How to add your website to Cloudflare and use CDN, Cache service free

Cloudflare provides Content Distribution Network(CDN), Web Optimization service, DDoS, WAF and SSL service.They have free as well as paid plan. Most of the premium services are available to a paid plan, but the free plan is also good for a beginner blogger. You get decent CDN, Caching and Free SSL service.

In this article, I am going to share how to setup Cloudflare for your WordPress Blog.

What is CloudFlare and how it works?

Cloudflare actually acts as a proxy between your site and user. All traffic passes through their network which is spread across different part of the World. It caches static content of your site and serves from nearest node to user. This helps to boost performance at the same time-saving bandwidth. It really helps if you are using Shared Hosting Service offered by Hostgator, Bluehost or any other provider.

Below image will help you to understand complete working. I would suggest you read this good document written on CloudFlare Support Site.

How Cloudflare Works
Image Courtesy: cloudflare.com

Below are the step by step instructions to add a website to CloudFlare.

Step 1 – Create Cloudflare Account

First, you need to create an account. Open Official Website and click on Sign Up button at the top left corner. You can also use this link to sign up. Enter your email address, a strong password and accept terms and conditions. Click Create Account button.

Step 2 – Setup Website

These are wizard-driven steps. You just need to enter requested data and click continue button.

Add Website

In this step, you need to enter the domain name and click on Scan DNS Records.You can enter multiple names separated by a comma. It scans your site to find out existing DNS and other related information. It also shows a small video on Cloudflare. Click on Continue.

cloudflare add site

This is how it shows the DNS records. It includes A, AAA and CNAME entries and everything.

dns scanned by cloudflare

Do not change anything and just hit Continue.

Select Cloudflare Plan

It offers different plan like,

  • Free Website
  • Pro Website
  • Business Website
  • Enterprise Website

 

Not earning anything from these blogs… 🙁 so choosing Free Plan and click Continue. in Free website, you get Basic Security Protection, Fast Website Performance, SSL and always online service.

Cloudflare plan

Next, it shows existing name server of your site and nameserver you need to change.Now, this site is using Hostgator Shared Service.

Next step you need to change the name server of your site with the new one given by Cloudflare.

cloudflare name server

Log in to a domain registrar and change the name server. Nameserver propagation process takes somewhere around 3 to 4 hours even though the message is saying 24 hours. Your website remains up and keeps serving your visitors.

We are using the domain from GoDaddy. So let’s login there and change name server to cortney.ns.cloudflare.com and sid.ns.cloudflare.com.

Update Name Server

Login to domain registrar in our case it is Godaddy. Navigate to manage domains. Identify the one which you want to move to Cloudflare and click on it.

Godady DNS

Click on the change button and enter nameserver given by Cloudflare as shown in below image. Click save.

godaddy change name server

Recheck Nameserver

Time to cross verify if you have updated DNS names properly. After updating DNS Nameserver for your domain, head on to Cloudflare setup and click on continue. Next window provides you an option to recheck nameserver.

rescan nameserver cloudflare

If it is green and status Active, then you are good. Your website will be served by Cloudflare network once it gets propagated.

Website active on cloudflare

That’s it… You added your site. You need to wait for 72 hours for the naming server to get propagated. Don’t worry it happens fast and there is no downtime.

How Cloudflare Helps

Our basic purpose was to get CDN and use Flexible SSL provided by Cloudflare. It helps to save bandwidth which is good if you are on Shared Hosting Server with limited bandwidth.

There is the nice dashboard. Navigate to Analytics to check statistic of your site. You can clearly see it has saved 10.12 MB bandwidth.

Note: Check this report after one week for your site after the move.

cloudflare bandwidth saved

 

I hope this article will help you to setup Cloudflare for your WordPress site. Go ahead and setup it and use free CDN, Flexible SSL Certificate. Did you find this article helpful? If Yes, please share and subscribe to this blog.

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