Vanity name servers and mail server A records - lighting up the orange cloud

Hi, this may be a stupid question, but I use custom name servers with my hosting reseller and then also my mail server is my primary server domain. Is there anyway possible to add the orange cloud to those A records and they work properly? I had tried this about 8 years ago and I could not get them to work, but Cloudflare has made a lot of changes since that time. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated.

to add your domain to Cloudflare, you would have to use ONLY Cloudflare name servers, plus if you are already using Cloudflare nameservers and you add another nameserver of your choice then also you can’t use Cloudflare features.

Ok, I am already using vanity name servers on CF and I have done so for years. The vanity name servers are set up as A records on my CF account. So say I get a new client. I give them my vanity name servers to point them to my server before adding them to Cloudflare. The mail server is the primary domain and it is also an A record on my account. I just want to turn on the orange cloud without their functions crashing.

Are you using Cloudflare custom nameservers? Can you share the vanity nameserver names?

You cannot point random domains at Cloudflares nameservers and expect it to function. You should never point any domain to Cloudflare nameservers before that domain is added to Cloudflare.

Are the clients creating their own Cloudflare accounts? What is your company doing for them?

I presume you mean that you have an A record for @, that is both your web server and mail server?

Create a separate A record for your mail server, something like, ensuring it is :grey:. Point your MX record at This will enable you to set the @ :orange:.

However, if you have clients who point their DNS records at your @ record, then you cannot make that :orange: for lots of reasons. If you are a SaaS provider you should check out Cloudflare for SaaS, which is probably what you actually need.

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So, on the name servers, there is probably no way of doing it without going to the business plan, and on the mail server, I already have a MX record pointing to a different server. Thank you anyway for your response.

I have made some progress, so now I have the MX record pointing to the Exim mail server, but when I turn on the A record for Cloudflare, the server immediately stopped sending and receiving email. My configuration is now A record: and my MX record: pointing to mail server, so my question is how do you keep the MX record on: without the clients having to change the mail servers on their email client programs?

Don’t forget about this:

There’s no way to run mail and a website on the same :orange: hostname. That’s why mail needs a separate “A” record.

Thank you for the response. If I understand correctly, no way I can have an A record on Cloudflare and the MX record just using DNS going to the same URL? Can I change the host name on Exim and then have the MX record on Cloudflare be the same but going to the new mail server name? For example: the MX is and going to the the mail server name is, and A record for is on Cloudflare and the A record for is not on Cloudflare? Or do I always need an A record with DNS only for any MX record with that same URL?

This is probably the sticking point. If your users are pointing to a mail server hostname that’s the hostname for a website, you can’t :orange: Proxy it.

That’s the way it should be. And should be set to :grey: DNS Only. And that’s the hostname your users need to point to in order to send and receive email.

That’s the way it should be. And should be set to :grey: DNS Only. And that’s the hostname your users need to point to in order to send and receive email.

That configuration worked for incoming mail and I am assuming the outgoing mail has restrictions (maybe relaying SMTP mail, dunno). There was some other things as well. The is used to access my server controls and for some reason it was seeing the CF IP and restricted access as it was designed. This is an ongoing project so I am in no rush. I have been on CF with this configuration almost the entire time my company has been open (in 2 months it will be 10 yrs) so in the next month or so I will take some free time and try to figure out these issues. Thank you for your assistance!

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