Understand how to update nameservers at your domain registrar to successfully activate Cloudflare.
To route web traffic through the Cloudflare network, update the nameservers at your domain registrar to resolve your domain’s DNS with Cloudflare's nameservers. Updating your nameservers does not change where your website is hosted. Also, you can still use OpenDNS, Google DNS, etc for recursive DNS although Cloudflare recommends the 188.8.131.52 resolver.
Before you begin
Before you change your domain nameservers to Cloudflare, you will need to create an account and add your domain to Cloudflare.
If you are new to Cloudflare or Internet concepts more generally, you might want to review the following concepts:
Change your domain nameservers
To change your domain nameservers, you will need to use information from Cloudflare to update admin settings at your current registrar.
1. Copy information from Cloudflare
Once you have added an application to Cloudflare, that application will receive two assigned nameservers. You will need this information for future steps.
To get this information:
1. In the Cloudflare dashboard, select your account and newly added domain.
2. Copy the information from Replace with Cloudflare's nameservers.
2. Update the admin settings for your registrar
1. If you do not know the name of your registrar, go to ICANN WHOIS and enter your domain.
2. Log into the administrator account for your domain registrar.
3. Make sure your registrar has disabled DNSSEC for your domain. For more details, see Why do I have to disable DNSSEC.
4. Replace the current nameserver records in your registrar account with the information you copied from Cloudflare. For detailed instructions, select a link in the list below.
5. Wait 24 hours while your registrar updates your nameservers. You will receive an email when your site is active on Cloudflare.
6. Confirm your site activation by logging into the Cloudflare dashboard:
- If you no longer see Complete your nameserver setup, you have successfully updated your nameservers and your domain is active at Cloudflare.
- If Complete your nameserver setup still appears:
- Ensure the Name Server output correctly spells the Cloudflare nameservers and confirm Cloudflare's nameservers are the only nameservers listed.
- If the Name Server output is correct, select Re-check now.
How to check if your domain nameservers are now pointing to Cloudflare
There are a couple of different methods on how to check whether the nameservers have been updated at your Registrar to point to the Cloudflare nameservers:
- You can use the command line to confirm what are the nameservers assigned to your domain:
*Linux/Unix* dig domain_name +trace @184.108.40.206 dig domain_name +trace @220.127.116.11 *Windows* nslookup domain_name 18.104.22.168 nslookup domain_name 22.214.171.124
- You can also use online tools, such as https://www.whatsmydns.net/
If the nameservers returned here are not the ones provided and expected by Cloudflare, you'll need to check with your Registrar.
If you run into issues, below are some things you will want to confirm before reaching out to Support for further assistance:
- check that no DS record is present, if so remove them at your Registrar
- check that only the Cloudflare nameservers are present, and if not remove the other ones in Registrar configuration
- check that the Cloudflare nameservers are spelled correctly in your Registrar configuration
Once your domain is active on Cloudflare, review our best practices for active Cloudflare domains.
Confirm traffic is proxied to Cloudflare
Some online tools such as GTmetrix don't recognize Cloudflare as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) because we don't operate like a traditional CDN. Instead, confirm your domain traffic actively proxies through Cloudflare by browsing to https://www.example.com/cdn-cgi/trace. Replace www.example.com with the domain and hostname proxied to Cloudflare. If proxied to Cloudflare, output similar to the following appears in the browser:
fl=4f177 h=www.example.com ip=2001:1900:2200:7525:749f:9ed1:444c:80b4 ts=1562191016.292 visit_scheme=https uag=Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_6) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/74.0.3729.157 Safari/537.36 colo=SJC http=http/2 loc=US tls=TLSv1.3 sni=plaintext warp=off
If you don't observe similar output:
- Confirm your DNS record is orange-clouded in the Cloudflare DNS app,
- Enter your domain at ICANN WHOIS to confirm the Name Servers only list Cloudflare nameservers for your domain, or
- Contact Cloudflare Support.