Going Live with Your IndieCommerce Website

    We are glad to hear that you are ready to take the next step with your IndieCommerce site!

    Please read carefully, part of these instructions involve changes that need to be made to your domain name. Because of the nature of these changes, the time-lags involved, and plain old mistakes that occur, it can often take several days AFTER the site has launched to be sure that all changes have been made correctly. Because of this built-in uncertainty, please do not announce the launch of your new site until we know that everything is running smoothly.
     
    First, going live will involve making some changes to your domain name. Keep in mind that these changes will require that you are able to log into the account for your domain name at whatever registrar it was purchased from (e.g. NetworkSolutions.com, GoDaddy.com, Register.com, etc.). If you do not have this information, there is very little we can do to help. You will need to contact your registrar and ask them how to prove that you are the owner of the domain.
     
    Note: Whenever making changes to your domain name, it is recommended that you contact your registrar, and have a representative walk you through the procedure. Each registrar has a different web interface, and some can be rather confusing.
     

    GO LIVE STEPS

    1. Change the Technical Contacts on your 'Who Is' Record (Make sure that Private Registration is turned off).

    2. When step one is completed, Email us: staff@bookweb.org (please include your store's Domain name).

    3. Schedule a time for the 2-hour training call.

    4. Let us know exactly what domain name you'll be using (do NOT proceed with these steps unless the contact info for your domain has been changed, we have an SSL certificate, as mentioned above, AND the site is "live". Otherwise, you'll be sending customers to a site that cannot take orders).

    Repoint Your Domain (Option A steps 5A and 6A) Creating an A Record (Recommended if you currently have an email hosting package with your provider):

    Repoint Your Domain (Option B steps 5B and 6B) Hosting with ABA:

     

    5A. Create A Record for youraddress.com

     

    5B. If you currently have email through your host, retrieve MX Records & send them to us.

    6A. Create CNAME for: www.youraddress.com

    6B. Change your DNS to:

    Primary Server: NS2.BOOKSENSE.COM

    Secondary Server: NS3.BOOKSENSE.COM

    7. Email us when you are finished.

     
    Below you will find detailed instructions for each step of ‘Going Live’. Please be sure to follow them in the EXACT order displayed below. If you have any questions, please contact staff@bookweb.org.
     
    1. Change WHOIS Information
    The first change to the domain name is to change the 'Technical contact info that appears during a WHOIS search' (do NOT change the 'domain registrant.') The contact will need to be changed to the following:
     
    Name: Josh Harding
    Address 1: American Booksellers Association
    Address 2: 333 Westchester Ave.
    City: White Plains
    State: NY
    Zip: 10604
    Phone: 914-406-7528
     
    (If your registrar is Network Solutions, you can use this NIC handle to change both contacts: 15395193I)
    Please be aware, this does NOT give ABA control of your domain! The reason for these changes is so that we can request an SSL certificate for the new website. Even after the certificate has been secured, the contact information referring to ABA should be left in place, since the certificate will need to be renewed every year.
     
    Note: It is also necessary that 'Private Registration' be turned off, if it is currently on. If this feature cannot be turned off, ABA will not be able to get a security certificate for your domain.
     
    1. Email Us
    When you have made this change, please email staff@bookweb.org with the exact domain name that you're using.
     
    1. Schedule a Training Session
    We'll go over some basic questions about shipping methods, pricing of books, what forms of payment you accept and, most of all, order processing (keep in mind, this call takes about 2 hours, and possibly longer, depending on questions.) To prepare, we recommend going through the Store > Configuration menu. Keep in mind that most of the settings here have been pre-determined for specific reasons, but there are places where the store's information has been added, so you'll want to make sure that info is correct. Specifically, you'll want to look into the following items (both of which we will cover in more detail during the call):
    • Shipping Quote Settings - Here is where you will be deciding what shipping methods to make available, and how much the customer will be charged for each method.
    • Store Pricing - Here you will decide what mark-ups or discounts (if any) you will be applying to the boos in the database. Specifically, you'll want to look into the 'Wholesale discount code.' This is a drop-down menu of all possible Ingram discounts.
    1. Go Live
    Generally, at the end of this phone call, the site will be set to "live" status, allowing the site to take orders and process credit cards. Immediately after the new website has been set to "live," the domain name will need to be re-pointed from the old site to the new one. There are a couple of ways of doing this. In either case, please let us know exactly what domain name you'll be using (do NOT proceed with these steps unless the contact info for your domain has been changed, we have an SSL certificate, as mentioned above, AND the site is "live". Otherwise, you'll be sending customers to a site that cannot take orders.)
     
    1. Repoint Your Domain
    • OPTION A (Steps 5a & 6a on the checklist)

    Whenever you are making changes to your domain, keep in mind that the changes can take 24 to 72 hours to propagate across the web, so the process will often not be immediate. Please make sure you leave a day or two for this to happen.

    Also, please ensure there is an entry for "www" in your current host's DNS. You can ask them to check if there is an "A Record" or "CNAME" for www. If there is not one existing you will need to ask them to create one. This will need to be pointed to the same IP address. (You will need 2 things: an A Record for http://youraddress.com, and a CNAME for http://www.youraddress.com)

    The IP address for the A record will be given to you at the close of your training session.

    Keeping your current host, and adding an A record to your domain - With this method, your domain name will stay with your current host, and any services they provide, including email, will remain in place.

    • OPTION B (Steps 5b & 6b on the checklist)

    Hosting the domain name with ABA - This is done by changing the DNS (Domain Name Server) information from the existing host to the following:

    Primary Server: NS2.BOOKSENSE.COM

    Secondary Server: NS3.BOOKSENSE.COM

    If you decide to go this route, please let us know before you make the change so we can set up on our side first. If you are also using your domain for email, you MUST send us your Mail Exchange (MX) records BEFORE making this change. Once the DNS info is changed, the MX records will be lost, resulting in an interruption in email service.

    By hosting the domain on our servers, you may be able to save hosting fees that you may already be paying (ABA does not charge for hosting a domain if you have a site with us).  Keep in mind, however, that changing the DNS information could lead to a loss of other services that your registrar may be providing you, such as email. If your registrar is providing email service for you, you'll need to copy the MX (Mail Exchange) records and send them to us.

    In the end, it is a good idea to talk to your registrar to make sure you are making the right changes, and to make sure there will be no unintended consequences.

    If you prefer to host with ABA, but your registrar will not continue email hosting without website hosting, it is possible to create a free email account for your domain with Google. This email will display _______@yoursite.com. If you would like more information on creating an email using your domain name, please let us know.

    1. Email Us Again
    Email staff@bookweb.org when you have made the final changes to your domain. If we are not notified of the changes, your site will sit in limbo until we know to repoint your site.
     
     
    If you have any questions, please ask. Some of the terminology here is rather confusing, and if things are done incorrectly it can be a VERY big mess to clean up.