When you first start your Zendesk subscription, the URL for your Zendesk web portal is some variation on mycompany.zendesk.com. Since all companies take great stock in managing their brand, Zendesk offers you a feature on our Team, Professional, and Enterprise plans called host-mapping that allows you to show your own branded URL to all customers accessing your Zendesk.
You can choose IP-based or SNI-based host mapping. SNI-based host-mapping is supported in the Team, Professional, and Enterprise plans, while IP-based host mapping is only supported in the Professional and Enterprise plans. For more information, Setting up host mapping in the Zendesk Administrator's guide.
This article covers IP-based host mapping.
Modify Your CNAME Record
To get this working, you’ll need to make a few changes to your subdomain’s DNS . When dealing with DNS changes like CNAME records, Time To Live ( TTL ), and Secure Socket Layer ( SSL ) certificates, things can get complicated. Here’s a walk-through that should make this easier to understand.
Assuming you already have your desired subdomain ready to go (ie. support.mondocameras.com), you’ll need to make a DNS change. This is done through the host where your domain resides. The change you will be making is to the CNAME record.
As shown above, point the CNAME record for your subdomain (shown in the “Host Record” field in this example) to your Zendesk subdomain, as shown in the “Points to” field. The end result should look like the following:
Once this has been done, allow some time for DNS propagation. DNS changes typically take anywhere from a few hours to a day – depending on your Time To Live (TTL) settings – to reflect the changes. In the meantime, you may see some redirects. TTL can be altered at the host level if you have access to this.
Enable Host Mapping
Next, log in to your Zendesk. Go to Settings > Account > Branding , and under the Host mapping field, add your custom subdomain; ie. support.mondocameras.com. This enables the host-mapping to occur.
If you don’t do this, your subdomain will point to a Zendesk error page, rather than your page.
Host Mapping and SSL
Keep in mind when host-mapping your subdomain, Zendesk provides a free SSL certificate for all *.zendesk.com domains. Now that you’re using your own subdomain, our SSL certificate will no longer apply, and you may experience a certificate error. Or rather than seeing your subdomain map to your Zendesk, your customers will be redirected from your support.mycompany.com URL to the mycompany.zendesk.com URL.
Use Hosted SSL in order to enable HTTPS (encrypted communication) for your custom subdomain.
- Go into your Zendesk under Settings > Security > SSL. Below Hosted SSL, you'll see a Generate a request button. Clicking this link will download a certificate signing request file (CSR) to your computer.
- Provide the CSR to an SSL Certificate Authority, who will then generate a certificate for your custom subdomain (ie. support.mondocameras.com) and provide you with a certificate bundle. See Preparing a SSL certificate for upload to Zendesk. Before paying for the certificate, make sure the certificate authority supports SHA-2 encryption. The CSR uses SHA-2 encryption.
- After obtaining or preparing the SSL certificate, return to theer Settings > Security > SSL page and click I have a certificate, then Upload certificate.
- Next, simply upload the certificate. The installation process on our end takes up to five business days, at which point our wonderful Ops team will reach out to you with next steps. You will be given instructions to make an additional CNAME record change for your subdomain, to a new CNAME record URL reference which is created when your SSL certificate is installed. (ie. support.mondocameras.com to mondocam.ssl.zendesk.com).
If you're a Team plan customer, IP-based hosted SSL is not supported, but you can use SNI-based hosted SSL instead. For more information, Setting up host mapping in the Zendesk Administrator's guide.
Hope this helps you customize your Zendesk URL and continue providing your users with great support, branded to match your company! If you have any additional questions, you can contact our support team at email@example.com