How to Activate Cloudflare on a Hosted Domain

You can easily activate Cloudflare on any of the domains you’re hosting in your HostM account.

Activating Cloudflare on a domain is FREE and offers the following benefits:

  • Increased speeds due to the website’s assets such as images being automatically populated onto multiple servers worldwide.

  • Enhanced security due to the inclusion of an additional layer of web application firewall provided by Cloudflare.

This easy tutorial shows you how to activate Cloudflare on a hosted domain in your HostM hosting account.

  1. Ensure that your domain is using the correct nameservers, since activating Cloudflare will involve some updates to your domain’s DNS records on our nameservers. The correct nameservers to use are as follows:

    • ns1.hostm.net
    • ns2.hostm.net
    • ns3.hostm.net

    We do not recommend using third-party nameservers (such as your domain registration provider’s nameservers, or Cloudflare’s nameservers), as you might run into unnecessary complications or downtime when certain types of system updates occur on our end.

  2. If your domain is currently using Cloudflare’s nameservers:

    • After correcting the nameservers to the ones listed above, be sure to remove your domain from your account on Cloudflare’s website before proceeding further with this guide.

    • Open a Client Care ticket to request that SSL be installed on your domain. This is normally done automatically when you add a domain to your hosting account, but since your domain already resides on the account, you’ll need to request it manually.

  3. If you have not already done so, ensure that your website is set up to be accessible via HTTPS. This allows for full end-to-end SSL when Cloudflare is activated.

  4. Important: We recommend that Cloudflare be activated at the start of non-peak days. Read on to find out why.

    When activating Cloudflare on a website that has SSL installed, please do so whilst expecting immediate downtime lasting anywhere from a few minutes up to 24-48 hours or more, caused by SSL delays on Cloudflare’s end.

    This is because Cloudflare often has a huge backlog of SSL requests, and can take a long time to have SSL installed for your domain on their servers.

    To help speed up this process, you may wish to open a support ticket with Cloudflare via their website upon reaching the end of this guide (we’ll remind you again there), requesting that they expedite SSL installation for your domain.

  5. For the root domain (e.g. example.com), Cloudflare works on the www. version of the web address (www.example.com), so be sure to set up a redirection from the non-www. to the www. version of the web address. You may have already done this whilst performing step 3, but if not, please be sure to do so.

    Subdomains (e.g. sub.example.com) work on Cloudflare both with or without the www., but you would normally redirect from www. to non-www. instead (the opposite of what you do with the root domain). This, too, will have been addressed in step 3.

  6. Sign in to your HostM hosting account’s cPanel.

    Your cPanel access details are listed on the hosting account’s Info page in the Client Lounge.

  7. Under the Software heading, click the Cloudflare icon.

  8. Click Domains Overview.

  9. If it isn’t already selected, select the domain for which you’d like Cloudflare to be activated from the Active Zone drop-down menu in the top left.

  10. The domain should now be listed in the table in the middle of the page.

  11. If it says ‘inactive’ in the ‘Use Cloudflare’ column, click the Provision Domain with CNAME Setup button below the table. Otherwise, skip to the next step.

  12. You should see a table full of entries with On/Off switches to the right.

    Ensure that the both the example.com and www.example.com entries (replace example.com with your actual domain) have their switches set to On.

    If desired, you may also activate subdomains that you’ve specifically created using the Subdomains section in cPanel.

    All other entries (including those set up by the system itself) should be left untouched, with their switches set to Off.

  13. Sign in to your account on Cloudflare’s website.

  14. Click your domain in the list.

  15. Click Crypto in the top icon bar.

  16. Under SSL, select Full (Strict) if it is not already selected.

  17. Your hosted domain is now activated on Cloudflare! Please note that it may take up to several hours for ISPs worldwide (including your internet connection provider) to recognize the activation.

    Important: If Cloudflare’s SSL status doesn’t update for some time, you may wish to open a support ticket with Cloudflare via their website, requesting that they expedite SSL installation for your domain on their end. Feel free to mention that you’re hosting with HostM, a Cloudflare Hosting Partner.


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