[Video Walkthrough] Cloudflare configuration

Hey all,

We’ve listened to your questions and requests, and have put together some videos showing you how to configure your app on Bubble with Cloudflare.

We’re still working on getting the manual pages up (the videos turned out to be the easier task to complete), so without further ado:

Networking 101

Four videos on what happens when a user requests your site. These should help you understand what you’re trying to accomplish.

  1. Legacy principles
  2. ALIAS records
  3. Using a different name server
  4. Not recommended for Legacy Customers Registrar URL Redirection

Video Walkthroughs

On GoDaddy

  1. Configuring your Bubble app on a subdomain (myapp.mywebpage.us)
  2. Not recommended for Legacy Customers Registrar URL Redirection (www.mywebpage.us)
  3. Recommended for Legacy Customers Transferring name servers (mywebpage.us)
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The video on changing name servers needs to be watched before you follow along; I was doing it for the first time with a live domain name and had some false starts. I only had one chance to record it, so I had to make do with what I got.

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Thanks for the videos, @peterj, that helped a ton in understanding how it works.

I’ve set up cloudflare through Google domains with a 301 Redirect to www which is the non-recommended #4 above. However, I just checked in both Chrome and Safari incognito windows and the https bare domain is redirecting properly.

Will that be fine or should I go ahead a reconfigure the settings with a different nameserver?

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Google may be slightly more sophisticated than your run-of-the-mill registrar. They may issue SSL certs for their Synthetic Records.

Safari’s been giving me some trouble in testing, because when it can’t find the bare domain, it silently upgrades to www. LET ME TELL YOU that makes diagnosing certain bugs (until you realize what’s happening) really hard.

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Lol, I can imagine that would be difficult to uncover.

On Google, they did issue an SSL certificate when I added the redirect so I’ll leave as it is I guess.

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Firstly, thank you @peterj for your weekend efforts to clarify this for the Bubblers. Much appreciated. The videos are clear, and I think I followed the steps exactly as a legacy user to retain the bare domain by setting up a Namecheap free DNS account. Whilst the CNAME record appeared in the DNS lookup tool almost immediately, even after 12 hours the ALIAS record was not updating. I lost nerve and reverted everything back to original settings this morning lest our customers complain on Monday morning.

We are based in the UK, I am not sure if that has an impact on propagation times from Namecheap.

Next weekend, I will have another go - as the prospect of speed improvement is very enticing. I just wish there was a less meddlesome process (like a Bubble workflow handling the redirect rather than setting up ALIAS names, especially since the latter is a rare offering from many registrars)

A couple of questions, if I may:

  1. All of these changes I made seem to have affected our SEO ratings. Should I force a re-indexing?
  2. Our registrar allows bare domain CNAME records. That seems the easiest way for legacy users - am I correct? If yes, this is what I will follow next weekend. Although I note that overrides the MX records associated with the domain and point to app.bubble.io - do you think that may cause a problem?

Many thanks for your help.

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@kenlaji thanks for your patience. It’s been a learning experience for all of us. (I’ll explain more in a post next weekend…)

Some days I think it would be easier for us to become a DNS registrar and handle all this work for our customers. That’d be a major technical undertaking and we’re not at the size where we can take on such big projects, so for the time being the best we can offer is good documentation.

I don’t know what name servers you’re coming from, but now that you say you’re on namecheap the short TTL values should make your next attempt to change easier. The old values will gradually clear out of the system and be replaced with short (~5 minute) TTLs.

As for a bubble workflow that redirects—that’s pretty much exactly what happens. If you were to use a Synthetic Record, bubble would never see the request at the bare domain (or www), but by default we have a workflow that performs a canonical redirect if, say, you have both www and bare domain pointing at bubble’s servers. But since we don’t control your DNS, we can’t guarantee that the bare domain is pointed to bubble.

  1. I’m no expert on SEO, but whenever your domain names have stabilized, do what you need to to refresh them with the search engines.

  2. Bare domain CNAMEs should function almost exactly like A records, with the exception that you highlighted. Since it sounds like you need MX records on your bare domain, you should definitely go with ALIAS.

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Yes I was thinking Bubble being the DNS handler, but happy with waiting for Bubble to grow, no doubt it will :slightly_smiling_face:

I am on 123-reg.com. I did set up Namecheap as you suggested, but reverted everything back to 123-reg when the ALIAS did not update in time, despite changing TTL and even deleting and reconfiguring the record.

I am sold on bare domain CNAME as I can change our mailbox to one of our related .com domain without much impact. Others may not be so lucky.

Okay, so if your registrar doesn’t have the record types you need, one thing you can do:

  • change your name servers to namecheap and COPY YOUR RECORDS EXACTLY without changing to app.bubble.io (this way, both sets of nameservers, whichever your users ask, will provide the same answers)
  • wait a couple days for the NS TTLs to roll over
  • update your records on namecheap

Edit: actually, I’m going to add this to the documentation.

That’s an interesting idea. I will try that. Between Namecheap and DNSimple, do you have a preference (or any advantages)? I know one needs payment :slight_smile:

I don’t actually have a strong opinion here. Now that you’ve got me thinking about the question, I think the name server TTL is going to be the bigger challenge for Bubble users.

Name servers have longer TTL values by default, so even if your ALIAS records are up-to-date on NameCheap, some users might still be asking DNSimple where your website is for an hour or a day after you move name servers, because of NS caching.

If you’re worried about propagation speed, and both have similar record types (ALIAS or bare domain CNAME) and TTLs, just make sure you haven’t changed name servers immediately before updating the ALIAS records.

Thanks for the video tutorial @peterj. Quick question. When I’m changing my nameserver in Godaddy, they are requiring an IP address, as well. It looks like Godaddy did not ask you for an IP address. What should I be inputting here?

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I had Godaddy support add the Nameservers for me.

@peterj

I am now in goddaddy and have follow your video to move dns to namecheap…and it works. Thks a lot!

But so far it seems by implementing cloudflare i get not much speed improvement. I expect it will be 2-3 times faster as what i read in this forum😁

So, I am thinking to move my domain to namecheaps as well. Do you think it will help?

Thanks
Anwar

So I have followed every step on your video to set up with godaddy and everything is fine except that I keep getting 525 Error SSL handshake failed.

That’s addressed in the manual:
https://manual.bubble.io/application-settings/configuring-dns-records/frequently-asked-questions-faq.html

Search for “525”

This resolved for me on it’s own within 2 hours. My site was down for about 2 hours. Just sit back, relax, and try not to bite your finger nails off :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Unfortunately I am still getting the same error after over 12 hours.

I hate to say this, but it works for me. (anonymized appname: t*********p)

Clear your cache, and if the issue persists please file a bug report.

I only see Hobby tier apps under your account name. Since I’m curious, Private Message me the name of the app in question, as well as your geographic location (for instance, East Coast USA/Central Europe/Japan …) and I’ll look into it when I have time.