Help with setting up domain

I have a question regarding implementation of Cloudflare. We are a small organization that is required to implement Cloudflare in order for us to receive a certificate to operate from our state technology organization.

We are trying to evaluate the smallest package we need in order to become operational. The issue we are running into, is that Cloudflare doesn’t appear to support sub-domain protection. We have this scenario.

The site we want covered is a subdomain (and completely different IP address and host than our top level domain, which shouldn’t be covered by Cloudflare). We can’t seem to add the sub domain as a site, because Cloudflare is expecting only the top level domain as the site to add (which, again, isn’t and shouldn’t be included in Cloudflare coverage).

It seems like the only way we can move forward with using our subdomain only is by using the enterprise package. Is that accurate or are we missing something?

That sounds right to me. Unless you add your root domain to Cloudflare, you’ll need an Enterprise plan just for CNAME protection.

Is it viable to move your subdomain-based website onto its own brand new domain and use that on Cloudflare with the Free plan instead?

You can do a CNAME setup on Business as well as Enterprise.

If that’s still prohibitive in terms of cost then a workaround may be to use an alternative domain and use Cloudflare for SaaS to get your subdomain working through Cloudflare.

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It’s not feasible, no. The subdomain we have it on is what it needs to stay on.

We do have full DNS access to both the top level domain and the sub-domain. It was my understanding originally that the top-level domain needed to be under Cloudflare proxy but after looking further it looks like we can just change the name servers to Cloudflare, set it to not use proxy for the top level domain, then add the sub domain as an A record (like it currently is) and use the Cloudflare proxy.

Would that work?

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I can’t seem to edit my post. Use the Cloudflare proxy only on the second-level domain, keeping the main domain only managed via DNS.

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Yes, having your domain’s DNS on Cloudflare does not require you to use its proxy or any other service they offer. You can use only DNS for your domain, and just set up the subdomain with Cloudflare’s proxy (and any other services you want). But in order to use the proxy on any subdomain using the free or Pro plan you will need to use Cloudflare’s DNS for the domain itself.


Yes that would work. You can “Grey cloud” all the DNS records that you want to bypass the Cloudflare cache, effectively making them behave as they are now.

You can “Orange cloud” the CNAME record so that it uses the Cloudflare cache and other features.

As you mentioned, you’d simply need to migrate the domain nameservers to Cloudflare, and import all existing DNS records too. You’d have to use the Cloudflare interface to manage ALL of your DNS records afterwards, but hopefully that’s not a problem?

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