Very few hosting providers offer off-site DNS, GoDaddy is the only major one that I know of, so when I switched DragonBlogger.com from a Bluehost shared hosting plan to WebSynthesis back in February I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I need an Offsite DNS management because WebSynthesis only hosts your WordPress they don’t do any domain management at all.
Most hosting providers that use CPanel like Bluehost, Hostgator, Hostmonster…etc require that you have a hosting plan in order to access the Zone Editor feature if you don’t have a hosting plan then you have only the ability to redirect your DNS to new DNS provider but cannot do individual DNS zone editing if you need to say have another service host the mail records like for Amazon SES for example.
GoDaddy offers Off-Site DNS management for like $25 per year, but I didn’t really feel like paying for a site just to handle DNS CNAME and TXT records which I think the provider which I bought my DNS record from should be able to handle since I pre-paid 5 years for my domain name and didn’t want to pay to transfer it to another hosting provider.
Well, a quick query in the Blog Engage Facebook group asking if anyone know of other hosting providers or options for someone who is looking for Offsite DNS netted a response from a friendly fellow Blog Engage member who pointed out that Cloudflare offers full DNS zone management capability once you switch your DNS over to Cloudflare, this is one feature and a great one that Cloudflare offers over Incapsula that I never considered or had a need for previously. This also prevents the need from me to keep a shared hosting plan just to handle DNS Zone edit updates once I switch the whole DNS name of the site to using Cloudflare.
Once you do setup your site in Cloudflare which is easy to do, and you set your DNS records to point to Cloudflare DNS servers, then you simply manage any custom DNS zone edits in the Cloudflare Domain manager.
You can create whatever records you need, such as the ones for Google Apps, Amazon SES, any custom subdomains you have and want to link elsewhere and more.
You can also have Cloudflare ignore and just pass through traffic for your custom records for services you don’t want Cloudflare to try and protect or cache.
This is yet another example of why I love the Blog Engage Facebook group as a member networking group where problems like this and others are posted with solutions provided too.
So by Cloudflare managing Offsite DNS for free this saves me from having to pay the $70+ dollars to renew a shared hosting plan that I was just holding onto for a sandbox and to have DNS Zone records to send my DragonBlogger site to WebSynthesis. This was an option I didn’t realize and I am really glad that Cloudflare offers this Off-Site DNS zone editing functionality even with their free plan.
Now if you care about the best security protection for your website or WordPress blog, then I highly suggest you use Incapsula it offers superior security protection for your website over Cloudflare and there are 2 great articles you should read if you want proof to back that up:
But if you need Off-Site DNS, for now you may want to leverage Cloudflare for this specific functionality.