Free SSL, DNS (Nameservers) Change Question - Does My Host Change?

Rather new at Cloudflare’s SSL setup, so during set up it indicates I must change my name servers from the current, to the new Cloudflare name servers. If I do that, will my site not operate anymore? Do I not have to upload all the files to Cloudflare for this to work? I’m under the impression that wherever your name servers are, that is were your site is being hosted

Cloudflare acts as a bridge between your existing website and your visitors. By changing your name servers to Cloudflare, it will activate this “bridge.” Visitors will seamlessly go through Cloudflare to get content from your website.

DNS is just a phone book. Browsers use DNS to look up the site you want, and get the IP address. Cloudflare’s DNS “phonebook” will have the proper IP address visitors need in order to view your website.

Your concern regarding using your host’s DNS is valid, as they know better than anyone where your website is. In the very rare case (it’s been a long time for me) where the host changes your website’s IP address, you will need to update your DNS settings at Cloudflare.

Thanks for your reply sdayman. My question isn’t still quite answered. Basically I’m under the impression that if I change the name servers of my site to Cloudflare’s, that will indicate that Cloudflare is hosting my website which I believe would mean I’d have to upload the files to Cloudflare.

This is all with respect to Cloudflare’s free SSL

No. Cloudlfare does not host your website. But it will put SSL in front of your website if you’d like.

Thanks for your responses sdayman. And so you mean by me changing the name servers to Cloudflares - as simple as that correct?

Lauretti, as Sdayman says, Cloudflare does not host your website. Your website’s files will remain with your website hosting provider. When you create a Cloudflare account and add your web address, it should automatically find all your DNS records, including the IP address of your site and any MX records for emails etc. and add them. This should mean that once you transfer your nameservers to Cloudflare, your website will continue to function as before. I use the ‘Flexible SSL’ option for my site which means that I do not need to install any certificates on my site and all my traffic is directed through Cloudflare, I, personally, find this the easiest option.

When a user visits your website, the request will be sent to Cloudflare encrypted (hence the HTTPS). Cloudflare will then request the page from your web hosting provider and send it to the visitor who will see the ‘padlock’ secure icon in their browser.

When you set up your Cloudflare account, Cloudflare will try to migrate all your DNS records over. Cloudflare will show you what it found so you can verify. Make sure you compare Cloudflare’s DNS to your current DNS entries.

At that point, Cloudflare will tell you which two name servers you need to set at your domain registrar so you can begin using Cloudflare.

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Sorry, thanks for the extra clarification sdayman. Missed that from my post.

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Thanks to both of you for your help in understanding the process. Everything is more clear now and I’ve changed the name services.


Glad to be of help and that you are joining the amazing community of Cloudflare with your website.

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