SwimTopia has enhanced our custom domain support. We now have a new, enhanced method to support custom domain names for team web sites.
While every SwimTopia account comes with a custom subdomain in the form of teamname.swimtopia.com, many teams have paid to register their own custom domain name like www.teamname.com for use with their team website — and they want to continue to use their custom domain with SwimTopia.
Secure Custom Domain Support
Supporting custom domain names while also ensuring the security of passwords and other information has traditionally been both complicated and expensive. Securing web site traffic requires the purchase and installation of something called an SSL certificate for each and every domain name supported.
SSL certificates are expensive, difficult to purchase, and have to be updated periodically. Buying and installing an SSL certificate is definitely not the friendly, fun experience we want our customers to enjoy!
At the same time, we don’t want to relax our security standards and make it easy for would-be hackers to steal passwords and snoop on web traffic with sensitive data. We understand we are being trusted to protect sensitive data for many families and teams. We take that responsibility very seriously. After all, we use SwimTopia to store data about our own families too!
Redirection: A Simple, Secure Option
SwimTopia has always provided secure support for custom domains using domain redirection. For example, when a user typed a custom domain like www.teamname.com into their web browser, the domain name would automatically be translated to the corresponding, secure teamname.swimtopia.com subdomain.
This solution worked, but it was less than optimal for some teams. Most teams appreciate the simplicity and extra security, but really would prefer to use their custom domain at all times, without redirection.
Universal SSL: A New Alternative
A new custom domain support option is now available – use a custom domain with your SwimTopia site, without redirection, without any degradation in security, and most importantly, without the need to purchase, renew and maintain an expensive SSL Certificate.
This new option works by leveraging the free Universal SSL service from CloudFlare. CloudFlare is an online service that accelerates and protects websites, including many high-traffic, well known sites like Etsy, Reddit, Yelp, and Salesforce.com.
Essentially, CloudFlare allows you to use your own domain name and still have a completely secure swim team website; ensuring the security of password protected pages and sensitive data collected during registration or other times.
CloudFlare’s Universal SSL does this by providing free, managed SSL certificates and a secure end-to-end proxy service. CloudFlare also provides additional caching that can speed up the performance of your site, especially outside the United States, and provides additional features like analytics, threat detection and mitigation.
To see this new custom domain option in action visit the Sugar Creek Gators SwimTopia site at www.scgators.com.
Configuring your custom domain using CloudFlare’s Universal SSL service requires some additional account setup and is available upon request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more detail, see this Help Center article Website Custom Domains.