1. Create a New Site in onMessage

Create New

2. Name the site. This is for naming within onMessage and should not be the URL. ExampleSummer Gala. There is a option to select Site Status while naming the Site, you can change this Status later if needed. The Statuses and their definitions are:
- accessible through URL but invisible to search engines and crawlers
Offline - only accessible when logged into onMessage
User-added image
Note: It may take up to 10 minutes for your staging domain to become active

3. Click Site Settings to see more details

Site Settings

4. If Staging is Selected, the staging URL will be in the following format: SITENAME.SCHOOLNAME.onmessagestaging.com

General Setup

The staging URL can be used to access the site without creating any DNS/CNAME entries.

SITENAME = The site name in Red can be any single word or number but must be unique to all other sites (this is the name input when creating the site as shown in step 2)

SCHOOLNAME : Your school name will be the part in front of “myschoolapp.com”. For example, if your school URL is https://www.k12school.org, your school name would be K12School”.

5. When you are ready to make the site accessible using your new site URL (i.e. change from Staging or Offline, to Live):

a) Add the URL you would like to use as the new site URL via onMessage > Website > Site Name>  Site Settings

b) Click the Editing Pencil for the Site URL and input the URL such as summergala.k12school.org

Site URL

c) Follow our DNS instructions guide below to create the appropriate DNS entries. DNS Instructions are included for BB K-12 Hosted DNS and Third Party Hosted DNS:

d) Open a ticket with our support team letting them know you have a new site in onMessage ready to go live and that you are requesting a SSL certificate to be issued for the domain.
Note: The changes to the DNS must be completed before an SSL Certificate can be issued for the domain

DNS Instructions

Please read ALL NOTES before making DNS changes.

Note: If your new site URL should be accessible using a subdomain only, for example subdomain.domain.com (summergala.k12school.org), you only need to create a CNAME record.
The instructions for creating only a CNAME record (if Hosted by Blackbaud) can be followed here:
  1. Log into https://toolbox.onwhipplehill.com/ with the same User ID and Password used to login to the site. (If you do not have access to the DNS Toolbox and need to obtain access, refer to How do I get access to the DNS Toolbox?)
  2. Make sure "DNS" is selected on the left-side toolbar. Look for your school's website and click the "Details" button next to it
  3. In the top right-hand corner, click the "Create Record" button
  4. Add your subdomain's name to the first empty box so the site URL matches the one you created in onMessage (for example summergala.k12school.org)
  5. Make sure "Type" is set to CNAME - Canonical Name (this is the preset). Set TTL to 1 hour
  6. In the large white dialog box, enter the address of your school's website so it follows this format: yourschool.onmessage.whipplehillsites.com
  7. Click Save
  8. You will be redirected to the DNS page. You should see your new site listed with the label "Pending" and an orange button "Undo Pending Create." If you are ready to publish your site, click the orange "Publish" button in the top right-hand corner of the screen
  9. It will take a while for your site to actually go live (the time is determined by the TTL that you set....in this case, 1 hour). If you want to check or share your website while you are waiting for it to go live, you use  the "staging" URL found in onMessage > Site Settings

If the new site URL is a completely different domain name then you will need to proceed with the below steps:

External DNS Changes: To be made on launch day

External DNS refers to the Internet, the changes are made within the DNS Host (for example if Blackbaud hosts your DNS,  the changes are made through the DNS Toolbox)
Point your root domain (i.e. schoolname.org) on your external DNS servers to: IN A
Point your subdomain (i.e. www.schoolname.org) on your external DNS servers at CNAME record in this format: schoolname.onmessage.whipplehillsites.com ​

Internal DNS Changes: To be made on launch day

Internal DNS refers to changes made on your Schools internal network (usually by the IT Staff)
Point your subdomain (i.e. www.schoolname.org) on your internal DNS servers at a CNAME record in this format: schoolname.onmessage.whipplehillsites.com
  • Please do not change the internal root domain IP if it is used for Active Directory. If it is used in that capacity, just make the CNAME change.
  • The www record should only have the CNAME , DO NOT add to the www record, or you will take your site down.
  • There will be no IP address record for the www record, just the CNAME.
Note: The new site can take up to 1 hour to be fully accessible