I currently own a .com domain (prime for renewal) on Namecheap. I handle the hosting elsewhere. I’ve been recommended Cloudflare for domain transfers so I went all the way to create an account.
However, upon following the steps for domain transfer, it seems evident for me you can’t just transfer a domain/DNS to CF and have your hosting elsewhere. You’re bound to purchase a new hosting plan along with the transfer. Whenever possible, I prefer to handle both things separate.
As much as I think CF hosting is second to none I’m currently happy with my host provider. If I can’t have just domains/DNS info at CF then I’ll just renew them at my current domain host. Will appreciate having this point cleared up.
You can, you just need your DNS to be at Cloudflare. That is, if you transfer your domain to Cloudflare, you have to use Cloudflare nameservers. You can use whatever host you want, as long as they allow you to just point A/AAAA/CNAME records at them and don’t force you to change your nameservers to theirs (a few bad ones do). You can use Cloudflare’s Proxy/CDN, or you can make your records DNS-only and have Cloudflare just act as a registrar and super fast DNS.
To transfer, you have to add the domain to Cloudflare, start using their DNS/switch your nameservers, and then unlock your domain at your registrar and start the transfer. Then you would modify any DNS records within Cloudflare. If you’re saying right now Dreamhost is your DNS Host, you would have to switch to Cloudflare. With Cloudflare Registrar, Dreamhost can be your Web Hosting Provider, they cannot be your DNS Host.