Going Live

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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. 
These changes will require that you are able to log into the account for your domain name at the registrar it was purchased from (e.g. NetworkSolutions.com, GoDaddy.com, Register.com, etc.).  If you do not know who your registrar is, you can find out here: whois.icann.org. If you don't have your login information, you will need to contact your registrar to find out how to access your account.
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.


1. Send an email to staff@bookweb.org, stating that you are ready to begin the Go Live process and need the token to set up a TXT record to prove domain ownership. This should be done 1-2 weeks in advance of the date you want to take the site live.

2. When we have received the email from step one, we will email you back the TXT record token. You will then need to contact your registrar and set up the TXT record with the supplied token.

3. Email staff@bookweb.org again to let us know you have set up the TXT record and are ready to schedule a time for the 2-hour training call.

4. When we receive your second email, we’ll confirm the TXT record has been set up and move forward with obtaining your security certificate. Once we have, we’ll move forward with scheduling your training call.

5. Do NOT proceed with the steps below unless you have received confirmation from us that your SSL certificate has been obtained and you have completed your training call, 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 repointing.

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. Email staff@bookweb.org to request your TXT record token: A TXT record (short for text record) is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS) used to provide the ability to associate arbitrary text with a host or other name, such as human-readable information about a server, network, data center, or other accounting information. A domain may have multiple TXT records associated with it. Each record can, in turn, have one or more character strings. There are many possible uses for this type of record. In this case, we're using it for domain verification.
  2. Set up your TXT record, using the token we email back to you: The instructions for how to do this vary by domain registrar. We recommend you log into your domain registrar account and then call them as well, ask them to walk you through setting up a TXT record. 
  3. Email us once you have the TXT record setup:  We will then confirm the TXT record is in place and move forward with obtaining your SSL certificate. The process of obtaining your SSL certificate can take up to 48 hours. 
  4. Schedule a Go Live Training Session: Once we’ve obtained your security certificate, we’ll email you back to confirm and we will need to schedule your 2 hour phone call training session during which 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, 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 markups 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.
  5. Take your site live by repointing: Generally, at the end of training 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 repointed from the old site to the new one. There are a couple of ways of doing this. You SHOULD NOT proceed with these steps until we have confirmed your SSL certificate has been obtained and you have completed your Go Live training session.

    • 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.
    • Regardless of whether you go with Option A or Option B, you will need to continue to pay your Domain registrar (GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc.) for your domain name. ABA is not a Domain Registrar and only provides DNS Hosting. Confused by the terms Domain Registrar and DNS Hosting? Check out our Glossary!
  6. Email staff@bookweb.org again: When you have made the final changes to your domain so that we can complete the configuration on our end. If you do not send this email, the configuration may not be completed which could cause issues with order processing. 
If you have any questions, please ask as some of the terminologies here are rather confusing, and if things are done incorrectly it can be a VERY big mess to clean up.

IndieCommerce Help Documents


About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


PRESS CONTACT: Dan Cullen (dan@bookweb.org)


INDIECOMMERCE: staff@bookweb.org




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