Using External DNS to configure your custom domain

Last modified: March 13th, 2023

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Use your own DNS servers.

CloudCannon DNS is strongly recommended for sites on apex domains (no subdomain).* External DNS* relies on an A record mapped to a single server. This cannot be dynamically load balanced, reducing redundancy and increasing potential down time risk.

If you are using Cloudflare as your DNS provider, you will need to configure your DNS records differently. See our guides for using a Cloudflare Proxy with CloudCannon.

If you want to host a site on CloudCannon, but manage your DNS records externally, you can use External DNS. To configure your domain with External DNS, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you are using External DNS. Otherwise click External DNS and Switch to External DNS.
  2. Note the CNAME and A records provided by CloudCannon.
  3. Go to your external DNS provider and find the DNS settings for your domain.
  4. Set the CNAME and A records to match those provided by CloudCannon.
Screenshot of external dns interface

The CNAME record maps your subdomains to CloudCannon servers. The A record maps your apex domain to a specific CloudCannon server.

Here is the DNS documentation from a few domain registrars:

Apex Domains#

In some cases, you may configure your DNS to point directly at CloudCannon’s host origin, bypassing many of the normal benefits of CloudCannon hosting. This is not recommended, but fits a select set of use cases, the most common of which is pointing the apex of a domain at CloudCannon while also needing to use an external DNS. Only use this if you have a specific reason to do so.

Click Single Origin under Site Settings / Domain in your site settings. This will show you the DNS records you should use:

Screenshot of Single Origin Hosting interface

Cloudflare Proxy#

CloudCannon hosting uses Cloudflare. If you’re using Cloudflare DNS for your domain and have Cloudflare’s orange cloud feature on your DNS records, you will not be able to proxy directly to the normal CloudCannon CNAME.

Instead, you can either turn the orange cloud feature off or you can use a custom CNAME which connects directly to our origin. Click Cloudflare Proxy under Site Settings / Domain in your site settings. This will show you the CNAME value you should use.

Screenshot of Cloudflare Proxy Hosting interface

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