What is CloudFlare and How to Get Speed and Security To Your Website ?

What is CloudFlare and How to Get Speed and Security To Your Website ?

CloudFlare is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) which increases the loading speed time of your website and provides increase security against attacks. CloudFlare has 79 Data Centers distributed globally.

These Data Centers store your website’s static contents like Images, Scripts & CSS. They provide all the visitors your website’s content at high speed.

CloudFlare also acts as a protective shield and blocks hacking attacks made to your website.

You can read about the detailed tutorial on CDN in our article What is CDN.

My Website is very fast, do i still need CloudFlare ?

Yes, this is because CloudFlare has 79 Servers unlike the single server of your Web Hosting. It also provides high class security to your website.

How Does CloudFlare Work ?

On activating CloudFlare in your website, it route your traffic through it’s Data Centers. That is, the traffic is scanned and the Data Center nearest to the user (based on geographic location of the user) will serve them your website’s static contents.

This greatly increases the website loading speed and performance. CloudFlare also provides a number of excellent features which are very useful to your website.

How Does CloudFlare Work

How Does CloudFlare Work

We recommend every Website to Use CloudFlare. It is free to use and you can always upgrade to premium plans (If you require).

Benefits of CloudFlare

There are a number of benefits of using CloudFlare –

1. High Performance

CloudFlare provides a big improvement in your website loading speed. A fast loading speed makes user to stay longer and also add to SEO benefits. Just note down your website loading speed at present and compare it with the loading speed you get after activating CloudFlare, you will see up 70% to 90% difference.

For calculating website loading speed visit Pingdom

2. Protection against Attacks and Spam

CloudFlare protects your website against all type of attacks like DDoS (Denial of Service), Layer 3/4 attacks, DNS amplification attacks, ACK attacks. CloudFlare filters out most of the spam attacks too. This is good for website health.

ClouldFlare Protection against attacks

ClouldFlare Protection against attacks

In your CloudFlare account you can choose between 3 types of security levels – Easy, Medium and High.

3. Save Server Bandwidth

Save Server BandwidthWebsites get some useless traffic due to Spam and bots. This consumes unnecessary bandwidth, but with CloudFlare this useless traffic is filtered resulting in saving your bandwidth.

CloudFlare saves Millions of GB every month for websites that uses it. This is incredible for people using a host that charges for bandwidth like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google.

4. Prevents Site from Crashing

CloudFlare large number of Data Centers does automatic load sharing. You don’t have to think about website load as CloudFlare will prevent it from crashing during high traffic.

CloudFlare Setup in your Website

It is only a 5 minute procedure to activate CloudFlare in your website. The steps listed below will explain all this to you –

1. First create you free account in CloudFlare then click Add Site link to add your Website’s Domain Name.

Adding Website to CloudFlare

Adding Website to CloudFlare

Website Setup in CloudFlare

Website Setup in CloudFlare

2. CloudFlare will Scan your domain and show it’s DNS Records. By Default CloudFlare will be applied to the A and CNAME Records but you can also apply CloudFlare on other DNS Records by clicking on the status icon Next to them.

Click Continue button at the bottom to proceed.

DNS Recods List by CloudFlare

DNS Recods List by CloudFlare

3. CloudFlare will ask you to select a plan – select Free Website Plan and click continue.

CloudFlare  Plans

CloudFlare Plans

CloudFlare will provide new Nameservers (CloudFlare DNS) and ask you to change your previous Nameservers with these.

CloudFlare Change Nameservers

CloudFlare Change Nameservers

Changing Nameservers to CloudFlare DNS

To change your Domain Nameservers to CloudFlare DNS, go to your Domain Registrar account. Then go to Manage DNS area of the domain. Click on Change Nameservers button and add CloudFlare Nameservers.

Normally it takes under 1 hour for this Nameservers change to take effect. But sometimes you may have to wait for 48 hours (DNS propagation time).

Once CloudFlare DNS take effect, your website will be superfast and highly secured.

Changing Nameserver in DNS

Changing Nameserver in DNS

CloudFlare for WordPress

Like any website, CloudFlare can be easily setup in a WordPress website. First create your account in CloudFlare, add your website and then change the Nameservers to that of CloudFlare (as described in the above paragraph).

WordPress users can download and install CloudFlare Plugin, Click Here

CloudFlare Plugin

CloudFlare Plugin provides 2 important things:
  • 1. It will show you the correct IP address of visitors who post comments on your website. This can cause confusion in your mind.

    The reason being, on using CloudFlare all visitors IP address will come from CloudFlare’s IP range. This plugin will ensure that you continue to see the original IP address of visitors.

  • 2. When to click Spam button for a comment, this information is send to the CloudFlare which in turn updates its spammers list.

    In this way the CloudFlare spam fighting engines keeps on updating itself and thus provides better spam protection to your websites and also to other websites using it.

CloudFlare Plugin Settings

After activating the plugin go to Settings>CloudFlare in your WordPress. The plugin will ask you to enter the following information –

CloudFlare Domain Name – The name of your domain (without http, https, www) eg. mydomain.com

CloudFlare API Key – The API key given in your CloudFlare account My Setting area.

CloudFlare API Email – Your registered email in CloudFlare.

Development Mode – Choose Off

HTTPS Protocol Rewriting – Choose On

CloudFlare Plugin Settings

CloudFlare Plugin Settings

Hope you like our article, do share your valuable feedbacks and questions with us.

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This article has been written by the Technical Staff of YogiHosting. Check out other articles on "WordPress, SEO, jQuery, HTML" and more.