CloudFlare really speeds up your website
Protect and speed up your website for free with CloudFlare
It's not just your home computer that needs protection. CloudFlare is a fascinating startup from the creators of Project Honey Pot that claims to protect your website from spammers, bots, and other nasty web monsters - and by caching certain page requests, it will speed up your website a bit.
In essence, it acts as a proxy between your site and any remote requests. They are searched for known threats and only the good ones are allowed through. It's free, relatively painless to setup, and who can opt out of free security protection?
Wait - what exactly is and how does it work ??
All domains have a name server (or two, actually) associated with them, and the purpose of the name server is to redirect the domain to the IP address where your website is located. Therefore, every request directed to your site must go through the name server to reach your site. CloudFlare replaces your current name servers with your own and filters the requested requests, creating a level of security that would otherwise not exist. You would be forgiven for slowing down your website, but it is not. Unlike your regular name servers, which may only exist in one physical location (where your site is stored), CloudFlare has multiple global locations, which has the added benefit of speeding up the site's initial load time.
Let's take a look at my website's stats in a day:
You can see that of around 1,500 recorded page views, 47 were known security threats (e.g. attempts to perform an SQL injection into standard search forms or to check for known web server vulnerabilities).
In terms of a speed boost, CloudFlare also “saved” about 2/3 of the requests made on my server and prevented 130 MB of unnecessary bandwidth consumption. Of course, these are not numbers to laugh about and I can testify that my website is noticeably faster now. But even without the speed boost, the security it adds is a great idea.
I am sure how to get it?
In order to use CloudFlare, you must be able to edit the name server settings for your domain. Even if you choose shared hosting, you should be able to do so. I'll show you quickly how to do this on my favorite domain buying site, Go Daddy - but of course you'll have to check for yourself if your domain was bought elsewhere. Check with your hosting support team to see if your domain and your website hosting were purchased together. Otherwise, you'll need to find out who is in control of your domain (not your hosting).
After logging in, navigate to from any of the main menu items on the Go Daddy main page Go to -> Domain Management:
Next, select your domain from the list. The detail view like this should be shown:
Note the section labeled Name server. We won't change anything now, but keep the tab open while you sign in to CloudFlare as you will need to change this soon.
Sign up for CloudFlare:
Go to cloudflare.com and use the simple login form to create an account. After you've signed in, you should be able to add a domain. Just enter your domain.
While CloudFlare automatically examines your current website, a 1-minute video will be displayed with explanations. Setup really couldn't be easier. The next screen will ask you to check the DNS settings. To be honest, the default settings work just fine unless you have something weird like Google Apps installed on your domain or you already have a CDN setup. If you have no idea what I just said, the default settings are probably good!
The next screen is important, but I'll wrap it up so you can skip it. In principle, requests to your main domain are routed via CloudFlare. However, in order for you to be able to use FTP or SSH as usual in your domain, CloudFlare automatically creates some kind of “bypass” subdomain, that is direct.yourdomain.com By default. Once you've made the CloudFlare changes, remember that from now on, if you want to access your website via FTP, you will need to do a fix "Direct”At the beginning of the connection address.
Finally, you will learn exactly what to update your name server settings as well. Go back to your domain control panel, edit the name servers and make sure these replacement servers are copied and pasted exactly.
That's it - isn't it that hard? I really have to recommend CloudFlare for explaining everything so well and making it easy to set up, because changing name servers and messing with CNAME DNS records is not for the average user. The fact that the existing settings are automatically detected makes the whole process simple and painless.
On the free account, you have to wait 24 hours for the statistics to be updated. Then log into your account, hit "Domain stats" and tune in to see how vulnerable your website was before!
Anyone hosting their own domain should sign up for CloudFlare now - and I can honestly say the speed boost on my website has had a pronounced effect, and with the added bandwidth bonus, my hosting bill should be cheaper this month too be. Let us know in the comments if you've tried CloudFlare for your site. For even more speed boost, check out my tips on the most comprehensive WordPress caching plugin around W3 Total Cache 3. The W3 Total Cache plugin can speed up your wordpress blog. 3 Ways The W3 Total Cache Plugin Can Speed Up Your Pace Wordpress Blog Self-hosted WordPress is without a doubt a fantastic system. However, it can get a little bloated, resulting in slow loading time. Read More How to configure the various W3 Total Cache plugin settings for your wordpress blog. How to configure the various W3 Total Cache plugin settings for your wordpress blog. Some time ago I was talking about the benefits of installing the W3TC plugin on your Wordpress blog to speed it up with various caching, but some readers were understandably a little suspicious of ... Read More
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