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Setting Up a Custom Domain

Taylor Sloane Updated by Taylor Sloane

Every HelpDocs customer gets a custom subdomain that looks a little like this:


It's yours—go wild.

Our subdomains make a lotta sense for customers already, but if you want to take the customer experience from good to great, you'll want to set up a custom domain. For example:


It's super simple to set up a custom domain for your HelpDocs, but if you're not comfortable with DNS and CNAMEs, forward this article to your developers.

Setting up your custom domain

Set up a CNAME record

The first step is to log into your DNS provider (e.g. Route 53, GoDaddy, etc.) and set up a new CNAME record for the subdomain you'd like your HelpDocs to be available at. This should be pointed to, not to your HelpDocs subdomain, and have the lowest possible TTL setting.

Your CNAME should point to, exactly as written. Don't substitute in your HelpDocs subdomain.
If you use Cloudflare for DNS your record should be grey-clouded, with the proxy turned off. Orange clouding your record could cause issues

Let us know where

You'll need to tell us what domain will be accessing your HelpDocs. It's only a couple seconds' work, and you'll need to head to your account Settings.

Then type your custom domain into the marked field, and hit Save Changes. Easy as that.

Sit back and wait

Sadly some DNS providers aren't as fast to respond as we are 🙁 So depending on your provider you may need to wait up to 48 hours for the changes to be applied. Don't worry though—you can still access your HelpDocs at your subdomain, and they won't be interrupted.

Add SSL to Your Custom Domain 🔒

All HelpDocs plans come with free custom domain SSL as standard. There's nothing for you to pay on your end and all it takes is a click of a button. Here's how to request SSL for your shiny new custom domain.

  1. Make sure your custom domain is already working non-SSL
  2. Head to Settings > General
  3. Next to Custom Domain, click on Request SSL
  4. It should take a couple seconds to issue your certificate
    If your certificate still isn't appearing when you visit your docs after several hours contact support and we can help you debug 🐛
  5. If the SSL was successful the Request SSL button will disappear and you'll see https:// in the prefix of the field
You'll need to add to your CAA record if you have one.
Once you have SSL enabled on your custom domain, if a logged out visitor hits your HelpDocs subdomain we'll transparently redirect them to your custom domain.

Moving a Domain to HelpDocs with Zero Downtime

It's possible to move your docs to HelpDocs with zero downtime in most cases.

  1. Enter your custom domain in HelpDocs Settings > General and hit Save
  2. Switch the CNAME on your domain to point to (exactly as written, not replacing for your subdomain)
  3. Wait for your custom domain to show HelpDocs when you access it
  4. Optional: Generate an SSL certificate for your domain in Settings > General by hitting the Request SSL button

If you had an SSL certificate before, there will be difficulties accessing your docs for people that’ve visited before until that SSL cert is issued. If not, it’ll just start working seamlessly.

To keep existing links working, you'll need to set up redirects. If you've used one of our migrators we'll do this for you.

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