At Cloudflare we are very strict about making changes to customer accounts. We do not make changes to your account without your expressed permission. In the event see that your zone was removed from your account, there are a few different reasons that could be the cause. A very common one would be that you or someone using your account removed it. Another reason would be that the name servers were no longer properly configured to point to Cloudflare.
Name servers are specialized servers that are used to provide responses to DNS queries. They are essentially directories used to locate where your server lives.
When you first setup your account, you will need to delegate your DNS to Cloudflare. This means that you are giving us control over the DNS, so that we can route your traffic through our network, and provide you with speed and security features across your site. In order to do this, you need to update your nameservers with your registrar.
When you sign up for your Cloudflare account, we provide you with two name servers that will be used for all the zones you add to your account. Some registrars will provide you with more than two name servers, however, it is important to use only the two provided in your Cloudflare dashboard. Otherwise, your site will not become active, or your zone will be removed from your account. Our automated system looks for you to only have our name servers assigned in order to validate your zone properly.
Another issue that can result in a zone deletion, is if your registrar is not propagating your name servers for a period of time. If you see that your name servers are set to only the Cloudflare name servers, please check with your registrar to see if they are having any propagation issues.
Why We Do This
By using additional name servers in addition to the two Cloudflare provided ones, you create an inconsistent routing experience. Since name servers are used to provide routing information, it's possible that some traffic would occasionally route to your origin outside of Cloudflare. Further, this means that the DNS records would need to be managed with your Cloudflare dashboard, as well as with your registrar to ensure that all of your visitors are hitting the same site. This creates a lot of issues for your visitors, and your metrics.
I Want To Delegate DNS Elsewhere
If you want to use additional name servers to delegate specific records outside of Cloudflare, you can add NS records to your Cloudflare dashboard to allow for those name servers to provide the responses to the queries. Otherwise, you could upgrade to our Business or Enterprise plans, and request a CNAME setup.