Can I change the CF Nameservers to Siteground without the Business Plan?

I thought I could change the NS records from any reputable Registrar but it looks like Cloudflare requires a Business Plan (at $200/mo) to change the NameServers.

Am I understanding this correctly?

I added NS records for Siteground, but they don’t do anything (I didn’t think that would override the CF NS records but thought it was worth a try).

Also, my understanding is that due to ICANN rules my domain is held captive for 60 days before I can move it to another Registrar.

Thanks for any ideas or help!

Unfortunately if you registered the domain via Cloudflare Registrar, you can not change the nameservers to anything outside of Cloudflare at this time.

You can create custom vanity nameservers if you’re on the business plan or higher, but you still can’t point them externally from my understanding.

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Thanks for the response.

I must be missing something. Why would CF sell people domain names which are literally impossible to Web Host?
(CF won’t let you point to a hosting service like Bluehost, and CF does not offer any of their own web hosting)

Why would anyone buy a domain name from CF if this is true?

Many traditional web hosts will allow you to point at their services using A, CNAME or other DNS records - you generally don’t need to hand over complete control of your nameservers just for hosting.

Cloudflare also offer their own hosting solutions like Workers, Pages, etc. which work great for many users.

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Workers and Pages do not allow web hosting.
They are for Serverless/FaaS, or for those who build their entire web development around JAMStack tools.
https://www.siteground.com/kb/point-website-domain-siteground/

Using A records defeats the whole point of a commercial web host. An A record uses a fixed IP Address. Web Hosts do not use static IP for their servers, so A records are of no use. Only being able to change NS records will work.

CNAME records also fail to solve the problem, since they just re-route one DNS name to another.

So I’m still wondering why anyone would buy a domain name from CF.

Alternatively, you can update only the domain’s A record to point to your hosting account’s IP address. This would point only the website, while the rest of the DNS records and the emails will remain intact.

Siteground do support just pointing an A record at their service it seems.

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You’re saying that Web hosting providers constantly rotate the IP addresses of their and their client’s servers‽

That aside, the very document you referenced also says this:

Alternatively, you can update only the domain’s A record to point to your hosting account’s IP address.

The only reason to use SiteGround’s nameservers would be to user their control panel, instead of Cloudflare’s, to manage the DNS records. You can manage them from Cloudflare, or anywhere else for that matter, just the same. You don’t necessarily have to manage your DNS records the same place that you host your content.

But yes, assuming the domain was just registered with Cloudflare, you wouldn’t be able to transfer it to another registrar or change it’s nameservers for that inital period.

This is a case where I’m happy to look stupid. I did dig deeper into that link I posted and you guys are right. In the last paragraph was this sentence:
" Alternatively, you can update only the domain’s A record to point to your hosting account’s IP address."

I think that will work. That means a host like Siteground does have a static external IP, and they must use a Gateway or Load Balancer behind it as needed to route traffic to the internal server IPs.

Thanks for helping, and sorry I didn’t read all the way to the bottom.

I will note that the A record solution only works under the condition that the web host uses a static external IP and routes traffic internally to it’s own dynamic IPs (not all setups work this way).

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