If you are thinking about a fast and secure website, Cloudflare CDN (content delivery network) is ideal. It will provide several advantages for a web site more than you expect for free.
If you are already running a website, you should have know website speed, and security is a must for your content creation journey. Yes, it’s mandatory! The site speed will crush your visitors, and security is a must for both visitors and your valuable content. So, how Cloudflare can help to speed up and protect your WordPress site? Here’s my experience!
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What is Cloudflare CDN?
Cloudflare is a service, a content delivery network (CDN), that provides security by protecting Internet properties from malicious activities like DDoS attacks, malicious bots, and other intrusions.
Moreover, it allows website owners to improve page load speeds, reduce bandwidth usage, and reduce CPU usage on the origin server. Also, it helps to easily insert applications into their websites without needing to be a developer.
If you are running a WordPress site, you can improve your site speed and security using Cloudflare as CDN just in minutes. It will not cost you! You can get access to a free Cloudflare account with valuable benefits for your web site:
- Performance: Cloudflare can cache web site content. It will help to improve page load speeds, reduce bandwidth usage, and reduce CPU usage on the origin server.
- Increased security: It also helps to improve safety by blocking attacks before they even into your website. The main thing is it will protect the site against DDoS attacks and more.
- Free Universal SSL: Another benefit, it will provide a free SSL (https) Certificate to Encrypting your traffic. Read their blog post about this for more info.
- User experience: Always a responsive, fast site will increase user satisfaction and encourages repeat visits. Cloudflare can alive your website with a fast-loading experience.
Setup Cloudflare on WordPress
I’m using Cloudflare CDN for a long time. It’s free, and pro plans have some valuable features that you will surely need. But the free plan is perfect for individuals with a personal website just like mine. View their all plans for more info.
As they say, it will only take just 5 minutes to get started with Cloudflare. If you think you need Cloudflare for your website, head over to Cloudflare’s homepage to sign up first!
- Signup with Cloudflare using your email address.
- Enter the site address that you want to setup Cloudflare.
- Choose your preferred plan (You can choose the free plan and upgrade your plan later)
- Cloudflare will start automatically to setup DNS records on your site and click “Continue‘ after it has done.
- Change the nameservers to Cloudflare nameservers and click “Save“. You can use Cloudflare’s guide for more info.
Once you complete the changing nameservers, it will take some time to update globally. You will receive an email once it’s complete, or you will see a notification on the dashboard.
Note: If you have a custom domain email address connected with Gmail, it may not work after you change the default nameservers to Cloudflare. Use this Cloudflare’s guide to avoid this issue or contact your email provider for support.
Speed Up Your Website
Once you have done with setup Cloudflare, it’s time to speed up your WordPress site.
Go to the Cloudflare dashboard and move to the “Speed” and move to the “Optimization” tab.
Here you have to turn on some features to improve your site performance with Cloudflare CDN:
- Auto Minify
- Rocket Loader
These features will reduce the file size of the source code on your website. Sometimes it may breakdown your site’s layout or something, come again here and turn off these settings.
Note: Purge cache to have your change take effect immediately. (Dashboard > Caching > Purge Cache) Also, if you are using the Elementor page builder on WordPress, you have to turn off these features to works Elementor well.
Secure Your Website
Cloudflare SSL Configuration
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a must-have for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. That will be telling your visitors how about your website is secure by displaying a green lock in the browser’s address bar. SSL always increases the visitor’s trust!
Using Cloudflare, SSL operates in different modes depending on the level of security you required and the amount of configuration you decide to do.
Learn more about from Cloudflare’s guide to choosing what you preferred to do. I also have SSL from my origin server, and it will be encrypted with both visitor and server-side.
Configure Page Rules
Page rules can help you to build a secure experience on your site. It will let you control which Cloudflare settings trigger on a given URL by you.
If you have a self-hosted WordPress site, then you can give the admin URL as yoursite.com/wp-admin and you can able to choose the cache level, security level, and SSL settings from Cloudflare for that URL. Read the guide on must-have page rules for everyone, provided by Cloudflare.
Also, you can able to build 3 page rules with a free Cloudflare account or you can buy page rules for more triggers.
Cloudflare WordPress plugin
This plugin helps you to improves the protection of your website from spammers as they get reported to Cloudflare. You’ll need to enter Cloudflare API keys and your email address to enable this plugin. You can get the API keys from the dashboard on Cloudflare. If you have a Cloudflare pro plan, this plugin has more features like image optimization to improve your website’s performance.
Using Cloudflare CDN is really up to you! It’s free for personal sites and blogs for free optimization and security. Speed is a must for every website to grab more visitors and gain more leads. So, I have using Cloudflare for a long time. It helps to improve my site performance faster than I expect.
- Cloudflare is easy to set up, but be careful at changing nameservers configuration and minify features with your site.
- Purge cache to have your change take effect immediately. (Dashboard > Caching > Purge Cache)
- Turn on “Development Mode” in the dashboard if you’re making any changes to your WordPress site. It will bypass the Cloudflare cache.
What do you think? Are you planning to integrate Cloudflare CDN with your website? Let me know your comments. Don’t forget to share this tutorial!
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