This tutorial covers creating a Cloudflare account, adding a domain, changing nameservers and checking imported DNS records.
Go to dash.cloudflare.com/sign-up, enter your Email and create a password, read the terms and notices and click ‘Create Account’
Enter your domain. This has to be your actual domain (e.g.
mydomain.co.uk) and must not include any domain specific hostnames (e.g.
www.mydomain.com or similar). Furthermore the domain has to be an immediate child of an official top-level domain (or one of its official second-level domains).
mydomain.co.uk is permitted,
mydomain.someisp.co.uk is not.
See https://publicsuffix.org/list/public_suffix_list.dat for a full list of accepted parent domains.
Select your plan
Choose your plan, you can always start with Free and consider upgrading later.
Wait for Cloudflare to Import your DNS Records
Important: Check that the DNS records found match those listed at your domain registrar / web host and add any that are needed.
If you skip this step your website might not resolve.
Click any orange clouds () to turn them grey () and click ‘Continue’ - this is to avoid downtime during the transfer process, and the can be enabled later. See How to eliminate (or minimise) downtime when adding your domain to Cloudflare and Step 3: Enabling the 'Orange Cloud' for details.
Then click ‘Continue’.
Change your nameservers
Copy the nameservers required by Cloudflare
Log in to your domain registrar and edit the nameservers to the ones provided by Cloudflare. You must remove any extras and ensure you only have the two nameservers that Cloudflare provides. Also make sure you are changing the authoritative nameservers at your registrar, not adding NS records at your DNS provider.
Once you have changed them, click ‘Continue’ on the Cloudflare page. Cloudflare will then automatically scan for the change, you may be able to speed this up by clicking the “Re-check Now” button.
If it’s you first time using Cloudflare, you may want to follow the Quick Start Guide to help you get set up. Otherwise, choose Finish later to get straight to your dashboard.
Your nameserver change can take up to 48 hours to propagate, once it does, you will see this message.
Configure basic settings for your site
See Step 2: Setting up SSL with Cloudflare for full details on SSL/TLS mode.
If you don’t want your site to use HTTPS, set the SSL/TLS mode to ‘Off’
If you do, make sure you have a valid SSL certificate on your server and set it to Full (strict). If you don’t already have a certificate, set it to ‘Off’ for now and deal with SSL later. You can follow the linked tutorial for further information, including using a free Cloudflare Origin Certificate.
Check the rest of the settings (click help next to them for more info) and click ‘Done’
Check your site
Visit your website and check that it is functioning correctly
If you have completed this, it looks like you are ready to move on to Step 2: Setting up SSL with Cloudflare!
This tutorial is one in the ‘Getting setup with Cloudflare’ series. They are listed below:
- Step 1: Adding your domain to Cloudflare
- Step 2: Setting up SSL with Cloudflare
- Step 3: Enabling the 'Orange Cloud'
- Step 4: Checking your site after adding it to Cloudflare
Tutorial Reference: CT-01
This is a Community Tutorial, most are wiki posts, so can be contributed to by Regulars and MVPs here. If there is a tutorial you would like to see, you can request one here.
If you would like to provide any feedback on this tutorial, please post in the #Meta category, tag your post #TutorialFeedback and let us know the Tutorial Reference above.
Other great resources on this community include the Community Tips. These address best practices when configuring Cloudflare, how to fix issues you may see, and tools to troubleshoot. Also, you can view Expert Tips, great posts on the community from people in the know that may help you with your issue.
We encourage users to check out these great resources and the Cloudflare Support Centre before posting