Unraveling IP-based host mapping for Zendesk Support Follow

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5 comments

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    Paul Middleton

    Hi there,

    I'd like to set up a domain based entirely on Zendesk. I.e. not a support sub-domain, but the whole website hosted as a Zendesk site.

    I don't believe it's acceptable to have just a CNAME in the DNS records - you must have an A record, too. Is there a recommended IP address to use to map the domain, and will this work?

  • Avatar
    Jessie Schutz

    Hi Paul!

    Just to clarify, are you asking if you can host your entire website on Zendesk's servers? We don't provide webhosting as such; we only provide tools for a Knowledge Base and Community. Any other web presence you wish to have will need to be hosted elsewhere.

    As far as the hostmapping goes, it's not necessary (and I think not even possible) to set up both a CNAME record and an A record pointing to the same site. When you set up your CNAME record with your DNS provider, Zendesk actually takes care of pointing that CNAME in the right direction so everything resolves correctly. You don't need to set up the A record yourself.

    Hopefully that answers your questions! Please let me know if you have any other questions!

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    Paul Middleton

    Hi Jessie,

    Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. What I want is for the whole domain name (example.com) to be mapped onto my Zendesk, not a sub-domain (support.zendesk.com). I'm pretty sure DNS rule dictate that you can't just have a CNAME entry - you must have at least one A record (with an IP address). So I need to create an A record for the example.com domain.

  • Avatar
    Jessie Schutz

    Hey Paul! Thanks for clarifying.

    Your root level domain (ie: www.example.com) is hosted with the domain registrar you bought it from, or with whatever web hosting services you're pointing it toward. In order to be able to use that root level domain for your Help Center, Zendesk would have to actually be your domain host and, as we talked about above, Zendesk isn't set up for that.

    So to answer your initial question, it's not possible to host map www.example.com to your Help Center. What you can do, however, is forward traffic from www.example.com to support.example.com. You'll set up your host mapping as described in the article above, pointing support.example.com to yourdomain.zendesk.com. You'll then do some additional set-up with your domain registrar to forward or redirect visitors to www.example.com to support.example.com.

    When you set up your host mapping with Zendesk, we take care of pointing your visitors to the correct IP address so you don't need to set up any of that on your own. When setting up forwarding from your root URL, though, the settings may be different. Your domain registrar will have instructions on how to get that set up!

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

    (First paragraph edited for clarity.)

  • Avatar
    Paul Middleton

    Sorry, Jessie, but that's wrong. The www. sub-domain can be mapped to Zendesk with a CNAME record.
    The root-level domain is 'example.com'. Only an A type record can be used with the root, according to the DNS specification. This requires an IP address, and it sounds like Zendesk can't provide/support that, which is a shame.

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