One of the initial steps when launching a new learning site is to determine the URL where your learners will access the site and content. You can use a new domain (e.g., https://www.customdomain.com), assuming the domain is available. Alternatively, you can choose to host your learning site on a subdomain of your current domain (e.g., https://classes.customdomain.com).
Once you have your domain (or determined your sub-domain), there is a 4-step process to setting it up within your Thought Industries instance. You will need to update various settings via your DNS provider, so we highly recommend that your technical lead be responsible for this task.
Please start this launch process at least 24 hours before you plan to launch. Once you get to Step 3 and have verified your CNAME, before clicking Blast Off, reach out to Tech Success & Support to communicate your launch plan. The 24 hour window is to complete an internal step where our team must verify your CNAME on the correct server for your instance.
Where do I find this?
Settings > Setup > Launch School
The Launch School option is behind a feature flag.
Reach out to Thought Industries Tech Success & Support for assistance to enable this feature in your instance.
How do I do this?
- From your homepage, select Settings.
- From the left menu select Setup, and then Launch School. Next, complete these steps to launch your site.
Enter the domain or sub-domain that you would like to set up.
Domain example: www.learnschool.com
Sub-domain example: learn.school.com
We do not currently support folders - example: www.school.com/learn
If you are NOT using a sub-domain, you will need to set up a redirect from your non-www address to the www one. You can accomplish this through your DNS provider.
So, if someone types in “thoughtindustries.com” into their browser, they get directed to www.thoughtindustries.com.
New Domain vs. Sub-Domain: We recommend using a subdomain as it will piggy back off of all of the "SEO juice" the domain has racked up and will give it a head start in terms of ranking in search engines. If you do a brand new domain, you are starting from scratch.
The system will verify your TXT record and then ask you for some required information to generate your SSL certificate.
As part of the process, we will provision out the SSL certificate so you do not need to purchase one separately.
TXT records will expire in 7 days if not verified.
If your custom URL is already in use, the process should be stopped here until the school is ready to launch.
You will receive a CNAME. Use this to update the settings in your DNS provider to connect the Thought Industries platform with your custom domain. Once completed, click Verify CNAME Record.
TXT records and CNAME verification times can vary dependent on DNS provider.
You can look up the status of CNAME or TXT verifications in the dig tool created by Google.
Now that you've verified your CNAME, reach out to Tech Success & Support so that we can verify your CNAME to the correct server on our end. Remember, this may take up to 24 hours during the business week.
You are now ready to launch your learning site! If you want to remove the "This School is Closed" password protected page, keep the Remove Pre-Launch Password Protection field checked. If not, remember to un-check this before clicking Blast Off!
If at any point you would like to exit the launch process, you can do so by clicking Escape Hatch to restart the launch sequence (found at the bottom of the page).
We do not use A Records. Launching your school is fully dependent on TXT records and CNAME for the custom domain.
What does this look like?
Learner View (Password Protected Page):
This is what learners see if/when your site is password protected. Note that the copy/language can be updated in Translations.
Admin View Step 1 (Enter the Domain or Sub-Domain):
Admin View Step 2 (Verify TXT Record):
Admin View Step 3 (Verify CNAME):
Admin View Step 4 (Blast Off):