Set up a custom domain using a CNAME

When you create a new Docs site, you'll be asked to fill in a subdomain, which is used to access your public-facing knowledge base. You can share this subdomain with your customers, or you can set up a custom domain, such as support.yourdomain.com. This article walks you through setting up a custom domain.

In this article

Adding a custom domain

We're going to use help.jgclothing.co as our Docs domain. Our subdomain is jg-clothing.helpscoutdocs.com. Just add your desired custom domain to the Custom Domain field on the Docs Settings page. Make sure that the Site Visibility switch is ON, then click the blue Save button at the bottom of the page.

Creating a CNAME

To make all of this jibe, you'll need to create a CNAME with your DNS provider. In most cases, your DNS provider is where you registered your domain name. For example, Hover or GoDaddy. When you create the CNAME, you'll be prompted to insert a host name or subdomain. Continuing with our example above, help would be our subdomain.

You'll also be asked to add a destination URL for your custom domain. In this case, it would be jg-clothing.helpscoutdocs.com. In other words, we're simply setting up a rule that says:

  • If a customer visits help.jgclothing.co (our custom domain), they should see the page located at jg-clothing.helpscoutdocs.com (our Docs subdomain).
  • If a customer visits support.yourcompany.com (your custom domain), they should see the page located at yourcompany.helpscoutdocs.com (your Docs subdomain).

Note: Once you save the CNAME, it can take up to 24 hours to propagate and properly point to Help Scout, although, you could see changes take effect in as little as an hour. If you see any TTL settings when setting up your CNAME, just leave those as is. An SSL certificate will be issued after your CNAME record has fully propagated. 

Common Questions

Can I have more than one custom domain point to my Docs site?

Only one CNAME record can be pointed to a single Docs site at a time. Additional CNAME records pointing to a single Docs site will not work as intended and could result in security vulnerabilities. 

What steps do I need to take if I want to change my custom name or remove it? 

If you change your custom domain, delete the previous CNAME record you created at your DNS provider first, then create your new CNAME record and update your Docs site settings. The propagation time will apply to this change. 

If you want to remove your custom name, remove the custom domain from the Docs site settings first, then delete the CNAME record at your DNS provider. 

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