I will attempt to make this story as short as possible. I am new here, so bear with me. My actual questions are in the last paragraph, so skip ahead and then the backstory is here if you need it.
My domain (bemadiscipleship.com) has been registered with Hover from the beginning. Originally I hosted with Squarespace using the base domain and did not select their option to redirect to www, although it would work if you typed it in. I assume I had a DNS record in Hover that made this happen, but I didn’t save a screenshot to know for sure.
I have also always tried to push people to https, so whatever settings Squarespace had for this, I used it. So the default of my website came to be https with the root domain. This is what you see if you search for “bema discipleship” on Google or DuckDuckGo.
I just switched to Fireside (fireside.fm) for my website, and they require www. They were providing the SSL certificate, so www worked whether you entered http or https, and I set up a forward through Hover (at their direction) so http worked with the root domain, but https with root (my most common scenario) was not working. This is what I received from them.
In order to enable SSL on your base domain redirect, your DNS provider would need to offer SSL certificate hosting in order to accept and reroute https traffic. Hover doesn’t do that, which is why you’re limited to traffic over http. Maybe one day they will change this.
Many of our customers have had luck using Cloudflare.com’s DNS services and SSL certificate (both free), and it would work for what you’re trying to accomplish. Although this is beyond the scope of our support, I can attest that this works perfectly and wasn’t too hard to setup. I’m sorry we can’t provide further assistance with setting up DNS on Cloudflare.
As for Fireside, we only provide hosting of a single domain, prefaced by www, we aren’t a DNS provider, and for the reasons explained in the Domains section, cannot provide base domain hosting or A record support.
So I have set up Cloudflare, imported DNS records, switched nameservers on Hover, and set up a forward on Cloudflare. Everything seems to be working now. My question is about efficiency: The A records that were imported from Hover point to Hover’s IP, so do I still need these in Cloudflare? It seems like it would point the request to Hover only for Hover to dump it back to the Cloudflare nameserver. Is my Cloudflare forwarding catching the requests and dumping them to the CNAME record (which is what Fireside wants) over https through www before it even goes to the A record (Hover)? Do I need to keep the http root forwarding to http www active at Hover?