When you host your WordPress website with Kinsta, you will need to add and point your domain to us so that our servers can deliver your site to visitors. For an overview of the process of making your site live at Kinsta, be sure to check out our go-live checklist

Cloudflare vs. Non-Cloudflare Domains

In the context of this article:

  • If your domain is already connected to Cloudflare through your own active Cloudflare account, then it is considered a “Cloudflare domain.”
  • If your domain has no connection to Cloudflare (proxy or DNS), then it is considered a “non-Cloudflare domain.”

Users with active Cloudflare accounts of their own will need to follow a special set of instructions to maintain compatibility between the two Cloudflare zones (their Cloudflare account and our free Cloudflare integration).

 

If your site uses a Cloudflare domain, continue reading here for instructions on how to add and point your domain to Kinsta. If you don’t already use Cloudflare, see our How To Add a non-Cloudflare Domain guide for instructions on how to add and point your non-Cloudflare domain to Kinsta.

How To Add and Verify Your Domain in MyKinsta

These instructions are for new domains that are already using Cloudflare. If your domain is not already using Cloudflare, see our How To Add a non-Cloudflare Domain guide for the correct instructions.

Step 1 – Add a New Cloudflare Domain in MyKinsta

In MyKinsta, go to Sites > sitename > Domains, and click the Add domain button.

Add a new domain in MyKinsta.
Add a new domain in MyKinsta.

In the Add domain modal/pop-up, enter your domain name in the Domain field. If you want to add your domain without the wildcard subdomain (*.example.com) or if you want to add a custom SSL certificate, click on the Advanced Options link to see those options and make your selections.

Add your custom domain in MyKinsta.
Add your custom domain in MyKinsta.

If you want to add a custom SSL certificate while adding the domain, select Use my own SSL certificate with this domain and enter your SSL certificate and key in the corresponding fields.

Add your custom domain and custom SSL certificate in MyKinsta.
Add your custom domain and custom SSL certificate in MyKinsta.

When you’ve entered the details for your domain and made your selections under Advanced Options (if applicable), click the Add domain button.

Step 2 – Verify Your Domain

Verifying your Cloudflare domain is a two-phase process. You’ll need to add two TXT records, one at a time, awaiting DNS propagation between each one.

In the modal/pop-up, you’ll see a single TXT record that you need to add at Cloudflare to begin verifying your domain. Copy the Name/host and the Value fields.

First TXT record in MyKinsta to verify Cloudflare domain.
First TXT record in MyKinsta to verify Cloudflare domain.

First TXT Record

  • Name: kinsta-verification-xxxxxx
  • Value: Unique UUID value from MyKinsta (xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx)

Go to your Cloudflare dashboard (log in if you haven’t already), select your domain, and click on the DNS tab. Click the Add record button and create a new TXT record with the details you copied from MyKinsta.

Add domain verification TXT record in Cloudflare.
Add domain verification TXT record in Cloudflare.

After you’ve added the TXT record at Cloudflare, click OK, I’ve done it in the Add domain modal window in MyKinsta.

Click the OK, I've done it button in MyKinsta for the initial verification.
Click the OK, I’ve done it button in MyKinsta.

Once DNS propagates (usually within a few minutes from Cloudflare, but may depend on the TTL set when adding the record), you’ll receive a notification email like this to let you know you can continue with the next phase of verification:

Initial domain verification email for Cloudflare domain.
Initial domain verification email for Cloudflare domain.

Return to your site in MyKinsta and click the Verify domain button. In the modal/pop-up that appears, copy the Name/host and Value fields for the next TXT record.

Second TXT record in MyKinsta to verify Cloudflare domain.
Second TXT record in MyKinsta to verify Cloudflare domain.

Second TXT Record

  • Name: _cf-custom-hostname
  • Value: Unique UUID value from MyKinsta (xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx)

Go to your Cloudflare dashboard once again, select your domain, and click on the DNS tab. Click the Add record button and create a new TXT record with the details you copied from MyKinsta.

After you’ve added this TXT record at Cloudflare, click OK, I’ve done it in the Add domain modal window in MyKinsta.

Click the OK, I’ve done it button in MyKinsta for the second TXT record.
Click the OK, I’ve done it button in MyKinsta for the second TXT record.

Once DNS propagates (usually within a few minutes from Cloudflare, but may depend on the TTL set when adding the record), you’ll receive another notification email to let you know your domain is fully verified and can be pointed to Kinsta:

Domain verification email from Kinsta.
Domain verification email from Kinsta

How To Point Your Domain to Kinsta

After your domain has been successfully verified, you’ll see a Point domain button next to your custom domain in MyKinsta. Click this button to start the domain pointing process.

Click the Point domain button in MyKinsta.
Click the Point domain button in MyKinsta

Point Your Root Domain to Kinsta

To point your root domain to Kinsta, add the first CNAME record (Name/host @) shown in the Point your domain to Kinsta modal/pop-up to your Cloudflare DNS settings.

CNAME records to add or edit at Cloudflare.
CNAME records to add or edit at Cloudflare.

Go to your Cloudflare dashboard and click on the DNS tab.

Delete conflicting A record at Cloudflare
Delete conflicting A record at Cloudflare.

After deleting the A record, click the Add record button and create a new CNAME record with the details below:

  • Type: CNAME
  • Name: @
  • Target: Your site’s “hosting.kinsta.cloud” domain (as shown in the Point your domain to Kinsta modal/pop-up)
  • TTL: Auto
Add a CNAME for your root domain in Cloudflare.
Add a CNAME for your root domain in Cloudflare.

After adding the CNAME record, you’ll see a checkmark next to your root domain in MyKinsta. This indicates that the root domain has been pointed to Kinsta correctly.

A checkmark next to your root domain in MyKinsta indicates it's pointed correctly.
A checkmark next to your root domain in MyKinsta indicates it’s pointed correctly.

Point Your WWW Domain to Kinsta

In addition to configuring a CNAME record for your root domain, we also recommend pointing the www version of your domain to Kinsta.

After deleting the conflicting CNAME record, click Add Record to create a new CNAME record with the settings below:

  • Type: CNAME
  • Name: www
  • Target: Your site’s “hosting.kinsta.cloud” domain (as shown in the Point your domain to Kinsta modal/pop-up)
  • TTL: Auto

    Create a CNAME record for your www domain at Cloudflare.
    Create a CNAME record for your www domain at Cloudflare.

Point Your Wildcard Domain to Kinsta (Optional)

We also support wildcard subdomains. A wildcard subdomain is a “catch-all” subdomain. For example, if you have three DNS records set up like this:

  1. A record for sub.domain.com pointing to 123.123.123.123.
  2. A record for sub2.domain.com pointing to 456.456.456.456.
  3. A record for *.domain.com pointing to 789.789.789.789.

Any request to a subdomain that is not sub.domain.com or sub2.domain.com will be automatically handled by the *.domain.com A record and routed to 789.789.789.789.

If you would like to use the wildcard domain functionality on Kinsta first check the following:

  1. Make sure you added your wildcard domain in the steps above. If not, you’ll need to remove the domain, add it again, and make sure Add domain with wildcard is selected.
  2. If you added a custom SSL, make sure it supports your wildcard subdomain (*.example.com).

Then, you can create an additional A record with the settings below:

  • Type: CNAME
  • Name: *
  • Target: Your site’s “hosting.kinsta.cloud” domain (as shown in the Point your domain to Kinsta modal/pop-up)
  • TTL: Auto
Add a wildcard CNAME for your Cloudflare domain.
Add a wildcard CNAME for your Cloudflare domain.

If you’re using a free Cloudflare plan, you may see a message that reads, “Some of your DNS only records are exposing IPs that are proxied through Cloudflare. Make sure to proxy all A, AAAA, and CNAME records pointing to proxied records to avoid exposing your origin IP.”

This notification message is normal and not an issue, in this case, because the target kinsta.cloud domain is proxied behind Cloudflare as well.

Once the wildcard CNAME record has propagated, accessing any subdomain that isn’t pointed elsewhere will result in the request being routed to Kinsta.

Force HTTPS (Optional)

While technically optional, forcing your site to load over HTTPS is recommended. With our Cloudflare integration, once your domain is verified, a free SSL certificate (with wildcard support) is automatically added to your site. The only thing you’ll need to do is head over to your site in MyKinsta, then go to Tools and click on the Enable button under Force HTTPS.

Force HTTPS in MyKinsta.
Force HTTPS in MyKinsta.

Troubleshooting

If you have pointed your domain (allowing up to 24 hours for DNS to propagate) but you’re still seeing either of the following, check the Page Rules in your Cloudflare account:

  • a banner or warning that your site isn’t pointed to Kinsta and is subject to service interruption.
  • a status of “Confirming that you have pointed your domain to Kinsta.”

In your Cloudflare Page Rules, if the root domain is redirected to the WWW domain or vice versa, the domain that is being redirected cannot be verified in MyKinsta.

To resolve this issue, you’ll need to remove the redirect in Cloudflare Page Rules. This will allow the domain to be verified in MyKinsta. The redirect to the primary domain will now be handled at Kinsta.