CloudFlare makes it easy for your website to load by caching popular content from it. Since Google has been very particular about loading time, we all know that pages that load faster will be ranked higher. So WordPress and CloudFlare when used together can help your blog get a higher ranking. Since CloudFlare CDN is available for free, bloggers can enjoy its basic services without paying anything. It can be set up automatically through the cPanel or you can do it manually. A lot of users find that setting it up manually is more effective. We will outline steps for both.
Setting Up CloudFlare CDN from cPanel
While some web hosting companies will give you the opportunity to activate and use CloudFlare CDN from the cPanel, others may require a manual setup. To check if CloudFlare can be setup from the cPanel, look for the CloudFlare logo (orange cloud) in the cPanel. You must login to the cPanel dashboard of your web host go to the Advanced Settings to look for the ClodFlare logo. If the logo is there then follow these steps to complete the setup:
- Click on the icon and choose the domain name on which you want to activate CloudFlare.
- Once the domain is selected, you can click on the grey cloud icon and CloudFlare will be activated.
- Once this is done, your host will take care of the rest of the legwork for you updating protection and DNS for you so that CLoudFlare is set up on your WordPress blog without any hassles.
Automatic setups are possible only if your host allows it. If CloudFlare installation is not provided by your host then you will have to go through the manual setup by visiting the CloudFlare website.
Setting Up CloudFlare CDN manually
Follow these steps to manually set up CloudFlare CDN on your website:
- Visit https://www.cloudflare.com/ from your web browser and click on Sign up to complete the sign up form on the website.
- Once you complete the form you will be asked to enter the URL for your website.
- When the website address is entered, CloudFlare will begin scanning the domains on your website. The procedure takes a while before you will notice a DNS Zone file on your screen where the records have been transferred. Go through the details to make sure that the records are correct before you proceed.
In this step, you can also pick the domain names that you do not want to be under the CloudFlare network. Orange cloud means CloudFlare is active for the subdomain while grey cloud means that it is inactive. Only those domains will be cached who have an orange cloud icon next to them.
- Proceed to the next page to choose a plan for yourself. To use free CloudFlare CDN you can pick the basic plan and if you want to use more features, then you can take a paid plan. The security and performance of your WordPress blog will depend on the plan you pick.
- Once you choose a plan, you will be provided with DNS name servers. Here you must update your name servers with the CloudFlare name servers to make sure it works as expected.
Changing name servers is a time-taking step. It can take up to 24 hours for your website to begin functioning as usual again since the new name servers need to be propagated through the internet. Some of your users may find it difficult to access your website during this period of time. Follow these steps to change the name servers from your WordPress blog.
- Login to the cPanel dashboard of your host
- Now go to the section for Domains and click on Domain manager.
- You will see a screen that allows you to pick the domain name that you would like to edit.
- Choose the dmain name and you will see a few options highlighted to change the name.
- From the top tabs, go to Name Server and click on the radio button next to Use Custom Nameservers
- Enter the Nameservers provided by CloudFlare and click on Save Nameserver Settings.
- This will update the name servers for your blog to the CloudFLare name servers.
To ensure that CloudFlare is aware that the changes have been made, return to the CloudFlare page and click on I’ve updated my name servers. Click on continue to complete the setup process for WordPress and CloudFlare to be configured so that your WordPress blog can load quickly.
This is how you set up free CloudFlare CDN for your WordPress based blog. You will be able to benefit from added security and a chance to rank higher in Google Search because the loading time for your page will improve with CloudFlare.
It is recommended that WordPress and CloudFlare users must use the CloudFlare WordPress plugin which will help in improving the protection on your website and it makes sure that the right IP address appears on the comments. This plugin is available only if you install CloudFlare CDN manually. The plugin requires the CloudFlare API keys which you can find by accessing the My Account page on CloudFlare website. You will also be asked to enter your email address to use this plugin. It is very useful and this is probably one of the reasons why most of the WordPress bloggers prefer activating CloudFlare manually.
CloudFlare does not require a lot of tedious work. It is easy to setup and the services are very customer friendly. The added protection that comes along with it ensures that your blog is free from spam. Bloggers are always looking for a way to optimize their blog for better visibility in Search Engines. By improving loading speeds, Cloudflare CDN provides and effective way of ensuring that WordPress blogs will load quickly and will also be protected from threats. If you are considering using a CDN then follow these simple steps and set up free CloudFlare CDN on your WordPress based blog.