Sexy Second-Level Domains for Your Substack with Handshake

Port Your Blog Quickly to the DWeb

Anthony Mandelli
Published in
3 min readMar 24, 2021


The popular newsletter platform Substack is being used by thousands of creators to achieve greater levels of financial freedom. But as more value accrues within the audience you’re building, your domain — the digital identity that acts as a gateway to your content — becomes more vulnerable.

One way to protect your newsletter and secure your domain to a name that persists across the DWeb is to set up a second-level domain with the decentralized naming protocol Handshake.

Read more: The Case for Handshake

For example, the Handshake newsletter The Shake can be accessed through news.theshake/, where news is a second-level domain under theshake/, a Handshake top-level domain (with a handshake compatible resolver such as, hsd, hnsd, NextDNS, and more).

Setting up a custom Handshake SLD for your Substack

  1. Getting your Handshake name
  2. Setting up your redirect

Getting your Handshake name

This example will use Namebase to acquire a name and take advantage of their redirect feature. Once you’ve set up and funded your account, use the domain search page to find a name for your newsletter.

You can use Namebase to win Handshake names in auctions or buy them directly from other users. There are more names available for auction than for immediate purchase, so you might be more likely to find the perfect domain (like we did with theshake/). You’ll pay a premium to buy a name directly, but you’ll have access to it immediately whereas auctions can take around two weeks to resolve.

Use the method of your choice to get a name, then once it’s yours head to your domain manager.

Read more: Getting Handshake names on Namebase

Setting up your redirect

From the Domain Manager, select Set up redirects.

From the list of names, select the add button to the right of your domain to create a new SLD for your redirect.

Fill in the second-level domain you want and your Substack URL.

Once you’re happy with your new SLD, click on the Save changes button at the top-right of the screen to activate your redirect.

You can confirm your redirect is properly configured by visiting the name from the Domain manager.

Your domain should now have:

  • An NS record under Blockchain DNS Records.
  • TXT and A records under Namebase nameserver DNS records

Visit your new SLD

See your custom Handshake domain in action by visiting

Learn more about what’s to come for the DWeb.

More Handshake Educational References:



Anthony Mandelli

Technology story teller | Amateur Django dev | Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and books.