What is Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is a large network that connects many servers throughout the world. Cloudflare is a fantastic network, as it has a large network of data centres set up within an 'edge' network, this speeds up the loading of internet pages considerably. It does this by routing data through a server that is much closer to the the computer that you are using. Imagine you always shop at the same large supermarket, perhaps because you really like the products that this supermarket sells. A problem may arise that this supermarket is quite far from where you live, and is also very busy. In this case, it takes you a long time to get there and back and sometimes when you visit the store, some products that you may be looking for are 'sold out' due to the demand of the other customers visiting the store. The store then opens some new stores - one of which is very close to where you live! You start to use this store, rather than the busy large store that you used to use that was also prohibitively far away. You now have access to the same products that you shopped for originally, with the added benefit of being able to get to and from the new store much more quickly. Due to the store being less busy that the prior, the shelves are fully stocked with your preferred products. This is effectively what cloudflare does, and is one of the reasons why it is such a effective networking tool.
As well as providing much quicker loading times and easing the acquisition of content online, Cloudflare also comes with a host of other benefits. One important benefit of using Cloudflare, is that it reduces both the bandwidth and number of requests to your website by over a HALF of what they were. Again this feeds into a much more streamlined and quicker loading time for your website content. Another important benefit is that Cloudflare provides protection from malicious activities (DDoS attacks, intrusions from bots etc) and the use of Cloudflare is absolute free!
Why should you use Cloudfare?
As mentioned above, Cloudflare is free to use and comes with a huge host of benefits! Every owner of a website wants their website to be running at its most optimum condition and have as fast a loading speed as possible.
The use of Cloudflare provides all of these benefits and adds an extra element of security that protects your website from potential security threats.
How to set it Cloudflare
Setting up Cloudflare is quick (around 5 minutes) and is very straightforward, simply:
- Login to cPanel
- Once onto the main menu (cPanel), scroll down until you come to the 'software' tab - select Cloudflare from the menu
- Select 'create your free account'
- From here follow the on screen instructions that are presented in the pop up window
- You will now see the domain overview screen, from here select the setup type you wish to use (CNAME (recommended) or Full Zone)
- Note: - If you wish to use Full Zone then you will be required to change your name servers
We mentioned in the last step 'CNAME' and 'Full Zone', the different between the two is Cloudflare will have control over the authoritative DNS in the case of a Full Zone setup (Cloudflare will also act as a firewall in this instance). In the case of a CNAME setup, authoritative DNS is managed outside of Cloudflare.
At the point the setup is complete and you should notice the benefits of Cloudflare when you come to re-load the domain (sub-domains) which you have enable to be used by Cloudflare.
As with all of our articles we have included the core information which we think will be useful to you should you be unfamiliar with the Cloudflare network process. If you require any further information please launch a support ticket with our hosting department and we will get back to you as soon as we can.