Decrease WordPress load times using Cloudflare CDN

Cloudflare is a free content delivery network and security service. Once you connect it with your WordPress site, you’ll be able to speed it up, secure it with SSL and bot protection, and implement some other useful features.

Hello WordPress enthusiasts, and welcome to our blog. My name is Robert and in this blog post, I will show you how to set up your WordPress site with Cloudflare, configure the official plugin and how to enable HTTPS to get the green checkmark.

Step #01: Signing up with Cloudflare

To get started, go to Cloudflare and sign up. On the next page, enter the domain name of the WordPress site that you want to use and click add site. Next, you’ll be prompted to choose a plan. You can choose the Free plan for now, as it offers all the features most WordPress sites need. Once you choose your plan, it will scan your site’s DNS records.

If you’re not sure what’s going on here, don’t worry. The only thing you need to verify is that you see an orange cloud next to your main domain name. Then, click continue. 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 is able to direct traffic to your website.

It uses this power to: Filter out malicious traffic – it will send regular traffic to your website just like normal while filtering out malicious actors before they can reach your site. and it will Deliver static content from the closest server in its huge global network, which is the CDN part.

Step #2: Change your nameservers

How you will change your nameservers depends on where you registered your domain name. Here’s how it works at Siteground. Go to services, domains and click manage. On the following screen, you will see the domain settings and a link that says manage nameservers. Click on that link and replace Nameserver 1 and Nameserver 2 with the nameservers provided by Cloudflare. Click Confirm when you are ready and you will get the message that DNS successfully changed. Once you’ve done that, go back to the Cloudflare interface and click the Done, check nameservers button. Keep in mind that nameservers can take up to 24 hours to update, so you might need to wait a bit for Cloudflare to update. Don’t panic and think you made a mistake unless it’s been at least 24 hours. On the next page, you can configure some basic settings for how Cloudflare functions.

Step #03: Configuring SSL (Optional, but recommended)

If you want to use an SSL certificate that activates HTTPS, you should select the Full option. This helps secure traffic at 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 use Cloudflare’s Full SSL. You’ll likely need to, in part, update your WordPress site’s URLs in the general gettings. Turn on always use HTTPS to redirect all requests with scheme HTTP to HTTPS. You can also configure minification, which will shrink the size of your code. Many WordPress performance plugins enable minification. So if you’re already using a plugin that does that, you shouldn’t enable this in Cloudflare. One more thing; Brotli, which is a server-level compression alternative to Gzip. I recommend enabling it. Click done once you’ve made your choices.

Once you click Done, you might see a message telling you that you need to complete your nameserver setup: Again – don’t panic. Nameservers can take up to 24 hours to update, so it’s totally normal to see this message for a few hours even if you did everything correctly. Wait 30 minutes to an hour and then click the Re-check now button to see if the nameservers have updated. Once they do, you should see a success message. And that’s it! You just set up Cloudflare for WordPress.

The official plugin is listed at WordPress.org, so you can install it right from your WordPress dashboard by searching for “Cloudflare” Once installed, it will help you with two things: It automatically configures some of the most important settings to optimize how your WordPress site works with Cloudflare. And It lets you manage some important Cloudflare settings from your WordPress dashboard, rather than needing to use the Cloudflare website. Go to Settings / Cloudflare and click the Sign in here link. Enter the email address of your Cloudflare account, along with your Cloudflare API key. Then click Save API credentials.

To get the API key, click on your account icon in the top-right corner, select My Profile, click on the API Tokens tab and click View next to your Global API Key. You’ll need to enter your password to view it and then just copy this value and paste it in the API key field on your dashboard. Now you’ll see an Optimize Cloudflare for WordPress option. Click Apply to automatically optimize your Cloudflare settings for WordPress. And that’s it!

If you want, you can browse the rest of the settings in your WordPress dashboard, or the Cloudflare dashboard. However, there’s nothing else that you’re required to do. If you want to speed up and protect your WordPress site, Cloudflare is one of the best free services that you’ll find. While the setup process requires a little technical effort with changing your domain’s nameservers, it’s a one-time thing and, going forward, your site will benefit without you raising a finger. That’s it, guys. Thanks for following me until the end! Keep up the good work and see you in the next video. Cheers!

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