What You Will Need

  1. A domain

  2. A free Cloudflare account for managing your domain

  3. A Searchie Hub to connect your domain

Step 1 - Enter your purchased domain after creating an account

After creating an account on Cloudflare here, you'll be presented with the following screen. Here is where you can enter your owned domain. In our example for this article, we will use a domain called "searchietest.com" that we purchased on GoDaddy. Click "Add site" and away we go.

Step 2 - Select the free plan and wait for transfer of information

On the next page, select the free plan for your subscription. This plan will be enough for our domain set up in Searchie.

Once you select the plan, the next screen will look for any existing DNS records for your domain and migrate them over. This is helpful if you have already used this domain for another site. In our example, there are some existing domain settings that were migrated over, but we are actually going to delete these and start fresh for the purpose of the set-up.

(I clicked "Delete" on each of those records then "Continue")

Step 3 - Change nameservers to finish set up

On the next screen, you'll see instructions based on where the domain was purchased to update nameservers and finish the migration of the management of this domain to Cloudflare. For this example, I used a GoDaddy article here to find my nameservers and update them. You may need to look for a similar article for the site you purchased your domain on.

Step 4 - Check for the nameserver update on Cloudflare

Once the changes are made (on GoDaddy, in this example), you will need to check for the update to have been received by Cloudflare. This may take a while, but you should receive an email notification from Cloudflare when it's complete. When that's done, we are on to the "fun" part ;).

Below you can see the confirmation that the nameservers have update properly and my site is now being managed by Cloudflare.

Step 5 - Decide to use a subdomain or not

Next, you will need to decide if you want to point the root domain (i.e. searchietest.com) to your Hub directly, or if you want to use a subdomain for your Hub (i.e. hub.searchietest.com). Pointing a subdomain is a slightly easier process from a technical perspective, but in this article we will cover both options.

Using the root domain Step 1 - Add CNAME records

If using the root domain (searchietest.com), you'll need to add a couple of CNAME records to the DNS tab of your Cloudflare account. Select "CNAME" under the "Type" dropdown, enter the root domain "searchietest.com" and target "ingress.searchie.io" for the first one. Hit "Save" to add that record.

Select "CNAME" under the "Type" dropdown, enter "www" and target "ingress.searchie.io" for the second one. Hit "Save" and confirm your domain has the following two records showing in the list.

We have one more step after this to make sure that both "searchietest.com" and "www.searchietest.com" point to your Hub.

Using the root domain Step 2 - Add page rule to redirect "www"

This step is needed because on the Searchie side, we can only provide one domain for the Hub to be accessed on. This means if someone tries to access "www.searchietest.com" they will need to be redirected to "searchietest.com" in order to view the Hub, as that is the domain we will enter in the Hub domain settings. More on that later.

For now, head into the "Rules" tab and use one of your 3 free page rules to create a redirect with the following information.

In the first field, enter "www.searchietest.com/*". This will capture any route someone tries to visit at the "www.searchietest.com" domain. Select "Forwarding URL" as the setting, and then "301 - Permanent Redirect" as the status code. For the destination URL, enter "https://searchietest.com/$1". You will have replaced "searchietest" in these examples with your own domain, but the rest of the text and symbols should be consistent. Below is the final view of the Rule before clicking "Save and Deploy".

This is all we need to do if you are using the root domain before skipping to Step 6 where you will continue with the general set up and finish with some configuration on the Searchie side.

Using a subdomain Step 1 - Add CNAME record

Using a subdomain is a bit simpler than using the root domain as it only requires a single CNAME record to be added. See that record below.

NOTE: With a sub domain, your audience will not be able to access your Hub by putting "www." at the start of it. "hub." replaces the "www." prefix in your URL.

Step 6 - Set the SSL/TLS encryption mode to Full

In the SSL/TLS tab in Cloudflare, select the "Full" encryption mode.

Step 7 - Add your desired domain to your Searchie Hub settings

If using the root domain, you will enter the root domain without "www" in the Hub domain settings as seen below.

If using the subdomain, enter the full domain with the subdomain in the domain field as shown below.

Step 8 - Test your new domain

Head to "searchietest.com" and/or "www.searchietest.com" if you are using a root domain, or go to "hub.searchietest.com" if you took the subdomain route.

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