We offer cities the ability to host their OpenCounter portals at a custom domain, usually at a subdomain of the City's website. For example, Orlando's portals can be accessed at https://digitalpermits.orlando.gov/, in addition to the standard orlando.opencounter.com.
To implement this, we use a concept from domain name management known as a CNAME, which is for all practical purposes an alias for a web address. Using a CNAME for custom domains gives applicants the understanding that OpenCounter is an official service offered, validated, and supported by the City. Cities can choose custom domains for the Landing Page / Table of Contents page, as well as for each individual portal. Here's an example from Manteca, CA, which has a Zoning Portal and a Business Portal. They have domains for each portal, and then one for the Landing Page.
Landing Page / Table of Contents
- business.cityname.gov -> Business Portal
- zoning.cityname.gov -> Zoning Portal
- permits.cityname.gov -> Table of Contents (Index of all available portals)
For specific instructions regarding CNAMEs, please visit http://help.opencounter.com/en/articles/3652359-ssl-setup-process.
CNAME vs Redirect / URL Forwarding
Since we are committed to keeping your applicants' data secure, we require that all custom domains use SSL to encrypt data sent from the browser to our servers. Redirects and URL forwarding aren't able to keep data safe the same way that a custom domain set up with a CNAME can.