Speed Up & Secure Your WordPress Blog With CloudFlare Free CDN[This post is part of the WordPress Guide for Beginners – Step by Step Tutorials]
Site speed is one of the major factors that is considered by search engines for better ranking. Moreover speedy site provide a good user experience.
If you have a slow site no one have enough time to wait and read your post. Searcher will click the back button and visit to other listings.
So Speed does matter! Cause all of your blog visitors don’t have first internet connection, even some people are using shared Wi-Fi connection.
To stick your readers you have to provide a good speed. One of the easiest and effective way to speed up your site is using WordPress CDN service.
I know you heard a lot about CDN! But have you ever tried it? If not, then now time to use CDN network. It will take only 6-10 minutes to set up CDN.
Before go to the set up guidelines, Here are important things about CDN.
What is CDN?
A content delivery network (CDN) is a large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers in the Internet.
How it works?
We usually use shared hosting and all our files are hosted in a data center. I am using Hostgator which data center located in USA. When a user from Bangladesh open RoadToBLogging.com, his request goes to data center at USA and then his browser open the site. Obviously it will take some time.
Now a CDN have data center in many location. When a user open your site, your files will be served from nearest data center. And it will take less time.
There are many CDN networks like Cloudflare ,Amazon cloudfront, MaxCDN which are providing CDN services to their customer. If you are going for a free CDN service then CloudFlare is the best option.
Update: If you are going to change your hosting provider, then firstly change your provider and go for CDN service. The reason is on Barry Wells’s comment below.
Here is simple step by step guide about Cloudflare CDN setting.
How to Set Up Cloudflare with WordPress
Many web hosting services give a built-in option in cPanel to enable CDN. It is very easy to do. But the PROBLEM is it may down your site for several days. So it is better to try it from CludFlare site. To do that follow the simple steps.
1. Visit CloudFlare and sign up for a free account.
2. Now enter your site URL and click ‘Add website’ button.
3. Configure DNS – Now your DNS record will be automatically listed by CloudFlare. Your task is to check that all the records are available in list. To check this login to your CPanel and find it on Advanced DNS Zone Editor.
Now you can choose which domain you want to active in CloudFlare by clicking on the cloud icon on the left. It is BETTER to go with the defaults which they provide.
4. Settings – on this step I have chosen the Free plan, Performance:CDN + basic optimization, Security: Medium.
5. Update Servers – It is the technical part. Now they will ask you to change name server. To do that you have to login to your DNS provider.[If you are using Hostgator , follow these steps. Login to gbclient.hostgator.com > View Domain Names > Select Domain Name > Update Information]
Do this at low traffic time of your site.
6. Allow upto 24-48 hours for your domain to fully propagate across the Internet. But it took only few minutes for me.
7. You can also use CloudFlare WordPress Plugin to get correct IP Address information for comments and for better protection. I don’t use this plugin.
After activation you will be able to know how CloudFlare protect your site from threat, Bandwidth Save information etc. For more information and setting tips, please visit CloudFlare top tips section.
Configure W3 Total Cache for Cloudflare
If you are using W3 Total Cache plugin, then go to the plugin setting, scroll down and you will find Network Performance & Security powered by Cloudflare box. Now insert your API key, domain and E-mail which you provided at CloudFlare.
That’s it, you are done. Now your site will be secure and will load more faster then usual.
Also read: Speed up your WordPress Blog using .htaccess
If you face any difficulties in these steps, please let me know. If you find this tutorial useful don’t forget to share with it on Facebook and Google plus.