In this post, the author suggest a way to get SSL on Heroku without paying Heroku for it:

  1. Pay Cloudflare for premium service, and get SSL support with it.
  2. Create a CNAME in cloudflare that points to the Heroku subdomain of your app (appname.herokuapp.com), which piggybacks Heroku's SSL.

Is there any potential issue with such a method?

  • I'm using this method on multiple domains with cloudflare/heroku. No issues :)
    – mscccc
    Jan 14, 2014 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


You can use CloudFlare's paid level plan (pro or above) and then use our Flexible SSL option which means we'd be connecting to your back-end (like Heroku in this case) over HTTP ...meaning you would not need to have SSL enabled at Heroku.

So with Flexible SSL this is how things look --

visitor <-- HTTPS --> CloudFlare <-- HTTP --> Heroku

Discussed here also: https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/200170416-What-do-the-three-SSL-options-off-Flexible-Full-mean-

so with Flexible SSL your visitors can still access your website using HTTPS, but CloudFlare would be connecting to your back-end at Heroku using HTTP.

p.s. in the future I would recommend opening a support ticket with CloudFlare directly. Our support team would be able to answer this question for you quickly. :)

  • 1
    Er isn't this a security risk? If I log in, will you be transmitting my password in the clear to Heroku? Heroku provides SSL (for herokuapps.com) for nothing; surely it's best for CF to connect to that?
    – Rob Grant
    Aug 15, 2014 at 13:52
  • Since Heroku is providing SSL for your origin then yes -- you could use the Full SSL option instead. I thought you had to pay for SSL at Heroku no matter what? Apologies if I misunderstood -- or perhaps they started offering free SSL since December 2013 when I posted this?
    – xxdesmus
    Aug 15, 2014 at 20:35
  • Yeah quite possibly it's started since then. All I know is if I go to https instead of http for herokuapps.com, it works and is signed by DigitalCerts. Might be worth updating this answer, as I'd say it's not good advice now.
    – Rob Grant
    Aug 18, 2014 at 8:48

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