Setting Custom Domain & SSL

Custom Domain

If you would prefer to have your project be behind a domain of your choosing, you can set up a Custom Domain with ReadMe! You can configure this under Documentation > Configuration > Custom Domain.

Custom domains and subdomains vs. paths and folders

Projects can be set to a custom domain ( or subdomain (, but cannot be set to a path or folder (

For minimal configuration, you'll need to set up a CNAME record for your desired domain pointing to Refer to your domain registrar's documentation for information on how to add a CNAME in your domain's settings. For example, if you purchased your domain with GoDaddy, then refer to its "Add a CNAME Record" article.

By default, ReadMe expects that your custom domain is a subdomain, for example or If you try to set a top-level domain, i.e., as your custom domain, you must create an alias. For more information, see "What is a DNS A record?"


Setting a Custom Domain will automatically force all users to https.


Upon saving your Custom Domain in ReadMe, if you’ve correctly configured a DNS record in your registrar pointing to, we will attempt to generate an SSL certification on your behalf! ReadMe uses Cloudflare to provision and manage the certificates for custom domains.


Cloudflare Customers

Cloudflare does not currently support "Orange-to-Orange" network traffic (multiple proxies managed by Cloudflare). If you are currently using a Cloudflare proxy, you must disable the proxy in your settings.

Using NGINX as a Custom Proxy

If you have an existing proxy in place for your domain and you would prefer to forward traffic to instead of creating a traditional DNS record, there are a couple steps you'll need to complete for proper configuration.

Creating an SSL Certificate for Your Domain

Before making full use of your proxy with ReadMe, you will need to generate a certificate through our system traditionally. This means you will need to complete the above steps (Custom Hostname, SSL). Once your certificate has been created, you can change your DNS record to point to your proxy location and proceed.


Certificate Status

You can check the status of your certificate by navigating directly to your custom domain. If you can access your ReadMe's documentation via your custom domain, and there is a lock in the URL bar, you're good to go!

In the future, we plan on adding direct verification via the Custom Domain page!

Configuring NGINX Routing

Cloudflare relies on Server Name Indication (SNI) to authorize use of its proxy and certificates. Without passing the correct information, you may receive a 403 - Forbidden error on navigating to your domain. Depending on your version, NGINX supports SNI. You will, however, need to explicitly declare two new variables in your configuration: proxy_ssl_server_name and proxy_ssl_name. In tandem, these act as an SNI declaration.

Here's a configuration you can use for NGINX using these settings:

http {
  server {
    listen 443 ssl;

    location / {
      proxy_ssl_server_name on;
      proxy_set_header Host;