Have you lately been dreaming about having your websites load faster and arm with better security measures against hackers? Dream no more, because CloudFlare can do all that for you! Basically, when a webmaster uses CloudFlare, this very service will act as a proxy/CDN (Content Delivery Network) to accelerate the page’s load speed of a website and block threats. It’s unclear what kind of threats that CloudFlare can block, but CloudFlare does say on its website that it will protect your websites from various threats.
Setting up CloudFlare is quite easy! First, you need to sign up for a CloudFlare account. Second, log into CloudFlare. Third, add a website to CloudFlare by follow CloudFlare’s step by step instruction. Fourth, copy and paste CloudFlare’s name servers and delete the original name servers from your domain registrar. Fifth, just wait till the name servers are fully propagated, and then ping your domain name to see if the IP address has changed or not; after pinging and the IP address of the domain name has changed, it means that CloudFlare is working as it redirects web traffic to your website through its multitude servers’ IP addresses. Sixth (this step can be done before the fifth step), change the CloudFlare’s specific settings for your specific website (i.e., you can add multiple websites under one CloudFlare account). That’s it!
CloudFlare is a FREE service, and so there isn’t anything to be complained about such generosity! One gimmick, CloudFlare has to make money and so it has a Pro plan where you can upgrade to get even more features. For an instance, SSL (i.e., https protocol) isn’t made available for FREE plan, therefore you need to use a work around method such as accessing a subdomain provided by CloudFlare so you can access your website using SSL. Of course, after upgrade to PRO plan, CloudFlare will provide you with a SSL certificate at a cost of $1 fee per month, and I think you still have to install CloudFlare’s SSL certificate onto your server. By the way, upgrading to PRO plan will cost you $20 per month.
In conclusion, I think CloudFlare is an amazing service for website owners. Instead of spending tons of money to pay for other CDN services or create one yourself, CloudFlare provides you plenty of options to make your websites load faster. The sweetener is that CloudFlare also promises to protect your websites from malicious activities and threats. My advice to you, don’t go easy on your server’s security even though CloudFlare is providing some protections for your server. Instead of anything, you should enhance your server’s security evermore so you can be more sure of the security of your websites (e.g., update server’s software, install firewall, etc…).
Check out couple videos on CloudFlare right after the break!