Getting Started with Cloudflare

Learn to quickly set up your Cloudflare account and activate your domain. Understand best practices for Cloudflare-proxied domains. This article formerly appeared under the title Step 1: How does Cloudflare work?


Cloudflare’s global network enhances website security and performance. Review our article on how Cloudflare works for further details.

Activate your domain on Cloudflare in two steps:

  1. Create a Cloudflare account and add a website
  2. Use Cloudflare nameservers at your domain registrar

Step 2 is not required for Business and Enterprise domains on CNAME setups.

Additionally, Cloudflare recommends several best practices for newly activated domains.  If you run into issues setting up your first Cloudflare domain, refer to our Troubleshooting FAQ for new Cloudflare customers.

Best practices for active Cloudflare domains

Cloudflare recommends the following actions and enhancements for each new domain added to Cloudflare:

Recommended actions

Ensure successful interaction between your origin web server, third-party services, and Cloudflare:

Your origin server IPs are automatically whitelisted for your domain when adding the domain to Cloudflare.

Recommended enhancements

Learn which Cloudflare features improve your site speed and optimize security:

Recommended reading

Secure traffic over HTTPS for both your site visitors and for traffic between Cloudflare and your origin web server.

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