Cloudflare has always been known as a free and reliable Content Delivery Network (CDN) providing websites with security and speed. However, since late 2018, they are looking to further expand their business with the introduction of Cloudlfare domain registrar.
Currently, Cloudflare Registrar only supports domain transfers available exclusively to existing Cloudflare users – new domains cannot be direclty purchased or registered with Cloudflare Registrar.
In order to transfer your domain to Cloudflare Registrar, here are the requirements.
- 1. Initially register your domain with another registrar for the first year.
- 2. Install Cloudflare’s CDN on your website with Full Zone setup and point the DNS to Cloudflare.
- 3. Transfer your domain from your current domain registrar to Cloudflare before expiration/renewal date.
- 4. There are additional restrictions that may apply to you which you can check from their documentations page.
So why switch to Cloudflare registrar? You should first take into consideration some advantages and disadvantages of using Cloudflare as your domain registrar.
PROS OF CLOUDFLARE DOMAIN REGISTRAR
Cheapest Domain Registrar – Domain registrars typically offer discounted prices for the first year only to inflate the prices after the promotional period.
With Cloudflare, you are always guaranteed domain registrar at wholesale prices. This means you only pay the actual cost of registry and ICANN fee.
|Top Level Domain||.com||.net||.info||.org|
|Wholesale registry fee||$7.85||$9.02||$10.84||$9.93|
|Your annual cost||$8.03||$9.95||$11.02||$10.11|
As you can see, Cloudflare does not charge a mark-up so there are no hidden fees. Here is a list of all top-level-domains (TLD) that Cloudflare supports.
Free Whois Privacy Guard – Cloudflare does not charge any additional fees for Whois privacy guard – it is automatically applied. Also, the cost of the domain includes two-factor authentication for added security.
Free SSL Certificate – A free SSL certificate can be integrated for your domain as one of many Cloudflare’s free products and services.
CONS OF CLOUDFLARE DOMAIN REGISTRAR
No Support for Email Forwarding – Currently, Cloudflare does not provide support for email forwarding. However, if this is a feature you need, you can still use a third-party forwarding service but hopefully they will add this feature in the future.
Only Available for Cloudflare Users – Cloudflare Domain Registrar is only accessible to current Cloudflare users. This means you should already be using their CDN and your domain is already listed in your account.
Must Use Cloudflare DNS – You have to point your name server to Cloudflare. A Full Zone setup is required when setting up Cloudflare to your website – a partial CNAME setup with a third-party DNS would not work.
CLOUDFLARE DOMAIN REGISTRATION
If you’re already using Cloudflare CDN for your website, chances are you probably received an email from Cloudflare telling you to transfer to their registrar. However, if you didn’t you can still transfer your domain to Cloudflare from your account dashboard.
- 1. Navigate to your Cloudflare account dashboard and click Manage domain from the Overview tab.
- 2. Click the Transfer to Cloudflare button to begin the transfer process. You should be presented with a summary of your domain name, expiration date and fee schedule.
- 3. You’ll need to first add a payment method first to get started with the transfer.
- 4. Next you’ll need to log into your current domain registrar account and unlock your domain. Once your domain is unlocked, you can request an authorization code.
- 5. Request an authorization code from your current registrar to allow permission for domain transfer.
- 6. From your Cloudflare transfer screen, input the authorization code you received from your current registrar. This will grant permission for your domain transfer to Cloudflare Registrar.
- 7. Update your Whois contact information and click the Confirm and Finalize Transfer button.
- Check your email associated with your registrar you are transferring your domain from for any confirmation email. It may take several days for the complete transfer to take place.
Web hosting companies generally charge you a premium for domain registration and renewal. Fortunately, using Cloudflare as your domain registrar can really save you a lot of money especially if you own many domains.
Webmasters who provide hosting services for clients can also benefit from the wholesale prices of Cloudflare’s domain registration – potentially saving hundreds a year. Hopefully Cloudflare will continue to expand their services, like email forwarding, in the future.