If your organisation uses Cloudflare, you will need to configure it correctly to allow your website to be displayed at your own www web address (domain name). Please follow these instructions carefully.
Services such as Cloudflare protect websites from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The principle behind DDoS attacks is for the attacker to generate so much traffic to your website that it depletes all of your website server's resources as it tries to respond, rendering your website unavailable to other users. Cloudflare operates as a shield to DDoS attacks by replacing your website IP address or CNAME with its own IP address as a proxy, and then only lets legitimate traffic through to your website server.
The Sporty website platform does not require organisations to use Cloudflare for DDoS protection. Websites provided by Sporty are hosted with Microsoft Azure and are protected by Azure's infrastructure DDoS (Basic) Protection at no additional cost. The scale and capacity of the globally deployed Azure network provides defense against common network-layer attacks through always-on traffic monitoring and real-time mitigation. This means that your website receives DDoS protection from Microsoft and allows you to turn off your proxy settings in Cloudflare.
You can still keep your web address proxied by Cloudflare if you wish, but you MUST turn off the Proxy setting for the awverify CNAME as described in this article. This is to allow Microsoft Azure to verify that you own your domain name by looking for this DNS setting. If you fail to configure Cloudflare to 'DNS only' for this CNAME then Cloudflare will prevent Azure from being able to verify your domain. This article describes how to turn off the 'Proxied' setting in Cloudflare.
Please note that if you are updating your DNS settings, your website can become temporarily unavailable until the Sporty Support team have configured Azure to verify your domain name. This process runs overnight, so please ensure you (a) perform your changes at the end of the day and (b) coordinate with the Sporty Support team to ensure they know which night to run this process for you.
Read this instruction sheet (NZ) or this instruction sheet (AU) for the DNS settings you will need to create in Cloudflare. Note that this includes setting an IP address for your domain A-Record as well as setting CNAME records. If you are upgrading to Sporty from another website host, then please remember to delete or update the existing (old) A-Record for your root domain as well as any existing (old) A-Record or CNAME for your www subdomain.
By default, Cloudflare will set your NS records to be 'Proxied' and they will appear similar to this:
Click the blue Edit link to the right of the awverify CNAME record to allow you to update its settings, then click on the orange cloud icon.
Change the Proxy status to be DNS only. Save your settings.
Click the orange cloud icon to turn it into grey.
Note: Depending on your Cloudflare version, your interface may be somewhat different.
Once you have saved your settings, you should do a public DNS lookup of the awverify subdomain (E.g. awverify.yourdomain.co.nz) to confirm that your name server is returning the expected CNAME results. We recommend using a free DNS checker like MXToolbox - Click here. It should return the alias value you set for this domain as shown on the instruction sheet linked in the article above.