Set up a custom tracking domain
Daria Mamchenkova avatar
Written by Daria Mamchenkova
Updated over a week ago

Before you begin

Set up a custom tracking domain

The custom tracking domain implementation takes steps off and on the platform.

Steps off the platform

Step 1. Buy the domain on the hosting provider side.

Check if your domain includes no less than three levels (for example,

Step 2. Request the default tracking domain from your manager.

Go to the manager and take the default tracking domain, for which you need to set up your domain as an alias.

Step 3. Verify the DNS configuration of the domain.

Check if the system sets up the CNAME record of your domain to be an alias to your default domain name. Check it on your provider's side or on your own, according to your operating system:

  • For macOS:
    If the OS of your computer is iOS, navigate to Launchpad > Other > Terminal and use the "host" command. Type the following command: "host your domain", click the Enter button. The response should contain the Affise default domain as an alias. For example:

    host is an alias for has address (here your IP-address)
  • For Windows:
    For Windows users, use the command prompt (command line).

    Type the "nslookup your custom domain" command, click the Enter button. The response should contain the Affise default domain as an alias. For example:

    C:\Users\HP>nslookup ╤хЁтхЁ: router Address: (IP address) ╚ь : Address: (IP address) Aliases:

Step 4. Buy and verify SSL certificate (optional).

Affise recommends using trusted domain hosting services, such as Verisign, DigiCert, Comodo, Godaddy. Don't use free SSL certificates services, such as Let's Encrypt, which can issue and result in browser warnings. Untrusted certificates setup can cause traffic losses.

  1. Purchase SSL-certificate (.crt), Private Key (.key), bundle (.crt) for the domain name from the hosting side.

    • SSL-certificate (.crt): a security protocol that secures data between two computers by using encryption.

    • Bundle (.crt): the file that contains root and intermediate certificates.

      ⚠️ Affise highly recommends you to add a bundle file to ensure stable clicks flow. Ca-bundle is important, as with your server certificate, these files complete the SSL chain of trust. The chain is required to improve the compatibility of the certificates with web browsers, email clients, and mobile devices. Without ca-bundle in the domain, you may face the data loss that can lead to the clicks/conversions discrepancy with your affiliates.

    • Private Key (.key): a separate file the system uses in the encryption and decryption of data between your server and the connecting clients.

  2. Ensure the files above match each other and the domain name itself. Check it on your provider's side or on any open source, such as

🔎 If you faced several options of the software existing when trying to get a certificate and key, choose one of the following options:

  • Apache

  • Nginx

Steps on the platform

Step 1. Add the custom tracking domain.

  1. Go to the Settings > Profile > Tracking domains and click the Add new domain button.

  2. In the open window, enter the domain address in the correspondent field.

    ⚠️ The system doesn't support tracking domains with Cyrillic characters.

    Affise checks the added domain automatically by four requirements, which you can see in the picture.

  3. According to the connection type you want to use, do one of the following:

    • Select the HTTP checkbox and proceed to point 6.

    • Select the HTTPS checkbox.

  4. Enter your SSL-certificate (.crt) and Private Key (.key) into the SSL-certificate (.crt) and Private Key (.key) mandatory fields respectively. If you have a bundle file (.crt), which must contain two certificates, insert both of them to the SSL-certificate (.crt) field with no spaces.

    ⚠️ Affise doesn’t store SSL-certificate and Private Key to protect this private data. So if you change the domain name, you need to add this data again.

  5. If you use Cloudflare, select the correspondent checkbox (optional).

    🔎 Cloudflare is a network that serves for domain protection from malicious activity and speeding up websites. It helps secure APIs, Internet applications, and protect corporate networks, employees, and devices. It's a mediator between the user and the hosting service.

    ⚠️ Keep in mind the following peculiarities:

    • If you use Cloudflare and select the correspondent checkbox, you don't need to specify the Certificate and Private key fields when selecting the HTTPS connection. You should set up a Certificate and Private key on the Cloudflare side. Otherwise, the domain will get the Rejected status after saving.

    • If you use Cloudflare, but don't select the Cloudflare checkbox, you'll have to specify the Certificate and Private key fields.

    • If you don't use Cloudflare, but select the correspondent checkbox, the domain will get the Rejected status after saving.

  6. Click the Add new domain button.

🔎 There is a list of common mistakes that you might make while setting a custom tracking domain:

  • Certificate is required for HTTPS domain: you didn't enter the certificate. Enter it into the correspondent field.

  • Key file is required for HTTPS domain: you didn't enter the private key. Enter it into the correspondent field.

  • Error: The given private_key is not correspond to the certificate: check if your private key and certificate are valid, and ensure they match each other and the domain name itself. Read more about that here.

After saving the domain, you get the message "Your request has been sent to the moderation". You can see all added domains on the Tracking domains tab:


  • Domain: the domain address.

  • Status: the domain's status (active, verifying, or rejected).

  • HTTP/HTTPS: the type of connection in the domain.

Step 2. Ensure your tracking domain' status changed from Verifying to Active.

Once you add a new tracking domain, it takes the Verifying status, which means moderation is in progress. The changing from Verifying to Active status means the manager approved the domain.

You can see the reason for rejection by clicking the i sign.

The changing from Verifying to Rejected status can mean:

  • The manager rejected the domain: click Edit to change the settings of the domain and send it to moderation again.

  • The system rejected the domain: read how to fix it here.

You completed the domain's implementation.

Step 3. Make custom tracking domain as default for a particular offer (optional).

If you want to set your tracking domain as a default for tracking links and pixels of a particular offer, go to the offer and select the needed domain in the Domain field.

⚠️ You can select the domain with the Active status only in the Domain field.

You can see this domain in the tracking link.

⚠️ If you set the domain in the offer as a default, but then edited it on the Tracking domains tab (to update the Certificate), these actions of status changing (Active > Verifying > Active) will not affect the tracking process.

Why the domain got the Rejected status

There are some reasons why your domain can get the Rejected status after approving it by the manager:

  • The domain is not an alias to your default domain name.
    Solution: fix the CNAME of the domain in the domain settings on your side. Read more about verifying the DNS configuration of the domain here.

  • There is no connection with the domain either via HTTP or HTTPS.
    Solution: check your domain and all documents on the hosting provider side where you bought your domain.


You can check if the certificate is updated by doing the following:

  1. Enter the domain in the browser address bar and click Enter.

  2. Go to the certificate details by clicking one of the following:

    a. lock sign

    And then select Connection is secure > Certificate is valid:

    b. alarm sign

    And then select Certificate is not valid:

    If the connection is not secure and the certificate is not valid, it means the certificate wasn't updated yet. Vice versa, if the connection is secure, and the certificate is valid, the certificate was updated.

Please contact the Affise Customer Support team regarding all raised questions via the e-mail: [email protected].

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