Website speed has always been a topic to discuss. In the last couple of years, people have come to understand the importance of using a Content Delivery Network.
And not everyone wants to spend a single penny to use a CDN. And that's where CloudFlare comes into action.
It's one of the most used CDNs right now. But before we proceed, I must let you know about CDN and how it can help you improve your website's performance.
It acts as an intermediate between your users' browser and the website's server. A CDN can help you protect your website from many malicious attacks.
It's because whenever someone attacks your website, it doesn't reach to its original server. The CloudFlare's firewall takes care of everything.
And the most fantastic thing is that it stores the static pages, images, etc. of your website on its server so that your site opens fast for your returning visitors.
In this tutorial, you're going to learn the easiest way to enable the free CloudFlare CDN on your website.
Add Your Website to CloudFlare
There are a few steps you have to follow. I would like to mention that in this tutorial, you will not see any step related to cPanel.
Open the official website of CloudFlare and create an account. If you already have an account, log in and see an option to "Add Site".
As you can see, I already have an account so there are two options to add a new website.
Once you click on that button, you will see a popup to fill the URL of the website. Click on the Add Site button.
A few notifications will be shown to you about querying the DNS of your website and what will happen once you change the nameservers.
The traffic will get routed through the intelligent network of CloudFlare. Just click on the Next button.
CloudFlare has many plans to choose from. But as I have already mentioned, most of the people use the free plan, so you just select the $0/month plan.
Confirm the plan by clicking on the Confirm Plan button.
A popup will appear to you for the final confirmation. CloudFlare takes the security very seriously so it's important to check the authenticity of the user.
A new page will get opened where you will see all the DNS details of your website. I am not going to show it for my website.
If you scroll down, you can see the DNS for the email hosting, your website, cPanel, and much more.
Once you go further, you will be asked to change the nameservers. As you can see, CloudFlare has already scanned your website and checked the nameservers, you just need to replace them with the new nameservers shown to you.
For every domain, CloudFlare shows the different DNS. I choose my own domain so the DNS is based on my location.
How Can You Change the DNS
It depends on your domain registrar. Many people use the free domain credit offered by their web hosting company.
So their web hosting company is the sole provider of the domain. In such case, you have to update the nameservers from cPanel.
But if you have registered your domain separately from your web hosting, it will be quite easy. The companies like GoDaddy and NameCheap are there.
Depending on your domain registrar, you have to copy the nameservers provided by CloudFlare and paste them as in place of your current nameservers.
Which domain registrar do you use for your domain?
Once you change the nameservers, within 24 hours, your website traffic will get routed through the CloudFlare servers.
I Hope You Can Accomplish this Without Any Hassle
I have met many people who get confused between using CloudFlare directly and from cPanel. Well, both are the same things.
Many web hosting companies have their partnership with CloudFlare. They integrate CloudFlare with their cPanel so that the users don't need to follow the manual method.
But I have explained the method which can be used for any website regardless of the web hosting it is hosted on.
The beauty of following such way is that it's independent of every platform. You don't need to use cPanel. I hope you can easily add your website to CloudFlare.
The main reason to enable CloudFlare on a website is to improve its performance by reducing the number of requests.
Many websites face the memory exhausted problem, excessive database requests etc which directly impacts the page loading time of the website.
But CloudFlare can help you fix many issues. As I have mentioned before, CloudFlare creates the static version of a website so that when a user returns, the browser doesn't make as many requests as it made for the first time.
Check out these top 3 CDN services: