Connecting domains from domain host to a different website host - should I use Cloudflare?

I will start out by saying that I have so little IT knowledge that I do not even understand the purpose of Cloudflare, so forgive me if I am getting straight to asking a question which might be answered somewhere else. Trying to sift through the Help Center has not been productive for me - I don’t understand enough to even know if I am reading the right stuff!

I am building a website using Squarespace. I am using a couple of .ca domains. Since Squarespace does not host .ca domains, I purchased these through another provide, HostPapa.

Squarespace support provided these instructions to link domains hosted through another provider: https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/205812378. However, because I am not hosting my website through HostPapa, they do not give me access to the cPanel, where I would normally be able to manage the DNS (steps 4-6 in the linked squarespace support article).

Chatting with HostPapa support, they directed me to create a Cloudflare account, and said that this would allow me to manage the DNS for my domains. Before I dive into trying to figure out another system which is frankly quite overwhelming for me, I just want to know if this direction I received even makes any sense, and if so where do I start? All I want to do is be able to point my domains to my site being built on Squarespace. I am not even interested in other Cloudflare services at the moment (actually just worried this might create issues with Squarespace…).

Thanks

Hi @rbaydack,

No problem! You can create a Cloudflare account and add your domain purely to use Cloudflare’s DNS service, without using any of their other features. The way to do this is documented in the guides at support.cloudflare.com or Community Tutorials to add your domain and change the nameservers with your registrar. You can then disable Cloudflare services on the site and use DNS only. Next to most DNS records, you will see a :cloud: icon. It will either be :grey: or :orange:, if it is :orange:, it means that Cloudflare’s services are enabled and :grey: means you are using DNS only. Hence, if you change them all to :grey:, you will not enable Cloudflare’s services on your site.

I would suggest starting with:

Step 1: Adding your domain to Cloudflare.

Following this through should get you setup with Cloudflare and if you don’t move on to step 2, but stop after that one, you will have Cloudflare disabled and be using DNS only already.

You may then want to take a look at Adding DNS Records for help adding the DNS records that your host has asked for.

If you do later want to look at Cloudflare’s services (mainly website security and performance features), we should be able to help with that as well as any questions you may have going through the setup process :slight_smile:

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