SPF Record Not Propagating

I am trying to explain an SPF record propagation malfunction for help and this site is saying “Sorry, new users can only have 4 links per post.”

I have not put any links.

What does this mean???

I will try and see if this takes ands then add more info. Jeez.

I can’t explain anything…

what is this??

Never mind. Fixed.

Someone finally explained it to me after a year. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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The link count includes automatically generated links. A good way to prevent unwanted automatic link generation is to use </> Preformatted text from the formatting menu. Placing the URL inside of backticks (`) does the same thing.

If you take the Discourse tutorial offered by @discobot, it will increase your trust level, which can raise link limits.

In glad to hear that. Would you share what fixed it?

You’ve disabled me in your preferences. You need to allow new user onboarding tips to interact with me.


I’ll have to look into this and see if I can digest some of this language because I’m not really a tech guy. tech speak is usually foreign to me. But I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out for next time.


The answer is this time I showed a person a screenshot of the cloudflare dashboard for like the 50th time and he pointed out that contrary to what I had been told beforehand I did not type in SPF as the name but rather typed in the at symbol which would produce my domain name as the name.

Yes I feel stupid for not knowing that now, but I did show the dashboard itself to at least 50 people on various sites and no one pointed that out until yesterday. In fact many people told me that what I typed in for the name didn’t make any difference only the content part.

So now I know.

It’s not easy being a bird brain.

Without the domain and the SPF details from your email provider, it’s hard to offer specific feedback, but normally you would want the record to be created at the root of the domain (example.com) and not at a subdomain (spf.example.com).

I like the free tools at dmarcian for testing SPF.

Sure, all of it makes sense now but not when I was reading the instructions or showing it to anyone, as screenshots the first time.

A lot of my friends are in tech or IT and there’s a certain amount of jargon or text speak that other people simply are not used to.

So even though it seems obvious now and is in a grayed out area, my brain wouldn’t necessarily grasp that by “at” symbol and "root’ they mean they want me to type in the name of my website domain. Or that the at symbol is simply a shortcut to produce the domain name and that the domain name is what should be used in this particular space. To me that was not clear, and no one pointed that out to me in any of the phone calls that I had with a lot of people who said that you can enter in whatever you want as the name it doesn’t matter.

Or there could have been a short instruction that I didn’t see anywhere that simply said here’s all you need to do when you’re looking at the dashboard:

Make sure to type in the at symbol as it requires you to because that will give you the name of your website as the name in the name area for the record.

Also I don’t think that a lot of people understand that you cannot allow cloudflare to automatically enter in the automatic SPF record that cloudflare says it will do for you, because when you choose this automatic assistant it gives you an SPF record that has “cloudflare” at the end of it.

My internet service provider or email provider told me that if I did this my email will be broken because they had to use my email providers text record not the record that cloudflare asked me to use with this automatic assistant.

I do think these kind of instructions need to be carefully worded and explained because if people followed them in certain cases their email would shut down and they would have no way of knowing what happened and no one would be able to explain it to them and they would be able to get no one on the phone to explain why it just happened.

So I actually did not take cloudflare’s advice and let the cloudflare assistant enter in what cloudflare wanted to enter in as my text record and I’m glad that I didn’t because now I found out that if I had my email would not be broken and I would not know why it was broken.

So for things that are as important as an SPF record there could be I think a simpler easier to read step by step instruction that just says here’s what you do.

Next step

Next step

Next step

And now you’re done.

In other words a lot of things that would just make intuitive sense to a tech person would not necessarily make sense the way that I’ve seen it spelled out and some of these online instructions which leave everything up to guess work if you’re not a tech person.

So for something that is as important and specific as SPF records I just simply think that the instructions could be a little simpler that’s all.

But thanks for your help!!!


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I know you already solved this, but I’d just like to explain this to you.
When you create a DNS record, Cloudflare automatically adds your domain to it, because all records you create are obviously for your domain.

Let’s say your domain is example.com.

When you type in www as the name, the generated record will actually have the name www.example.com. If you use example.com as the name, the record’s actual name will be example.com.example.com.

As you can see from the last example, you can’t type in the name of your domain, and the @ symbol also isn’t just a shortcut - it is the only way to create records for your root/apex domain (apex/root = your domain without a subdomain).

You might wonder why you can’t simply leave the name blank if you want to create a record for example.com.
When you have to fill out forms on websites, you often have required and optional fields. Everyone understands that optional means you can leave the field blank, while required means you have to enter something - if you try to leave a required field blank, you usually see an error.

If you could leave the name field blank, it would become an optional field, and people might think that it is not important or that you can enter whatever, as some of the people you asked for help claimed:

So, instead of leaving the name field blank, you are asked to enter a symbol that does not exist in domains - the @, so they can be certain that you mean example.com and didn’t just leave the field blank by accident or because you thought it was unimportant.

The problem is, this instruction really needs to come from your email provider, not from Cloudflare. You (and probably 95% of people) needed to use @ as the name, but not everyone does. Some people actually send email from subdomains, so they need to enter the subdomain as the name.

This forum for example sends emails from [email protected], so the required SPF record would have the name cloudflare, not @.

If Cloudflare had a tutorial that tells people to use @ as the name for your SPF record, the remaining 5% would rightfully complain because the tutorial is wrong. So it’s really for the best if Cloudflare doesn’t offer instructions on what to enter for the name, and instead leaves this to your email provider.

Instructions from your email provider could really be as simple as this:

Create a DNS record with
type: TXT
name: @
content: v=spf1 include:example.com -all

Mailgun for example has very detailed instructions on how to add SPF and DKIM records to Cloudflare:

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Hey thanks for the extra info.

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