To start using Cloudflare, you need to sign up for a free account. Signing up for Cloudflare is incredibly easy and takes less than 5 minutes. This article outlines the steps to successfully create an account and add your first website.
Choose between one of two easy methods to signup to Cloudflare
Type your email address and password. Click Create account now to proceed. It is recommend to use an email alias or distribution list. For example, email@example.com. Billing and service-related email notifications will be sent to this email address.
Once you have signed up, the next step will be to "Add a Website". Enter the domain for your website and then click Add Site. It's not necessary to add "www" to the domain. For example, if your website is www.example.com, type example.com.
Cloudflare will scan your domain's DNS records. This will take approximately 60 seconds to complete. Once the DNS scan has finished, click Next.
Select a plan that fits your needs and then click Confirm Plan.
A list of all the DNS records found is displayed, including your subdomains. In this step, you can decide which subdomains you want to enable Cloudflare (the orange cloud icon) or bypass Cloudflare (the grey cloud icon). Some records, like MX, never go through Cloudflare (no cloud). If there are any additional records you'd like to add, you can add them freely. After you've reviewed your DNS records, click Continue.
Recommended domains / subdomains to enable Cloudflare (the orange cloud icon) on
When you enable Cloudflare for this subdomain, all the traffic will pass through Cloudflare's http/https proxy, this way you can gain advantage of the added benefits of Cloudflare. You just need to ensure that that your websites loads using the subdomain www and not directly on domain.com.
Recommended domains / subdomains to bypass Cloudflare (the grey cloud icon) on
It is not recommended to enable Cloudflare on the domain itself if you use webmail. Webmail requires connection to ports other than http 80/https 443. When you access https://gsecure.net/webmail it will redirect you to the https://gsecure.net/webmail:20xx port. Enabling Cloudflare will break this link, and you will lose connectivity to your webmail until you disable Cloudflare and bypass traffic.
These subdomains need to connect the user directly to the origin server and bypass Cloudflare because these service require the user to connect to specific connection ports other that http 80/https 443. If you do not bypass these subdomains, you will not be able to connect to these services and will loose connectivity for those services.
You are now given the Cloudflare nameservers specifically assigned for your domain. Please write down the Cloudflare nameservers, because you will need it later on in further steps. If you lose your Cloudflare nameservers, you can always find them in your Cloudflare dashboard under Overview. Click Continue.
Now your account is all set, but you need to update the nameservers for your domain with the Cloudflare nameservers provided previously.
Last update: October 20th, 2018