Speed and security are the most important aspects that a WordPress website needs. There are a lot of articles on the web talking about increasing the security and speed of WordPress. For this sole reason, we have spent numerous days and nights (and donuts) in building one of the most impressive managed cloud hosting platform for hosting WordPress sites.
However, hosting service provider is not the only factor in improving the speed of your WordPress site. Another common method used to improve the speed of a site is by using a CDN, which stands for content delivery network. It is a network of servers that serves the web content of websites based on geographic distance of visitors on the site. Using a CDN improves the page loading time for visitors coming in from different regions to access your website.
The widely used CDN providers by WordPress users are MaxCDN and Cloudflare. In this tutorial, I will be sharing how you can install Cloudflare on a WordPress website in Cloudways.
Cloudflare providers a number of options like CDN, optimization of ads, DDoS security, analytics and much more. They also offer a free plan that you can use before purchasing a paid plan.
To install Cloudflare, you first need to signup for Cloudflare and then add your website.
Cloudflare will scan your domain for DNS details.
Next you can route CNAME, A records, among others to route through Cloudflare servers by clicking on the gray cloud.
Once done, Cloudflare will ask about the plan that you want to avail. For this tutorial, we are going to go with the FREE plan.
In the final step, Cloudflare will notify you which DNS you need to change in order to configure Cloudflare with your domain.
Next step is to login to your domain registrar and edit the DNS records of your domain and replace them with the ones Cloudflare has provided.
After you have edited the DNS records, click Continue and after a while you will receive an email confirming that your domain is using Cloudflare DNS and is now being optimized. In your Cloudflare dashboard, the status will change to “Active” and many options will be available in the top pane to configure various security and performance related tasks.
To take full advantage of Cloudflare on WordPress website, it is recommended that you install their plugin on your website.
Adding Let’s Encrypt Certificates to Cloudflare
With Cloudways you can create SSL certificate for your WordPress site using Let’s Encrypt. It can not be created while Cloudflare is activated on your domain. In order to activate Let’s Encrypt certificate, follow the steps below:
1. Login to your Cloudflare dashboard and under DNS tab, disable both www and yourdomain.com options by using the toggle switch in front of it. Grey cloud means that the service is disabled.
2. Go to your Cloudways dashboard and under WordPress application; go to SSL Certificate Enter your domain and install Let’s encrypt certificate.
3. Now, go to your server dashboard and Settings and Packages tab inside Advanced tab, enable HTTP/2 option and under WAF Module choose Cloudflare.
4. Go back to Cloudflare dashboard and enable the option we disabled in step 1. Click on the Crypto tab at the top and turn SSL to Flexible. It can take up to 24 hours for Cloudflare to activate the certificate. However, if you already have used the same domain before, it will get activated instantly.
Once the certificate is activated, switch it to Full (strict).
That’s all! You get a whole bunch of options after you have configured Cloudflare on your WordPress site. Most of the options are for paid plans but if it helps then we recommend that you upgrade your plans and take full advantage of it!
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