Not all website or organization owners want to buy an additional service to manage email addresses that end with their website name — for example, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outside of the cost, one would also need to manage more than one email platform to segregate their personal and professional involvements. At some point, all of this becomes cumbersome, and even if it doesn’t, one can always benefit from fewer email providers (if applicable), logins, and the unnecessary extra efforts they bring along.
Cloudflare recognized these travails of toggling between multiple mailboxes, and being as innovative as ever, went ahead and launched their own Email Routing service — FOR FREE.
What Is Cloudflare Email Routing?
As the title suggests, Cloudflare email routing will direct all incoming emails that end with @yoursitename to an email of your choosing — that you might already be using (such as a Gmail). You can create any number of emails to your liking and then assign separate emails for each, or just one email for all, or any other variation of your volition.
For example, for this website, say I create the following three emails below:
Now, I can decide to receive all incoming emails for all of the three addresses above to just one email of my choosing, designate an individual for all, or go with any other possible combination.
Configuring the Cloudflare Email Routing Service for Your Domain/Site
The number one prerequisite needed to use Cloudflare’s email forwarding is that your site needs to be proxied with Cloudflare, at the least — based on my understanding. If you’re on WordPress wishing to go on Cloudflare, you might want to check out this detailed guide I wrote on making that happen. Once that’s handled, follow along to learn setting up Email routing.
Step 1: Go to the “Email” Page From Cloudflare Dashboard
Once logged in and inside your domain/website, from the left menu panel, click on “Email.” It might have a Beta label associated with it.
Step 2: Create a Custom @yoursitename Address and Decide Where You Want That Forwarded
When inside the main Email settings page, click on the “Create address” button from the very first section. Upon doing so, a dialog box will open where:
- In the Custom address field, you will need to come up with an email address you want to create. For example, email@example.com.
- Next, in the Destination address field, type out the email where you want all incoming emails to go.
Take a look at the visuals below for reference.
Step 3 (Final Step): Configure DNS Records so You Can Immediately Start Using the Email Routing Service
Succeeding steps 1 & 2, the last step you’d have to execute is to Configure DNS records. As technical as it sounds, it isn’t very complex.
On the same “Email” page, scroll down until you see a card titled Email DNS records.
Unfortunately, since I’ve already implemented this feature, I won’t be able to show how it looks like when setting things up; however, know that there should be a button called “Add records automatically.” Click on it, and Cloudflare will magically add all the required records to begin using their Email Routing service. (You can also add these manually too, if desired).
Following that configuration, if done correctly, you’ll see a green Routing enabled label to indicate everything is in perfect shape for you to get started.
Ultimately, you can view all your DNS management records, including those for your email, at Cloudflare Dashboard > DNS.
Side note: At some point in this entire process, you will need to verify your Destination address email.
This one is asked and answered, but it’s a highly sought-after confirmation. The answer is, yes, it is free; no charge.
Yes. Personally, I have successfully verified full functionality with Gmail and Outlook.
Yes, you can. But note that the email address of the response would be the one you received your email to. NOT the one that forwarded the email.
From my understanding, no. They’ve simply launched a routing/forwarding service — which in itself is very enticing! But, as far as I know, you cannot log into Cloudflare and start using emails like you would with Gmail or Outlook.
The concise answer is that you need to be on Cloudflare first. Although, there might be technical workarounds available. Eventually, there are some configuration steps required — that this post already covers and are pretty straightforward.
Yes, it does. In Cloudflare’s own words, this service doesn’t snoop, store, or line up any emails. It would straight-up function according to the dictated rules when setting up the routing. It all works in real-time.
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Cloudflare Email Routing Is a Blessing
Several bloggers and businesses struggle with the idea of owning and managing 3-5 or more individual email accounts and identities. In fact, many don’t want to as a personal preference but end up doing so anyway as they might be unaware of something like Cloudflare’s Free Email routing functionality.
For quite a few others, it’s also about the cost of paying a subscription fee or a one-time fee to host @theirsitename email addresses. And sometimes, it’s not about affordability; it’s about the time & effort that goes into it.
With Cloudflare’s Email forwarding, with a one-off setup, you’re ready to move on to other critical aspects of your personal and professional lives.