Migrating existing custom domain alias to Cloudflare

My site is currently hosted by another provider that also provides domain registration and email addresses (e.g. [email protected]). I’m thinking about moving to Cloudflare for domain registration and hosting my site for free on Cloudflare’s pages. I would then cancel all services at my current provider.

I would like to continue to send/receive emails at the [email protected] alias. Is it the case that all I need to do is register my domain with Cloudflare and then use Cloudflare email routing to continue to access the alias through gmail? No other email host would be necessary? The docs on email routing discuss adding new aliases to custom domains but don’t mention what happens with existing aliases.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

No, Email Routing is a forwarding service for receiving emails, they got forwarded to a Gmail address or any mailbox really that you have somewhere else. There is no email sending option with Cloudflare, you’d need an external email service for that.

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Email forwarding is an unmitigated disaster in the twenty twenties. Do yourself a favor and pay for a good email service so that you do not wind up hating life and filling with misdirected rage.

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Thanks to you both for clarifying and taking the time to respond. I guess part of the reason I’m a little confused by this is that email hosting is often bundled with domain reg. If I use CF for domain reg, I’m not sure what the companion product for custom domain email from a third party would even be called - custom email domain hosting?

The note on forwarding is appreciated. I’m also not looking to self-host. It would be nice to find a free option as I only need support for a single alias with minimal traffic and times are tough. Digging around, I see suggestions involving:

  • Zoho mail. Their free plan seems to allow a custom domain but you can’t use it with gmail.
  • SMPT server providers like Brevo or SMPT2Go.
  • An alias like simplelogin.io?
  • Larksuite as a free alternative to something like Google Workspace.

If anyone has thoughts on the above options or alternate suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Regardless, have a great day.

You will spend more than $72/year of your own efforts to run your own messaging platform. Running a mailserver on the public internet without sufficient experience is a security incident waiting to happen.

The $72 amount is the price of the cheapest Google Workspace account on an annual commitment. I bring this up because you mentioned not being able to use Gmail with free Zoho, so I assume that means you like Gmail.

As much as I endorse “free is good”, I find paying for something better is almost always worth it.

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