub-domain mylms.braincert.com)

Record Type - Should be CNAME(indicating that you would like to point to BrainCert by using its name)

Points To - Should be mylms.braincert.com

In this example, we are using CloudFlare as a DNS server. Select CNAME as the entry, and alias as "lms" that points to our LMS sub-domain mylms.braincert.com. If you are using CloudFlare, remember to turn off the orange cloud for this entry to the grey cloud. You can create a similar CNAME entry with any registrar where your domain is registered such as Namecheap, Godaddy, 1and1, and so on.

| Note: Depending on your provider you may already have a CNAME set up with your domain Alias. If so, you will need to edit this existing CNAME so that 'Points To' is mylms.braincert.com


Step 2: Map your Custom Hostname

To map an external domain, go to 'Global Settings' --> 'Domain' and click on the 'Set external domain mapping' tab.

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Type the custom hostname that you would like to use and click the button 'Set External Domain'. You don't need to type http:// or https:// as art of the hostname at this time. In this example, we have used lms.eduweaver.com as a custom hostname.

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Make sure to click the 'Set External Domain' button to save your changes.


Step 3: Generate SSL Certificate

After completing step 2, now it is time to generate your free enterprise SSL certificate. Until today, your best bet with other platforms was to CNAME your hostname to their infrastructure, having you generate a private key and CSR, send the latter to a CA for signing, and then securely provide them with the key material (and again upon renewal). Or maybe you have engineering resources to spend and can build and maintain a solution to generate and securely store private keys, acquire and renew certificates, and push them to a CDN so TLS can be terminated in a performant manner (i.e., as close to your customers’ users as possible). Whichever route you choose, the technical complexity and burden of maintenance are high—either for your customers or your engineering and support teams.

BrainCert's free enterprise SSL certificate was built with these difficulties in mind and solves this with the simplicity that you would expect. With our highly secure SSL certificate, all you have to do is CNAME your domain to the BrainCert LMS sub-domain in order to receive the performance and security benefits of BrainCert. Furthermore, there is no need to send us your SSL certificate key or CSR.

Click on the button 'Request SSL Certificate' to get started.

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You will see a popup with clear instructions guiding you through this SSL certificate process.


Once done, click on the 'Finish' green button in the popup to finish the SSL setup process. Once the CNAME is in place and BrainCert takes care of the rest. We’ll provision the hostname at our edge for forwarding to your specified origin, acquire SSL certificates to enable HTTPS and HTTP/2, and sit in front of any DDoS or L7 attacks that may target your custom hostname. All the benefits of BrainCert's enterprise network, including CDN and content optimization, are extended to your custom hostname without you having to do anything other than adding a simple DNS record.

Additionally, because this SSL solution is built on BrainCert’s industry-leading SSL/TLS implementation, your customers visiting your custom LMS hostname (external domain) will benefit from all of the work we’ve done to make HTTPS fast, secure, and reliable such as deploying OCSP stapling, implementing TLS 1.3 (and 0-RTT), and optimizing TLS over TCP. Most importantly, by terminating these TLS connections as physically close to your customers as possible (as opposed to directly on your origin), your customers will benefit from the most interconnected network on the internet.

Click on the 'Hostname and SSL Certificate' tab on the left navigation. You will now see that your domain field is greyed out and cannot be edited. This is because the SSL certificate is now active on this hostname. You will also see the info icon on the right side of the hostname field which also confirms that the SSL certificate is now active.

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When you click on the info icon or the 'Request SSL Certificate' button again, you will see a popup with the success message.

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To change the hostname, click on the delete icon to start all over again.

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Click on the 'I agree' green button to confirm the deletion of your SSL certificate.

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Please note that LMS customers are required to set up SSL redirection to effectively use the new certificate.

Go to 'Global Settings' --> 'Security', set 'Force SSL? to 'Yes', and save your changes.

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Step 4: Turn off CloudFlare Orange Cloud

If you currently using CloudFlare for SSL proxying, we recommend you turn off the orange cloud to the grey cloud to receive the performance and security benefits of BrainCert. Please note that this is required only for the CNAME record that is pointing to mylms.braincert.com. You may continue to use CloudFlare for all your other records if needed.

Orange clouded connections will not be allowed after August 27, 2017.


Step 5 - Testing your SSL hostname

Congratulations! Now that you have completed all the steps, it is now time to verify the CNAME mapping and SSL certificate.


Check CNAME mapping

You can use the dig tool by using your command prompt in Windows or Mac terminal to check the CNAME mapping. You should see your hostname with the correct CNAME mapping to your LMS hostname mylms.braincert.com.


Check SSL Certificate

Open your browser and go to your external LMS domain with https:// in the front. You will see a green lock icon that confirms a secure SSL connection.

If you see a browser error similar to the message below, it means that your SSL certificate is not set up correctly. The connection is not secure and the virtual classroom will not work.

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