Setting Up a Custom Domain With Cloudflare

This article goes over the process of setting up a custom domain with Cloudflare. This requires 5 steps: purchasing a domain name, adding your domain to your , changing your domain's nameservers, creating CNAME records, and making your domain your primary domain. Note that these steps must be done sequentially. Also note that depending on the domain registrar you are using, this process may look different.

 

Purchasing a Domain Name

Since Cloudflare is not a domain marketplace, you'll have to buy a domain name by going through a domain name registrar (like GoDaddy or Namecheap).

For example, if you choose a name like "example.com," you will have to go to a registrar, and pay a registration fee for that name. That will give you the right to that name for a year; to keep it after that, you will have to renew it annually.

First, perform a search to make sure that the domain name you’d like to purchase is available. You’ll then be able to choose between domain extensions like .com, .net, .biz, and so on (you may want to purchase more than one). Decide whether you want to purchase domain privacy, which protects your name, phone number, and address from going on public record. Finally, before checking out, you may be given the option to own the domain for more than a year, if you don’t want to worry about renewing annually.

Adding Your Domain to Your brainstorm

In order to have your personal domain point to your brainstorm , you need to add the domain to your brainstorm account.

  1. Log into your brainstorm account.
  2. Select Site from the admin sidebar.
  3. Choose Domains from the submenu.
  4. If you have not yet verified your original brainstorm subdomain, you'll see this screen, where you can confirm the standard subdomain or add the custom domain instead. (We recommend that you confirm the standard free .brainstorm.co subdomain first and then add a custom domain using the process in steps 5-7, as you'll need a brainstorm subdomain to connect certain programs like Zapier.)
  5. Otherwise, if you have already verified your original subdomain, click the New Domain button.new domain
  6. Enter the domain of your choice using the format mysite.com or courses.mysite.com.

    NOTE: You don't need to enter www. or http:// here.

  7. Click the Add Domain button and you will see your newly created domain added to the list of domains. add new domain

Creating a CNAME Record with Cloudflare 

After adding your domain name to your brainstorm , you'll have to create a CNAME record within Cloudflare. To make your CNAME record compatible with brainstorm, you'll have to delete any "A" records, create a CNAME record, and set up domain forwarding.

Most domain providers do not let you create a CNAME record at root. Luckily, Cloudflare lets you use their DNS for free and allows you to create a CNAME record. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Create a free Cloudflare account.
  2. Transfer your domain’s DNS over to CloudFlare.
    • Go to http://cloudflare.com and click the Sign Up link.sign up for cloudflare
    • Enter the domain name that you want to use for your brainstorm without the www.
    • Click the Scan DNS Records button. scan DNS records
    • Click the Continue button.
    • If there are any additional records you'd like to add, you can add them here. After you've reviewed your DNS records, click Continue.
    • Choose the Free plan, leave the other settings the same, and click Continue.free website cloudflare plan
    • Copy the names of the two nameservers listed.copy nameservers from cloudflare
    • Update your domain registrar’s nameservers with the two names you copied from CloudFlare.
  3. Set up your brainstorm domain in CloudFlare.
    • Within CloudFlare, select your domain.
    • Choose the DNS icon from the top menu bar.dns
    • If there's an A record with your domain in it, delete that A record.delete A record

      NOTE: Deleting the A record will produce a warning—don't worry! You want to delete the A record since you're about to add a CNAME at root pointing to your brainstorm .

    • Create a CNAME record pointing to your URL on brainstorm. In the Name field, enter your custom domain. In the Domain name field, enter your brainstorm domain. 
    • Click Add Record.add CNAME record

NOTE: This process often takes 24-48 hours to fully process.

(Optional) Adding WWW Domains

When setting up a custom domain, “www.” is not included in the URL. This is due to the “www.” domain and custom domain being two separate entities.

If you would like to have a “www.” domain that redirects to your custom domain, you’ll need to set up a redirect on CloudFlare. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to CloudFlare and Log In.
  2. On the top toolbar, click Page Rules.
  3. On the Page Rules page, click Create Page Rule.
  4. In the URL field, enter the “www.” domain.  This is your custom domain with "www." in front of it. For example, if your custom domain is “test.com”, you would enter “www.test.com” here.
  5. Click Add a Setting, and then select Forwarding URL from the drop box.
  6. In the Select Status Code dropbox, select 301 - Permanent Redirect.
  7. In the Enter Destination URL field, enter your site’s custom domain. For example, in the example used above, you would enter “https://test.com”.
  8. Click Save and Deploy

Making the New Domain your Primary Domain

  1. Log into your brainstorm account.
  2. Select Site from the admin sidebar.
  3. Choose Domains from the submenu.
  4. Verify that the new domain name works by clicking the Check Domain button. If your domain name works, you will see a Verified message next to your domain.

    CAUTION: Do not set your new domain as Primary in brainstorm until you know the transfer is complete. If you have set your new domain as the Primary too early, you will be unable to log into your .

    check domain
  5. Click the Make Primary button next to your new domain.make primary

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