2 mins to Setup Cloudflare CDN. Tabs Console tutorial 7 steps

Cloudflare CDN benefits, features, cache, security.

cloudflare_logo-9137448

Cloudflare is a feature-packed Content Delivery Network (CDN) with a free plan and one of the best paid plans. It serves 20 million HTTP requests per second and from over 100 countries. Almost all budget WordPress hosting services give you access to FREE Cloudflare CDN to speed up your website.

Cloudflare as part of its extensive pack of services ensures ultra-fast static and dynamic content delivery as well as increased agility and control over caching. Their built-in unmetered DDoS protection is one of the most appealing power points to Cloudflare’s claim to fame.

Just like the 60-second rule to improve your skin, you can actually speed up website by using this guide to setup Cloudflare CDN in 60-seconds (or 2 mins for new website developer)

YES !! It will take just 60-seconds to setup cloudflare CDN and add your website to Cloudflare FREE CDN service. Let me show you how in the following few sections.

5-steps to setup Cloudflare CDN with detailed instructions

The first part of this article is classified as a short course to quickly setup cloudflare CDN

Setup Cloudflare CDN in 2 minutes

Learn how you can QUICKLY setup FREE Cloudflare CDN for WordPress website.

Course Provider: Person

Editor's Rating:
5

1. Sign up with CloudFlare.

The first step to setup Cloudflare CDN is to create a Cloudflare account. Sign up with Cloudflare. Open https://www.cloudflare.com. Click on Sign Up link on top right of the page. On the new page, enter your email address and password.

setup cloudflare CDN login step
Login to cloudflare

Your account is created! That’s it!

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Know more about Content delivery networks and how to use CDN as SEO tools for wordpress. Click the video image below to start your 30-day FREE trial

how to use CDN as SEO tools for wordpress

2. Add your website to Cloudflare

The next step to setup Cloudflare CDN is to add your website to Cloudflare account. Don’t forget to include your website’s domain extension e.g. 5stepguide.com

cloudflare setup add website
Add your website to Cloudflare

3. Choose a price plan

Thereafter, you are shown a screen with multiple price plans. For a beginner blogger or a small startup or someone who wants to test Cloudflare CDN, the FREE plan is perfectly fine. For an experienced website, a $20 per month plan is most suitable. The higher priced plans are suitable for large corporations websites or website for payments processing and so on. I won’t be discussing those here.

select price plan to setup cloudflare CDN
select price plan to setup cloudflare CDN

Do you know FastComet has 13 data centers across the world. Choosing a data center to host your site that’s closer to your target geography and then adding Cloudflare services further enhances customer reach. Try Fastcomet today to experience it yourself (45-day money back guarantee and a 1-month service contract possibility) by clicking at the discount banner below.

fastcomet banner 2

Read my review of Fastcomet along with other Fast WordPress shared hosting providers I personally experimented and researched.

4. Review your website’s DNS records:

You are now progressing fast on your path to properly setup cloudflare CDN. On the following screen Cloudflare will ask you to confirm if the DNS records for your website are configured correctly. I suggest you let it be as it as and work only on the records with warnings. You can always make changes later. The best part about a CDN like Cloudflare is that it will pick every DNS record associated with your website while allowing you to confirm whether the settings are good to go.

setup DNS records in cloudflare CDN
Setup DNS records in cloudflare settings

5. Change website nameservers.

To setup cloudflare CDN properly and route all your traffic through Cloudflare CDN, you need to set Cloudflare nameservers. On the next screen, Cloudflare will ask you to complete your nameserver setup. Change your domain’s nameservers on the domain name manager to the CDN provided nameservers.

cloudflare CDN setup nameservers
setup nameservers in your web hosting

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Domain name manager is a section integrated on your domain seller website to manage settings of your domain. A domain name seller is the website from which you bought your domain e.g. godaddy.com or namesilo.com

It generally takes between one to twenty four hours for the new settings to spread around the web. However, there’s no downtime for your website. It will continue working as normal. You can make changes, add code, add plugins and so on without any risk.

6. Key Cloudflare settings

Subsequently, the last optional step of setting up cloudflare CDN, a 3-step domain configuration screen is shown. It focuses on Cloudflare’s prime pillars of website optimization i.e. security and performance. Click on each item (the circled numbers: 1,2,3) to view and modify the settings. I suggest you accept them as is since they are generally valid for almost all small websites or blogs.

One quick note on the second setting to optimize website performance. If you know what you are doing, then auto-minify pays well for a stark difference in performance in the long run. So I suggest check all, especially if your website is not in WordPress. On the other hand, if you added a WordPress optimization plugin through your website’s WordPress admin panel, you can perhaps skip it here and do this step on your website itself.

Do you know WP-rocket is one of the fastest speed WordPress optimization plugins. It can help benefit even a slow website by adding caching, preloading, lazy loading, minifying CSS/JS features. You will see tremendous increase in Website loading speeds, just like I did (see my blog post where I explain how to took my site from zero to hero using 5 WordPress speed optimization plugins).

Try WP-rocket today to experience it yourself (14-day money back guarantee) by clicking at the discount banner below.

wp-rocket with fast CDN for wordpress

That’s about it. You are now all set and have completely setup cloudflare CDN to serve your website’s traffic. Cloudflare will soon start copying your site to hundreds of locations worldwide to serve it in the shortest time possible.

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The first part of this article is classified as a short course on Cloudflare tabs console configuration

A simple Cloudflare tabs Console tutorial in 7-steps

Cloudflare tabs console tutorial. Configuration tabs explained. Cloudflare DNS, features, Cache, Security.

Course Provider: Person

Editor's Rating:
4.5

Cloudflare tabs console tutorial in 7-steps

Now let’s talk about Cloudflare console tabs. This is a really quick all-you-need-to-know Cloudflare console tabs tutorial for a new website owner. You can see the top bar displaying several icons for a host of functions. For a start, you can let all options remain as they are. However, I will briefly describe the most important ones that can be modified for good.

The top bar contains the following icons for detailed settings: DNS, SSL, Firewall, Analytics, Speed, Caching, Page Rules, Network, Traffic and Customize.

cloudflare console tabs

Analytics

The Analytics function shows reports on bandwidth, requests, DNS traffic, unique visitors, threats blocked, cache effectiveness and so on. All analytics are shown in the FREE plan. It also shows you the reports for web traffic by country or region.

cloudflare analytics

However, the free plan shows analytics for only a set period and bucket of time. For example, in the free plan you can see analytics reports for last 24 hours but not for last 10 minutes.

DNS

The DNS section allows you to input IP address for different parts of your website like webmail, cpanel, primary domain, subdomains. You can also set the time to live (TTL) records for all of these as well. It also displays the primary name servers allotted to you. There is not much to adjust here so let’s look at other sections in our Cloudflare tabs console tutorial.

cloudflare dns settings

SSL

In this section, you can modify or enable different SSL settings such as whether you want full SSL or no SSL or flexible SSL. By default full SSL is enabled and I would suggest you keep the same. SSL is a very important element of your website. Let’s look at this Cloudflare tabs console tutorial section in a bit more detail.

cloudflare ssl

Several tabs in this section let you configure HTTPS and SSL settings to setup Cloudflare CDN security. You can also add your own client SSL certificate. At the very bottom of this page you can also see statistics on data served over secure connection.

Do you know Bluehost provides Free SSL, extensive security features, web application firewall, daily backups, bot protection along with great resources for a super fast website at only $3? Try Bluehost (30-day money back guarantee) today to experience it yourself.

bluehost with fastly cdn

All other settings I would recommend to be used only if you are an expert in security and crypto field. They require more thought and careful website security planning. For example, do you really need to enable the provided options to turn on HSTS or set TLS 1.3 support? If your website features and nature of business mandate it, go ahead and tweak those settings. In case you are lost, detailed knowledge base and support is embedded in this section.

Firewall

This is one of the most important sections if you want to enable detailed firewallrules and settings. Here you can filter all potentially malicious attacks. Few of the notable settings as mentioned in this Cloudflare tabs console tutorial section are as follows:

  • adding firewall events
  • creating firewall rules
  • enabling web application firewall on the server
  • setting IP access rules
  • rate limit based on IP address, user agents, IP address zones and regions.

On the other hand, there are some restrictions for free users. Some such settings in this sections are as follows:

  1. A free user is allowed to create only five firewall rules
  2. You need at least a PRO plan to enable web application firewall
  3. Any free user can set IP address blocking, user agent blocking or rate limiting. However, if you want to set entire zone lock-down based on a specific URL or specific IP address then you need to upgrade to at least a PRO plan.

Speed

The Speed section allows some interesting website optimizations. The free plan only includes

  1. Auto Minify option to reduce the size of JavaScript, CSS and HTML files.
  2. Brotli compression to speed up load times my compressing entire website.
  3. Rocket Loader function to improve load time for pages with heavy JavaScript.
  4. Redirection to a specific mobile optimized web page
  5. Display your website’s real URL instead of traditional Google AMp cache URL
cloudflare speed optimization

The pro and above plans however have several advanced optimization settings. The automatic platform optimization helps to generally improve your web WordPress website loading times. You can also enable Cloudflare CDN optimization for speed improvement and fast load times, especially for pages that include plenty of images. Additional optimization is also available especially for mobile devices with slow network connections.

Caching

The Caching area is mostly configurable for paid users. The best optimizations and caching levels for free users are already implemented.

After all, the primary reason for a CDN is caching, smart routing, and edge networking in order to increase loading times and serve a fast, secure and safe website.

There’s also a helpful button to instantly purge your cache. This comes very handy especially when you’re developing your website or making a major change to the structure or content of your website.

cloudflare cache

The Always Online feature is always monitoring your website and comes into action if your web server goes down. It then starts serving pages from the cache stored on several of its servers.

The Development Mode switch it’s almost always off except when you want to enable it temporarily. It helps you bypass Cloudflare CDN cache. This, as its name suggests, would be more suitable while you are developing your website so that you can see any updates to your site in real-time.

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Network

This page allows you to set configurations to manage network settings for your website. You can set whether you want all your traffic to be routed through HTTP/2 or HTTP/3. I would suggest you keep the settings as they are. Keep HTTP/3 on and HTTP/2 off since HTTP/3 request are routed using QUIC. This ensures encryption and performance improvements when compared to standard TCP and TLS.

cloudflare network

Scrape shield

Scrape Shield enables Cloudflare to display obfuscated email addresses to prevent them being harvested by spammers and bot attacks. It also protects your images from hot-linking by other sites.

cloudflare scrape shield

Know more about Web Application Firewalls and how to protect your WordPress site using Content delivery networks – SEO tools for wordpress. Click the video image below to start your 30-day FREE trial.

linkedin waf

To sum up …

Cloudflare CDN is a flexible, feature-packed, easy to configure and use CDN service which provides many security and performance optimizations over its vast global server network. Its FREE plan can be called as a must for every new website which has potential viewers & customers in possibly every nook and corner of the world.

If you are still not ready and would like to compare Cloudflare further, you may look at the following article

cdn service comparison

2021 Fastest CDN for WordPress | 9 Cloudflare Alternatives

Compare CDN benefits, pricing, speed, security

Top 9 CDN providers comparison: Which is fastest CDN for wordpress? Cloudflare alternative. MaxCDN, Stackpath, Sucuri CDN, Google CDN, Fastly – speed, security

However, if you have decided to try some other CDN, here are some awe-inspiring images which you may click and visit the CDN cloud heaven.

stackpath maxcdn logo
cloudflare cdn logo
sucuri cdn logo

Thank you for reading this article. I have written several other such Technology related articles in other sections on this website.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does a content delivery network CDN do?

Nobody likes to wait!!
When a visitor to your site surfs your website, he is expecting least delay and fast loading.

America is still very far from Asia, even when internet travels at rocket speed on super-fast Optical fibres!
If the visitor is geographically located close (is present in the same country) to your website hosting server, your website content needs to travel. In order to ensure a relatively faster connection with the visitor, you need for website’s content to be stored somewhere in close proximity to your vistor;s computer (or mobile).
A CDN helps mirror your website’s content in several places across the globe so that any visitor from any part of the world is served fresh and fast content from the data center closest to him

What are the key benefits of using Cloudflare?

Before you setup Cloudflare CDN, you should look at its benefits and conveniences and evaluate whether it’s right for you to get a CDN.

– Fast loading times to speed up your website content delivery
– 220+ Global Data centers to serve content in shortest time
– Minify & combine CSS and javascript
– Security from hackers
– Detecting and mitigating DDoS attacks via Cloudflare protection
– Proxied DNS in Cloudflare
– Reduce resource usage via URL filtering
– DNS filtering to prevent Bot attacks
– Advanced Caching controls
– Always ON for visitors
– Past and predictable bandwidth
– Fast Video streaming
– HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 protocol
– Free Cloudflare SSL
– Clear and easy pricing plans
– Analytics Reporting
– Web application firewall
– Easy & Quick setup

In my article on 18 Cloudflare CDN Benefits, I have clearly elaborated all of the above mentioned benefits.

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