CloudFlare is a CDN (Content Delivery Network) and a distributed proxy server. CloudFlare is the best tool to optimise the performance of your blog or site. It is an optimisation technology, which uses multiple techniques to help you speed up the performance of your site without all the management and administration. CloudFlare reduces your website loading time, increases safety, efficiency and improves overall performance.
Advantages of CloudFlare
Page speed is a very important factor in determining your website search engine rankings. CloudFlare was made to protect the websites from cyber-attacks and spammers. CloudFlare optimises your website by acting as a proxy between visitors and your server which helps protect your website against DDoS attacks.
The advantage of CloudFlare is it reduces your website loading time, improves your website performance and protects websites from unknown threats.
Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, your internet traffic is routed through its intelligent global network. CloudFlare automatically optimises the delivery of your web pages so visitors get the fastest load times. It also blocks threats and limits abusive bots and crawlers.
Features of CloudFlare
Free version and paid version: It has several forms, but in my point of view, the free version covers everything for a website with general traffic needs.
CloudFlare Security: Another advantage of being in a CDN service in reverse proxy is that it is able to manage the requests that come to the server, and block those marked as spam or malicious.
CloudFlare Analytics: Like Google Analytics, CloudFlare has its own traffic analyser, which allows us to differentiate between humans and robots, and offers a different view.
Caching pages to external hosting: Another strong point of CloudFlare is that being outside the parent server, if it fails, you will not come to a page with an error, but will return the cached page and a warning that the content is cached and is not the live version.
CloudFlare Applications: CloudFlare is also offering some best applications to analyse and improve your website performance.
How to Install CloudFlare on Your Site and Reduce Web Page Loading Time
There are two ways to use CloudFlare for your website to increase page-loading speed.
- Install CloudFlare directly from CloudFlare’s website
- Install CloudFlare from your cPanel
Let’s discuss the 1st one
#1. Install CloudFlare directly from CloudFlare's website
Step 1. To configure CloudFlare, the first thing you need to do is sign up. Visit CloudFlare and click on the “Sign up now!” button.
Step 2. Provide the required information and click on the button "Create Account”. In the next step, enter the URL of your website.
Step 3. CloudFlare will take action and now start analysing your whole website. This will take about 60 seconds.
Step 4. During the scanning process, now CloudFlare will show you a video on how CloudFlare works. We suggest that you watch this complete video to understand about how CloudFlare works. After completion of the analysis process, click on the “Continue” button to proceed with the complete installation. CloudFlare will start working and will take you to the next level of installation.
Step 5. CloudFlare will show you a list of all DNS records that their systems were found during your website analysis. It will also show your subdomains.
DNS records that will be bypassed by CloudFlare will have a grey icon. If you want any of your domains and subdomains served by CloudFlare, simply click the grey icon and it will turn to orange.
Step 6. CloudFlare only proxies HTTP traffic. In order to connect to your server’s FTP or SSH, you need to do so using a record that does not have CloudFlare enabled in the DNS settings (grey cloud) or by connecting directly to the origin server’s IP address.
Step 7. Once you are satisfied with the DNS records, you must click “I've added all missing records, continue” to proceed with the installation.
Step 8. On the next screen, you will be prompted to choose a plan.
If you are using SSL on your site, it is important to remember that your custom SSL does not work with the FREE service from CloudFlare (you can use CloudFlare’s shared SSL). Leave the other default settings and click the “Continue” button.
In the final step of the configuration, you are now prompted to change your name servers and point them to CloudFlare’s name servers.
Important: Changing your name servers may take some time while it propagates around the world. It is possible that during this time, your site may become inaccessible for some users.
To change the name servers for your domain and point them towards the CloudFlare servers, you must login to your domain registrar. You can easily change from there, for any problems you can contact your domain provider.
Now you’re finished. Wait for some time and it will show your status as “Active”
So that was the procedure to use CloudFlare directly from their website. In case if you don’t want to use this step and want another solution to install CloudFlare then check this next method, which will help you to setup CloudFlare on your site from cPanel.
At Localnode, we support CloudFlare installation from cPanel, using their plugin.
#2. Install CloudFlare from your hosting control panel
Enabling CloudFlare from cPanel is very easy. Just follow these simple steps.
Step 1. Go to your cPanel and Click the CloudFlare icon, located under the CloudFlare section. When you click on CloudFlare icon, it will start loading and will take you to next level of installation process.
Step. 2. You will see a list of your domains, simply click the grey cloud to enable CloudFlare for that domain.
Note: Your account will be automatically created for you. The first time you visit, use your current email and the “I forgot my password” feature to set a password.
Step 3. One it’s activated, your website will be powered by CloudFlare.
Using CloudFlare can save bandwidth, and reduce spam attacks for websites using WordPress. It can also help reduce DDoS attacks. Using CloudFlare can also eliminate the need of an external DNS provider such as DNS Made Easy - as using CloudFlare also means they manage your DNS.
Using CloudFlare is a simple way to increase web page speed and have a significant improvement in performance.