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

Before you begin

After getting access to the platform, Affise provides you with a set of default domain names. To find them, go to Settings > Tracking domains.

You might need to use another default tracking domain name, so that your partners could only see the brand name in it. Affise gives you the opportunity to use your custom tracking domain in addition to the default one. You can set new domains yourself without contacting support. The article describes how to add or change a custom tracking domain only.

💰 The feature is available for clients with all plans, but the limit on custom tracking domains depends on the type of plan (read more about Affise plans here). To increase the number of custom tracking domains, you need to buy a bundle of domains. The bundle can contain 5, 10, and 20 domains. To buy the bundle, contact your Customer Success manager.

Set up a custom tracking domain for all affiliates

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

Steps off the platform

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

Check if your custom domain includes no less than three levels (for example, and the domain name has at least five characters.

Step 2. 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 Enter. 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 3. 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 Settings > Tracking domains > Tracking domains and click the Add new domain button.

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

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

    The system 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:

    • Enable the HTTP checkbox and proceed to the point 6.

    • Enable 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 right below the SSL-certificate 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, enable the correspondent checkbox.

    🔎 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 enable 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 enable the Cloudflare checkbox, you'll have to specify the Certificate and Private key fields.

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

  6. Click Save.

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

  • You are over the limit. To extend the current limit, please purchase a bundle by contacting your dedicated Customer Success manager: you exceeded the limit. Contact your Customer Success manager to buy a bundle.

  • 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.

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 validation was successful. If your domain changed status from Verifying to Rejected, it means validation wasn't successful and the system didn't set the domain. Read how to fix it here.

You completed the domain implementation, but you may need to perform some extra steps:

  • Proceed to step 3 to make your custom tracking domain as default.

  • Proceed to step 4 to make your custom tracking domain as default for a particular offer.

⚠️ Keep in mind that if you change the domain name, the system reduces the number of domains in the limit. But if you change the connection type and an SSL certificate, it doesn't affect your domain's limit.

Step 3. Make custom tracking domain as default (optional).

If you want to make your tracking domain a default one, so that all your tracking links and tracking pixels use your new domain by default, click the Set as default button.

Step 4. 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, do the following:

  1. Go to the offer and select the needed domain in the Tracking domain URL field.

  2. Click the Check domain button.

  3. Click Save.

⚠️ You can select the domain with the Active status only in the Tracking domain URL field. Otherwise, you can see the message "Domain is not active, please try again later".

You can see this domain on the offer preview page when generating tracking link:

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

🔎 In the User activity log, you can find information about actions done with domains. Go to Users > User activity log.

Why the domain got Rejected status

There are some reasons why your domain can get the Rejected status:

  • 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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