I made a mistake, now how to use site WITHOUT Cloudflare

I’ve always used one of my sites as the nameserver for my hosted sites; eg, I use foo.com as the site, and have NS and A records created for NS1/NS2.FOO.COM that point to my server’s IP.

When I moved this site to Cloudflare (free account), I thought that I’d just set those records to DNS only and all would be well! But alas, it was not; all of my hosted sites became unresponsive. I read NOW that this requires a Business account, but I didn’t realize that at the time.

So I changed the nameservers for foo.com back to the original, eliminating Cloudflare from the equation. But it’s been about 40 hours since I did that, and my home internet provider (T-Mobile) still hasn’t updated! Clients are complaining, too, that their sites still appear to be down. And, of course, they could be losing emails from people whose internet provider hasn’t updated.

I opened Google VPN and everything works, so I know that the issue is with DNS propagation.

While I’m waiting on them to propagate, can you suggest how my Cloudflare DNS settings should be to ensure that NS1/NS2 actually point to my server properly?

My DNS settings on Cloudflare are (pretending that my site name is foo.com and my server IP is

A @ (proxied)
A www (proxied)
A ns1 (DNS only)
A ns2 456.78.90.12 (DNS only)
AAAA @ blah:blah:blah::blah (proxied)
AAAA www blah:blah:blah::blah (proxied)
NS @ ns1.foo.com (DNS only)
NS @ ns2.foo.com (DNS only)

It’s also worth mentioned that I can’t get in to WHM/cPanel now. I usually access that through a subdomain and a port (eg, server.foo.com:1234), but without the VPN I just get an error that the name isn’t resolved. The DNS for that subdomain is:

NS server ns1.foo.com (DNS only)
NS server ns2.foo.com (DNS only)

I tried pausing the site in Cloudflare, but that didn’t help.

Any suggestions?

It’s not really clear what you’re trying to accomplish. If your DNS is on Cloudflare, you can’t have NS records for your domain pointing to another nameserver, because your authoritative DNS is on Cloudflare.

You can certainly have ns1 and ns2 pointing to your other nameserver, and use that for other domains (customer domains) that aren’t on Cloudflare. You just need A/AAAA records for that, not NS records.

Also, you don’t need NS records to create a subdomain. NS records are only for if you want to delegate nameservice for that subdomain to a different nameserver. Basically, you almost never need to create NS records, and if you create them when you shouldn’t, you’re going to break things in much the way you’re seeing.

To set up your domain on Cloudflare you set the nameservers for your domain (at your registrar) to point to Cloudflare, and at that point, Cloudflare is your authoritative DNS service and you do your DNS for that domain on Cloudflare. You would create all your DNS records on Cloudflare, and your previous nameservers are no longer used for that domain.

Domains (like client domains) that aren’t on Cloudflare can use your other nameserver, and once your own domain is set up on Cloudflare you could provide the clients Cloudflare-based services through your account with an SaaS setup.


Even though I’d changed the nameservers at the domain, internet providers were still pointing my domain to Cloudflare after 40+ hours. My goal was to fix the Cloudflare DNS so that my hosted sites would work while waiting for everything to propagate.

Your suggestion fixed the problem! I just deleted the NS records in Cloudflare, and then everything went back to normal :slight_smile: I wish I’d asked 2 days ago, I’ve been getting cussed out by clients for 2 days!

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