Difficulty Level: 1/5
If you are trying to help increase the performance of your website and server, then CloudFlare can help out for free! They help redirect bots/crawlers/spam/DDoS attacks and increase web page speed with caching. If you are using a shared server, this can be a very effective method to help things running more smoothly. This is just one of many options you can go with, just depends on what is going on with your webserver.
Photo by: Cloudflare.com
Think of it like – They are now the bouncer for your website. When someone goes to www.domain.com , they are requesting a DNS query of where the domain is located at. It has to request that information first, before the browser can start to connect to the server. So by changing the nameservers, you are putting CloudFlare setup before it redirects to your website.
Step 1: Create a Free Account
Head over to their home page, to get started.
If you plan on creating multiple websites and using CloudFlare to hide their ip addresses, then go ahead and create a unique account for each. If you are planning on just hosting a few personal blog projects, then go ahead and use your personal email address to get the updates.
Step 2: Scan DNS Records
After you create the account, it will ask for the domain name. Its going to scan it for the information it needs, so you dont have to manually input anything.
While its scanning, you get to watch this epic awesome video -.- ( I’ve seen this videos more times than i would like. )
You wont need to change anything on this page, but go ahead and verify that the information looks correct. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page to continue.
Cloudflare Plan Selection
Default they select the paid package, but if you are just running one domain. The Free Website option will be just fine to get going.
Step 3: Update New Nameservers
They will now provide you with two new nameservers to update on your end.
Update the nameservers with the domain provider you have it parked with. With Namecheap, you will want to select the Custom DNS option.
Verify The New Connection
Give the DNS a little bit to update, and recheck with them to make sure the connection is good. After that is completed, then you are good to go. I wouldn’t mess around with the other setting just yet while you are still learning. If you have any questions with those different settings and optimizing CloudFlare – Then feel free to post a comment below.