Allow client's to use cname for our domain

We have set up our domain on cloudflare (free plan) using A record, say It is working fine. cloudlflare SSL is also working fine here.

My client has a domain, This is not on cloudflare. Client is doing a CNAME record pointing to our domain under their own DNS provider.

Now accessing is giving DNS resolution error while it should fetch the content from

What could be the problem ? If required I can share the domain names also.


Hi @tipzipcrm,

I don’t think that setup will work at all:

Can I CNAME a domain not on Cloudflare to a domain that is on Cloudflare?

Using a CNAME to redirect traffic for a domain not on Cloudflare to a domain that is on Cloudflare creates a DNS resolution error. Since Cloudflare is a reverse proxy for the domain that is on Cloudflare, the CNAME redirect for the domain (not on Cloudflare) wouldn’t know where to send the traffic to.

If you would still like to do a redirect for the site not on Cloudflare, then you should establish a traditional 301 or 302 redirect on your origin web server.

Cloudflare DNS FAQ – Cloudflare Help Center

You may want to look into Custom Hostnames, which is an Enterprise feature.

Thanks for the screenshot, I edited my reply above with more information when I found the link I was looking for.

The case you mentioned is the reverse to my scenario. This we understood.
But any DNS provider will fetch the content based on their CNAME setting.

Im not sure what you mean by the reverse. What I understood is that the client is not using Cloudflare and they added a CNAME record pointing to your domain, which is on Cloudflare.

Is that not correct?

Yes this correct you mentioned.

In which case, the DNS FAQ I linked to covers it, that won’t work.

What’s the solution then ?
If the client add an A record pointing to our server IP, will this work ?

If your server is configured for that then yes, what you are trying to do through Cloudflare won’t work.

If you want them to CNAME, you can set the DNS record to :grey: so they see your server’s IP, but you will lose any benefits from Cloudflare on your domain.

What i did is - created a subdomain ( on cloudflare pointing to our server ip and bypassed it (grey colored) on cloudflare.
Now client has configured CNAME pointing to the same subdomain and its working fine.

But if the client configures A record pointing to our origin server directly, it redirects to our root domain ( which it should not be. Is it due to the domain configured with cloudflare and they are not allowing direct access to the origin server ip ?

Cloudflare doesn’t change your server configuration (unless you install Cloudflare Tunnel there), so them pointing directly to your origin is unrelated to Cloudflare.

Is there any limitation on number of subdomains created on cloudflare ?

To add to this, this feature is currently available for free at the Cloudflare for SaaS beta. One thing to keep in mind is that you’re limited to 20 hostnames during the beta and that pricing is still a WIP.

No that’s not the answer i am looking for.
How many subdomains we can create on cloudflare or there is no limitation ?

The amount of DNS records you may have depends per plan.
There are no official published numbers, but I believe for the free plan it’s 1000.

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