How to Setup CloudFlare Free CDN in WordPress

How to Setup CloudFlare Free CDN in WordPress

Page speed has become more important than ever for determining a website search engine rankings. As a result, more people are trying to set up their WordPress website to utilize a CDN or content delivery network. One of the more popular options is CloudFlare. This is a quick tutorial of how to setup CloudFlare in WordPress.

How to Setup CloudFlare Free CDN in WordPress
What is CloudFlare?

CloudFlare is a combination of several tools. It is a web application firewall, distributed proxy server, as well as a content delivery network. This allows you to optimize your website by acting as a proxy between visitors in your server which both increases page load speeds while preventing DDoS attacks. For small websites and blogs they offer a free basic plan, although they do offer paid packages as well.

How to Setup CloudFlare for a WordPress Website

1. Sign Up for a CloudFlare Account

As with all third party services you will need to sign up for a CloudFlare account. When you do this CloudFlare will actually scan your website. This can take anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. During this time you’ll be shown a short informational video about how this service operates.

2. After the CloudFlare Scan

After the scan you will be shown a list of all of the DNS records associated with your website that their system found. Keep in mind that this includes all of your subdomains as well. Any record you want passed through to your CloudFlare account will have an orange cloud icon next to it. The DNS records which will bypass this service will have a gray cloud icon. Take a quick moment to make sure that the list with the orange cloud include your main domain and active subdomains.

3. Change Name Servers

After this you will need to change your name server for your domain name to point to the CloudFlare name servers. To do this you will need to login to your hosting account. Keep in mind that the service doesn’t operate like traditional CDN’s. As a result, you won’t have as much configuration options to choose from or to complete in order to utilize this service. In fact, they will automatically cache the static content on your website.

If You Are Using a Cache Plugin

One thing to keep in mind is that if you are using a caching plugin like the popular W3 Total Cache plugin there may be some additional settings to tweak. For example, with W32 Total Cache you will need to visit the performance to have, extensions tab, and activate CloudFlare. Only then will the “Network Performance and Security powered by CloudFlare” appear in the settings.

1 Comment
  • I have always been curious if setting up CloudFlare would really help speed up my website if I am only using the free version. If anyone has a good comparison between the free and premium versions I’d be very interested to hear about it. I view several other premium CDN services in the past but consistently hear that CloudFlare is one of the better options. They are a little more expensive than services I’ve used in the past so I’ve always been hesitant to try them.
    Overall, it seems fairly simple to set up CloudFlare on a WordPress website. I do use a cache plug-in so the extra tip at the end was good to know because it probably would’ve ended up creating problems for me 🙂
    looking at the features on the CloudFlare website I don’t know if I see a big enough difference between it and my current service to make the switch. At the same time, sense the free service would probably be all I need, at least right now, it might be something to consider when I have the extra time.

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