How to set up a custom domain with Cloudflare

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Tech Note: In order to set up a custom domain for use with beehiiv, you must own the domain, or at least have the ability to modify its DNS settings. For more information about how to set up your host records in Cloudflare, please refer to their documentation here.

How to use a custom domain hosted by Cloudflare

Before we get started, it’s important to understand that while there are a few back and forth steps that you’ll have to take between your beehiiv account and your Cloudflare account, you should only need to set these aspects up once and when you’re done, you’ll be good to go. 

Cloudflare will act a little differently than other typical domain providers and will act more as a third-party service that sits on top of your already existing domain provider. You wouldn’t buy a domain via cloudflare but rather route it through cloudflare for more security. 

We’ve broken the process down into these 5 sections: 

A. Add your website domain to cloudflare

B. Verify your custom domain

C. Configure a Web Domain

D. Configure a Redirect Domain

E. Configure an Email Domain

In the following instructions for Cloudflare, we will be using newsletterhover.online as our example. 

A. Add your custom domain to Cloudflare

  1. Log into your Cloudflare account.

  2. Click on Websites in your Cloudflare account.

    Click on Websites

  3. Click on the Add Site button.



  4. Add the website domain that you would like to use on beehiiiv and click on the Add Site button again.



  5. You’ll be asked to select your plan or you can also use their free tier, make your selection and then click on Continue.



  6. Cloudflare will do a quick DNS scan to pull over existing DNS settings (if you have any).
    Note: Sometimes this process will not catch everything, so you may have to manually move over certain DNS records.



  7. Under the Import the DNS Records area, review the DNS records (if any) that you would like to import, then click on Continue.



  8. You’ll be provided with 2 Cloudflare nameservers that you will need to copy and paste into your current domain provider settings. This will route your current domain hosting and point everything to Cloudflare.
    You’ll want to keep this tab open and move to a new one for the next step. In our example here, we are using a Hover domain, so we’ll be logging into a Hover account.



  9. Log into your website domain provider. (We’re using Hover in this example, your directions may vary.)

  10. Navigate to your domain DNS settings or where the Nameservers are housed, click Edit.



  11. Refer back to the tab with your Cloudflare account and one at a time copy each of the nameservers and paste them into the other tab with your domain settings. Review both nameservers for accuracy, then click on Save Nameservers.



  12. Go back to the tab with your Cloudflare account and click on the Done, check nameservers button.



  13. The system will do a quick check, when done click on the Finish button.


    Tech Note: Please allow up to 24 hours for Cloudflare to propagate the updated nameserver changes. You must ensure this process is complete before proceeding to the following steps below.

  14. Congrats! 🎉 You’ve successfully re-pointed your domain from your original domain host to Cloudflare. When complete, you’ll see it as Active in your Cloudflare account

 


B. Verify your custom domain

  1. Log into your beehiiv account and from the left panel options, go to Settings > Publications > then click on the Domains tab found up top.

    GoDaddy CD.01.png

  2. Go to the Verified Domains section and click on Add Custom Domain.



  3. Enter your domain here with the "www" first, then click on the Add Domain button.



  4. You'll be provided with a custom TXT record that you will need to add to the DNS records of your domain. Keep this tab open, we will refer back to it.



  5. In a separate tab, log into your Cloudflare account and navigate to your dashboard. Click on the domain you would like to add to beehiiv.



  6. Go to the DNS settings in your Cloudflare account.



  7. Click on the Add record button.



  8. Select a TXT record type.



  9. Refer back to your beehiiv account page to copy and paste the values for the TXT record into your Cloudflare account. When done, click on Save.



  10. You will now see your custom TXT record added within your Cloudflare domain DNS settings.



  11. Go back to your beehiiv account page and click on Verify.

    GoDaddy CD.13.png


  12. If all is correct, you will see ‘Verified’ next to a green checkmark icon under that particular domain. Congrats! 🎉

    If you would like to add additional domains that you may use as either a Web, Email, or Redirect Domain, you can click the Add Custom Domain button and repeat the process. 

 


C. Configure a Web Domain

Now that you have added one or more custom domains to your account, you can configure one to use as a Web Domain where your beehiiv publications will live.

  1. From the Domains tab in your beehiiv account, scroll down to the Web Domain section and click on Select Custom Web Domain.



  2. Select a domain from the dropdown list of already Verified Domains that you'd like to be your Web Domain. In this example, we have added 2 subdomains and will use the "www" option for the Web Domain.



  3. Select the domain and then click on the Configure Domain button.



  4. You’ll be prompted to Verify Domain Configuration and should follow the instructions in the box that pops up.
    If you’re adding a root domain (yoursite.com for example) as the Web Domain, then it will provide you with this A record.

    Type: A
    Name: @
    Value/Data: 104.16.243.55

    GoDaddy CD_B.04_A.jpg

    If you’re adding a subdomain (www.yoursite.com for example, or the one we are using) as the Web Domain, then it will provide you with this CNAME record.

    Type: CNAME
    Name: subdomain of your choosing (i.e. www, blog, newsletter)
    Value/Data: cname.beehiiv.com

    GoDaddy CD_B.05_CNAME.jpg

  5. In a separate tab, log into your Cloudflare account and navigate to your dashboard.

  6. Click on the Add record button.



  7. Select the CNAME or A record type (depending on what you were given) from the dropdown options.



  8. For CNAME records, add "www" as the Name value.



  9. Add "cname.beehiiv.com" (or the A record info) as the Target (required).



  10. Ensure that all 3 aspects are correct and click on Save.



  11. You should now see your new CNAME or A record saved in your DNS settings.



  12. Refer back to your beehiiv account page and click on Verify Setup.


    GoDaddy CD_B.12.png


  13. If all is correct, then your domain will be verified, and you will see the green success checkmark under your Web Domain. Congrats! 🎉

 

Tech Note: It can take up to 24 hours to propagate a new DNS setting, during this time, your beehiiv account might show the status as “Verifying Configuration” which means that you just need to wait. If you have fully set up a custom domain and are still experiencing issues after 24 hours, we advise you to grab a full screenshot of your DNS records and then contact support so we can try and solve the issue with you.

 


D. Configure a Redirect Domain

Now that you have added one or more custom domains to your account, you can configure one to use as a Redirect Domain.

  1. From the Domains tab in your beehiiv account, scroll down to the Redirect Domain section and click on Select Custom Redirect Domain.

    GoDaddy CD_C.01.png

  2. Choose an option from your Verified Domains and click Configure Domain.

    GoDaddy CD_C.02.png

  3. You’ll be prompted to Verify Domain Configuration and should follow the instructions in the box that pops up.
    If you’re adding a root domain (yoursite.com for example) as the Redirect Domain, then it will provide you with this A record that you will need to add to your DNS records.

    Type: A
    Name: @
    Value/Data: 104.16.243.55

    GoDaddy CD_B.04_A.jpg

    Or, if you’re adding a subdomain (yoursite.com for example) as the Redirect Domain, then it will provide you with this CNAME record that you will need to add to your DNS records.

    Type: CNAME
    Name: subdomain of your choosing (i.e. www, blog, newsletter)
    Value/Data: cname.beehiiv.com

    GoDaddy CD_B.05_CNAME.jpg

  4. In a separate tab, log into your Cloudflare account and navigate to your DNS records, then refer back to your beehiiv tab to add either the A record or the CNAME record that you were provided to your DNS account.

  5. Go back to your beehiiv account page and click on Verify Setup. If all is correct, then your domain will be verified, and you will see the green success checkmark under your Redirect Domain. Congrats! 🎉

 


E. Configure an Email Domain

Now that you have added a couple of custom domains to your account and used one as a Web Domain, you’ll need to select and configure one to use as your Email Domain.

  1. From the Domains tab in your beehiiv account, scroll down to the Email Domain section and click on Select Custom Email Domain.



  2. Select a domain from the dropdown list of already Verified Domains that you'd like to be your Email Domain. For this example, we are using mail.newsletterhover.online.



  3. Click on Configure Domain to confirm.

    GoDaddy CD_D.03.png

  4. Click on the dropdown trigger and select Verify.

    GoDaddy CD_D.04.png

  5. You will be provided with 3 CNAME records that you will need to add to your Cloudflare DNS account to verify for sending.

    Note: Do not copy and paste the examples in the images.

    GoDaddy CD_D.05.png

  6. In a separate tab, log into your Cloudflare account and navigate to your DNS dashboard.
  7. Click on the Add record button.



  8. When in Cloudflare and adding each of these 3 CNAME records, you’ll need to ensure the "Proxy status" toggle button is turned off. Otherwise, you will likely recieve an error when trying to add a new CNAME record.



  9. Add each of the records separately. When done, ensure that all 3 CNAME records are correct and click on Save.



  10. Once finished, you should see all 3 CNAME records added within your Cloudflare DNS settings.



  11. Refer back to your beehiiv account page and click on Verify Setup.

    GoDaddy CD_B.12.png

  12. If all is correct, then your domain will be verified, and you will see the green success checkmark under your Email Domain. Congrats! 🎉

 


Option to update your email username

You will automatically be assigned a working Email Username for your publication but you have the option to change this. It will be the email address that your subscribers will see your newsletters being sent from.

  1.  Under your verified Email Domain, click on Update Email to change your email username.



  2. Type in the name you’d like to use for the “from” emails that your subscribers will see. Click on Confirm to verify.

    GoDaddy CD_D.12.png

  3. Your Email Username is now set up for sending and your username is set. Congrats! 🎉

 

Additional custom domain resources

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