What is a Custom Domain?
When using the short trackable link feature, links are shortened to 22 characters in the form of a "nxt.to" URL. This link can be customised, however, to a domain that better represents your organisation while still retaining trackability.
For example, "https://nxt.to/1234567" could become "http://example.com/1234567".
This can help you better reflect your brand in the text message and increase the trustworthiness of the link with your recipients.
How does it work?
The feature requires that all traffic from the custom domain be directed to our own domain, and is then redirected to the full URL:
How to start the setup process
Send an email to email@example.com informing us that you wish to set up a custom domain for shortened URLs. We will then confirm with you the actions you need to perform at your end to get things ready.
Technical changes required
Since we need to forward traffic from a domain/subdomain to our http://nxt.to domain, a CNAME record is required to be added to the DNS records of the domain. Therefore, you are required to create a CNAME DNS record that points from:
subdomain.example.com CNAME to nxt.to
URL Shortener Custom Domain settings
Once the DNS record is added and live, you should be able to view the domain (subdomain.example.com) in a browser and it should display "ShortUrl.Redirector v.1.1.0-XXXX". This means the DNS record is live and all traffic is redirected to our http://nxt.to domain.
What to send back to MessageMedia
Once you have set up the domain name and confirmed it’s working correctly you need to send back:
Account ID(s) - Which account(s) do you want the Short URLs to apply to? (You can find your Account ID by going to the Account > Account Settings menu in the Web Portal)
Full domain name you have configured with the CNAME DNS record (e.g. subdomain.example.com). Different hosting providers have different ways of adding the CNAME record for the domain, so you will need to confirm with your hosting provider on this point.
Home page redirect URL - Where do you want people going to the home page to be redirected to? For example, when someone visits nxt.to, it redirects to the Short SMS link tracking page on the MessageMedia website. This can be the website of the business or the website of the campaign you’re currently running.
SSL certificate - Do you want the link to be http or https? If you want https, do you want to purchase the SSL certificate yourself and send it over to us, or should it be generated by AWS and you need to add more CNAME DNS records for validation?
Technical Contact details in case we need to address any issues.
Do this via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
From there, we will complete the setup process and notify you when the service is ready to use.
- How long does it take to set up?
There is some manual work involved in the set-up process, so allow approximately 5-10 business days depending on the domain you choose.
- What data is stored about the recipient?
We track enough information about the click-through to enable reporting in the click-through reporting within the MessageMedia web portal. This includes:
- The original MessageMedia Message ID
- Recipient Number
- Short URL
- Full URL
- Timestamp of the click-through
- User Agent and IP address of the click-through
- Any there any 3rd party libraries used to track?
MessageMedia does not use the data collected from clickthroughs on short-trackable links for anything other than in-product reporting.
- How secure is this service?
The short URL service has been designed to the same security standard as our other products and features. We don’t have any publicly accessible endpoints where a user or admin could list existing hashes or long URLs.
Although it is unlikely to guess which short URLs are valid (the search space is 3.5 trillion possibilities), we currently don’t limit the rate at which a single IP can expand short URLs. It is scoped for a future release to have limits and protections as part of a web application firewall sitting in front of the nxt.to domain.
Like all short URL services, we don’t recommend adding any personally identifiable information (PII) in a query string parameter since this information can be stored inadvertently in proxy server logs, browser history and referrer headers when accessing external links.