How to Use CloudFlare CDN Service as a DNS Hoster

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In this article I’ll tell you how to move your domains to CloudFlare DNS. How will that help us? It’s simple: our landings will be faster and they won’t be connected to DNS of a hoster or registrar. That’s advantageous for us because as we all know extra optimization makes ROI grow.

So, let’s start.

CloudFlare has several membership types, and a free account is absolutely enough for hosting of a landing or tracker. It’s up to you what to choose. In this guide I’ll tell you about settings on a free account.

Register, it’s simple.

Then you need to add your domain to the CloudFlare system:

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Input the domain name of your website, press Begin Scan and wait. Meanwhile, you can watch a video about settings there.

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When the scanning process is finished, press Continue Setup.

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On the next page you will see your current DNS, press Continue.

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Finally, you can see the DNS generated by the system, and you can use them with your domain.

Here I’ll show how to change DNS of a domain on the website of the registrar that I use, namecheap, as an example. You can do the same thing in your registrar’s user dashboard. Open dashboard, choose your domain and press Manage.

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Then, in the ‘nameservers’ section, choose the ‘custom’ parameter and input the DNS suggested by CloudFlare.

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Now you need to wait until the DNS update. As a rule, I return to my domains the following day, but the DNS might update earlier.

So, the DNS is finally updated. After checking the domain in the CloudFlare system from time to time, there is the status that you were waiting for:

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Now it’s time to start further setting.

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Delete the existing records, you don’t need them. Now you should connect your domain to your server/VPS or a droplet. It can be done with the help of the A-record and the server IP.

Step 1

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Step 2

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Ready. In half an hour the domain will be added. Now I’ll mention some aspects of a more precise adjustment that you will probably need to know.

  1. If you want to install a selfhosted tracker on your domain, for example iMobiTrax, proxying must be disabled, otherwise the tracker’s statistics won’t be readable:

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If it’s enabled, all requests will go through the CloudFlare proxies, and if it’s disabled, they all go directly. These cloud icons must be inactive as it’s shown in the screenshot. If you need proxying for other purposes, they can be activated.

Let’s move further. CloudFlare provides a firewall. In some cases, when working with redirect or popup traffic, you will deal with a lot of web traffic and bots, and this type of traffic looks similar to a DDoS attack for CloudFlare, so the service starts protecting your website, and users can see the following while visiting a landing or tracker:

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You definitely don’t need it. Moreover, a part of traffic will be lost because of that, and that’s absolutely unacceptible. Therefore, the firewall should be disabled in settings:

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That’s all I wanted to focus in this article. Thanks to me and my colleague Stepan Talabira for some details and help in creation of this guide.

 

 

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