Want to configure Cloudflare for WordPress?
Cloudflare is a free content delivery network (CDN) and security service. Once you’ve connected your WordPress site to Cloudflare, you’ll be able to speed up your site with CDN, secure it with SSL and bot protection, and implement other useful features.
In this Cloudflare for WordPress tutorial, you will learn how to:
- Configure your WordPress site with Cloudflare
- Configure the official Cloudflare plugin
- Use Cloudflare to enable HTTPS to get the green checkmark
What are the benefits of Cloudflare for your WordPress site?
If you’re not familiar with Cloudflare, here’s a quick list of some of the benefits of using Cloudflare for WordPress:
- CDN – Cloudflare’s content delivery network speeds up your site by delivering your static content from a large network of global servers. Cloudflare is the most popular free CDN service.
- SSL – if your site doesn’t already have an SSL certificate, Cloudflare can help you use HTTPS on your WordPress site to get the green padlock in visitors’ browsers.
- DNS – Cloudflare is one of the fastest DNS providers out there, which can speed up your site’s time to first byte (TTFB).
- Security Rules – Cloudflare allows you to configure custom security rules to secure specific parts of your site, like your WordPress dashboard.
- DDoS Protection – Cloudflare can help protect you against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. It can also help you filter out malicious traffic generally.
- Other performance benefits – Cloudflare can help you minimize your code, enable Brotli compression, and implement other performance best practices.
How to configure Cloudflare for WordPress?
Before you can start configuring the other options in Cloudflare, you must connect your site to Cloudflare. Cloudflare is what is called a reverse proxy service. You don’t really need to know what this means – but what you need to know is this: For Cloudflare to work, it needs to be able to manage your domain’s name servers so that it can serve. the cached content from its CDN. and filter malicious actors (if you enable security features). To do this, you will need to change your domain’s name servers to Cloudflare, which most of the basic setup process involves. Here’s how to do it …
1. Create your free Cloudflare account
To get started, go to Cloudflare and sign up. On the next page, enter the domain name of the WordPress site you want to use with Cloudflare and click Add Site :
Then enter the domain name you want to add.
Then you will be prompted to choose a plan.
You can choose the free plan for now, as it offers all the features that most WordPress sites need:
2. Check the DNS records
Once you’ve chosen your plan, Cloudflare will analyze your site’s DNS records.
If you’re not sure what’s going on here, don’t worry. The only thing you need to check is that you see an orange cloud next to your primary domain name (which you should see by default – no action required):
Then click Continue.
3. Update the nameservers to point to Cloudflare
Now Cloudflare will give you a new set of nameservers to replace your existing nameservers:
Nameservers are part of what you use to connect your domain name to your web hosting. When you switch to Cloudflare’s nameservers, Cloudflare can direct traffic to your website.
He uses this power to:
- Filter malicious traffic – it will send regular traffic to your website as usual while filtering out malicious actors before they can reach your site.
- Stream static content from the closest server to its huge global network (the CDN part)
How you will change your name servers depends on where you registered your domain name.
Here are tutorials for some of the more common domain registrars: This is what it looks like at Namecheap … First, here is how my domain name was configured before I connected it to Cloudflare:
And this is what it looks like after updating my nameservers to point to Cloudflare:
Once you have changed the nameservers for your domain, go back to the Cloudflare interface and click on the Done button, check the nameservers button.
Note: Nameservers can take up to 24 hours to update, so you may have to wait a bit for Cloudflare to update. Don’t panic and think you’ve made a mistake unless it’s been at least 24 hours.
4. Configure some basic settings
On the next page, you can configure some basic settings for how Cloudflare works. If you want to use SSL / HTTPS, you need to select the option.
This helps secure traffic to your site and also helps your site get the green padlock in visitors’ browsers. Make sure to update your WordPress site to use HTTPS if you are using Cloudflare’s Full SSL. You will probably need to update the URLs on your WordPress site, in part.
You can also configure:
- Minification – reduce the size of your code. Many WordPress performance plugins allow minification. So if you’re already using a plugin that does this, you shouldn’t enable it in Cloudflare.
- Brotli – Brotli is a server-level compression alternative to Gzip. I recommend activating it.
Once you’ve made your choices, click Done.
5. Check that your connection is established
Once you click Done, you may see a message telling you that you need to complete your name server setup:
Again – don’t panic. It may take up to 24 hours for the nameservers to update, so it is quite normal to see this message for a few hours even if you have done everything correctly.
Wait 30 minutes to an hour, then click the Re-check now button to see if the nameservers have been updated. Once they do, you should see a success message:
And that’s all! You have just configured Cloudflare for WordPress.
How to configure the official Cloudflare WordPress plugin (optional)
Once you’ve connected your WordPress site to Cloudflare, you can manage several features from the Cloudflare dashboard. However, to make life easier for WordPress users, Cloudflare also offers its own official WordPress plugin. You do not need to use this plugin to use Cloudflare with WordPress – you can do pretty much everything from the Cloudflare website instead. However, the plugin helps with two things:
- It automatically configures some of the most important settings to make your WordPress site run smoothly with Cloudflare.
- It allows you to manage some important Cloudflare settings from your WordPress dashboard, rather than using the Cloudflare website.
For these two reasons, I recommend completing this section to configure the Cloudflare WordPress plugin. Here’s how to do it …
Read more: How Do I Fix a Cloudflare Error 522?
I. Install the Cloudflare plugin
The official Cloudflare plugin is listed on WordPress.org, so you can install it directly from your WordPress dashboard by searching for “Cloudflare”:
II. Log in to the Cloudflare account
Once you have activated the plugin, go to Settings → Cloudflare and click on the Connect here option:
Enter your Cloudflare account email address, as well as your Cloudflare API key (more information below):
Then click Save API Credentials. How to find your Cloudflare API key: To find your Cloudflare API key:
- Access the Cloudflare dashboard
- Click on your account icon in the upper right corner
- Select My Profile
- Click on the API Tokens tab
- Click on View next to your Global API Key (you will need to enter your password to view it)
- Copy this value and add it to the plugin settings in your WordPress dashboard
III. Optimize Cloudflare settings
Once you have activated the plugin, you will see an Optimize Cloudflare for WordPress option. Click Apply to automatically optimize your Cloudflare for WordPress settings:
And that’s all! If you want, you can browse through the rest of the settings in your WordPress dashboard (or the Cloudflare dashboard). However, you don’t have to do anything else.
Get started today with Cloudflare for WordPress
If you want to speed up and protect your WordPress site, Cloudflare is one of the best free services you’ll find. While the setup process requires a little technical effort with changing your domain’s name servers, it’s a one-time thing and in the future, your site will benefit without your lifting a finger. Again, the basic process for using Cloudflare for WordPress is to:
- Create your free Cloudflare account
- Change your domain’s name servers to point to Cloudflare’s name servers
- Install the official Cloudflare plugin to optimize the configuration
For other ways to speed up your WordPress site, check out our guides for:
Still, have questions about using Cloudflare with WordPress? Let us know in the “Comments!” Section.
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