Review: Should I use Cloudflare Registrar?

January 12, 2019
Comparison of domain name registrar, couldflare SSL configuration options

Why use Cloudflare Registrar?

Price: $8.03 (same wholesale price for registration, transfer and renewal)

A supposingly realiable and performant DNS. The only cons I can think of is you can’t use other DNS.

Comes with extra Cloudflare features like CDN/Caching, SSL, Firewall, etc. You can choose to use these festures, or disable them.

Prices: Comparison of

Registrar Price for .com Note
Cloudflare Registrar $7.85 + $0.18 Must use Cloudflare DNS (Free), auto import DNS entry for Transfer
Google Domains $12.00
Amazon Route 53 Domain $12.00 Must use Route 53 as DNS ($0.50 per domain per month / $6 per year + $0.400 per million queries)
Namecheap $12.98 + $0.18 Occasional price shown as $8.88/$10.98, but renewal is $12.98
NameSilo $8.99 $6.99 price shown for new purchase

NOTE: I assume WHOIS Protection is standard nowadays

Namecheap used to be $10.69.

NameSilo is cheapest currently with $6.99, though I suspect it might not be sustainable since it is below wholesale price ($7.85 + $0.18).

The best sustainable price seems to be Cloudflare ($8.03), as they probably use this as a strategy for customers to explore their other offerings.

The Process

It is still early access, so visit Cloudflare Registrar and click on Get Early Access. There seems to be no waiting list at the moment, so I immediately get access to Domain Registration at the Account Home/Dashboard.

I didn’t try buying new domain yet, but I did a few transfers.

Before you can do a domain transfer, you must Add a Site to cloudflare. By default, it will import your existing DNS entry, setup CDN and provide SSL.

When your site is active, then you can go through the Domain Registration process (steps are shown as you do through the process).

I would say the process is pretty well documented, smooth and painless. Of course there is no escape from the standard domain transfer process like unlock, disable whois privacy, auth code and wait 5-7 days.

Gotchas

You MUST use Cloudflare DNS (Free). If you prefer other DNS, you can’t use Cloudflare Registrar.

By default, cloudflare services like CDN/Caching, SSL are enabled.

If you want to disable CDN/Caching, you can either enable Development Mode.

If you want to use Cloudflare as registrar and CDN only (don’t want other features like caching, SSL, etc.), then you can Pause Cloudflare on Site or selective disable Cloudflare on specific subdomain.

The is quite a few Cloudflare SSL behaviour and gotchas which you should definitely read.

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