Point customer domains to my host server without touching nameservers


I host several client websites. Typically I don’t host their DNS, so when a client comes along I get them to point their root and ‘www’ DNS A records to my server IP address. This works fine for now. However, when my server IP changes I have to contact customers and get them to change the IP address in their DNS records, which is something I’d rather avoid.

What I would like to do is to use a CNAME record instead, the process for which I believe is as follows:

  1. I set up an A record on my domain to point to my server IP.
  2. I tell customers to set up a CNAME pointing ‘www.theirdomain.com’ to ‘customer.mydomain.com’.

I have the following questions about this setup:

  1. If I host my DNS at Cloudflare, is this supported? My customers must be assumed to be NOT using Cloudflare for their DNS. I believe I read in the FAQs that you can’t point non-Cloudflare hosted CNAMEs to Cloudflare hosted domains but may have misunderstood.
  2. I realise that CNAMEs don’t cater for root domains. So considering this, are there any options to handle pointing my customer’s root domains to a ‘central place’ (I can’t think of a better way of phrasing that!) whereby if my IP changes I can handle the DNS updates rather than having to get each customer to make DNS updates? Guessing not, without hosting their DNS myself but just wanted to ask.

Thanks for any pointers folks.

  1. You cant proxy (:orange:) that A record as the request would go to Cloudflare otherwise, which wont recognise the customer host. But a long as you do not proxy it (it should be :grey:) the CNAME should work just fine.
  2. You basically either need control over their DNS records or they’d need a service that allows to associate a root domain with a CNAME (like Cloudflare’s flattening). Unfortunately I couldnt recommend a concrete service but maybe have a look into Cloudflare’s partner programme as they might offer something of that sort - no guarantees though, I am not overly familiar with that programme I am afraid.

Maybe @cloonan has more insight.

That’s really helpful, thank you :slight_smile:

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