How to Setup Configure CloudFlare Free CDN in WordPress

Loading speed of a webpage becomes one of the important factor for search engine ranking. Slow loading speed of a website lead to bad user experience. You have to optimize your website for better performance or page loading speed. The main reason behind slow loading speed of any website is its images, javascripts, slow hosting servers and other heavy codes. So, CDN is recommeded to cache static files (images, javascripts, CSS etc.) of your website. CDN have their own data centers at different location all over the world. When a user visits your website, CDN serves your website cached static files from nearest data center of CDN to the user. In this way, CDN helps to load your website faster. There is many free CDN available in the internet. But the best and most popular of them is cloudflare. Cloudflare is all in one solution to boost up loading speed of any website. It also offers minfy service for javascript, CSS & HTML of your website to reduce the size of your page or website. And best thing is that it also provide a free flexible SSL to every user. I added cloudflare recently for our website and Ive seen a big improvement in the loading speed of our website. So, in this article Im going to share a easy guide to setup & configure CloudFlare CDN in WordPress for better performance.

Step by Step Guide to Setup & Configure Cloudflare CDN in WordPress:

How to Activate CloudFlare CDN in Your WordPress Website

  • First go to Cloudflare.com and fill up signup form to create a new account there.
  • After signing up, cloudflare will ask you add your website. Just put your website URL and click on Scan DNS Records button.
  • Now wait for 60 seconds and let cloudflare scan DNS records of your domain. After 60 seconds Continue button color becomes green, just click on it to proceed.
  • On next page, Cloudflare will show list of your website DNS records. Here you have to select the particular DNS records and sub domains where you want to activate the cloudflare CDN services.

Gray Cloud represents CDN is off for that particular page or subdomain.

Orange Cloud represents CDN is on for that particular page or sub domain.

 

  • After that, you have to Choose a plan for your website. Select the Free Website plan which is free for lifetime and recommended for starters.
  • On next page, CloudFlare will give you two name servers. Now you will need to replace your current name servers with Cloudflare name servers. Login to your domain registrar account and update the name servers. After updating name servers, you have wait at least 1-24 hours.
  • After complete propagation of name servers cloudflare will start serving your website content through its data centers. On CloudFlare dashboard you will see active status for your website.

How to Setup & Configure CloudFlare Free CDN in WordPress for Better Performance

Crypto Section:

SSL: Flexible

HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS): Disabled

Authenticated Origin Pulls: Keep it OFF

Remaining two options not available for FREE plan.

Crypto section of CloudFlare allows you to manage SSL related settings for your website. If you dont want to use SSL on your website then you can turn it off here.

Firewall Section:

Security Level: Essentially OFF or Low

Challenge Passage: 1 Month

Advanced DDoS Protection: Not available for FREE plan

If you set security level Higher or Im Under Attack then every visitor of your website need to fill up a Captcha code to access your website. So, it will be better to keep security level essentially off or low. You can also block specific IP address or entire country visitors to access your website using Access rules tab there.

Speed Section:

Auto Minify:

Javascript: Enabled

CSS: Enabled

HTML: Enabled

Rocket Loader: Automatic

Mobile Redirect: Select a sub domain where you want to redirect mobile users of your website. If you dont want to redirect then no need to do any changes.

Dont enable auto minify settings on CloudFlare if you are already using any other plugins to minify Javascript, CSS & HTML of your website.

Caching Section:

Purge Cache: This option is used rebuild cache and fetch updated version of some files that you recently changed.

Caching Level: Standard

Browser Cache Expiration: 12 Hours (You can reduce the time if you update content of your website frequently)

Always On: Keep it ON

Development Mode: Enable it whenever you do some changes on your website like logo change, adding widget, changing theme etc.

Keep other remaining sections settings default. Thats it you have successfully configured CloufFlare Free CDN for your WordPress Website. Now check the page loading speed of your website using pingdom website speed test tool. I am sure you will see a big boost in your website page loading speed after activating CloudFlare. Before loading time of our website was about 2 seconds. But after enabling CloudFlare CDN it is reduced to 384 micro seconds.

I hope above article helps you to setup & configure cloudflare CDN in your WordPress website. I recommend everyone to enable cloudflare CDN even if you are using another paid CDN. Because cloudflare is more then a CDN. If you have any question related to this article then dont hesitate to leave a comment.

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