CloudFlare is a service that has powerful underlying technology. We run 10 (with more coming) data centers around the world and do DNS, caching, bot filtering and more for all of our users. Despite all of this technology, our goal is to make the service simple for our users to use. Here is a "pocket guide" for use after signing up with CloudFlare.
1. Check to make sure that your DNS records are correct on the DNS settings page.
If you need to add or edit entries to your DNS records, you can do so by going to:
Your Websites->Settings->DNS settings
While CloudFlare can resolve DNS for all of your subdomains, CloudFlare can only proxy domains that would be considered web traffic (www, blog, etc.). Subdomains like ftp, mail should be marked with a gray cloud. You can find the entire list of what should be marked with a gray cloud here.
If you have a wildcard (*) subdomain, CloudFlare does not proxy wildcard domains. You have to explicitly list the subdomains that you want to be accelerated and protected CloudFlare in your DNS zone file.
2. Familiarize yourself with the CloudFlare Settings page
The CloudFlare Settings page is where you will find all of the optional features that can be turned on or off. Some key features on this page include:
CloudFlare Rocket Loader
Basic Security Level Settings
You can set the security level for your website to high, medium, low or essentially off. It defaults to Medium.
If you want to clear the CloudFlare cache of all the static files for a domain, you can use Purge Cache.
To get to CloudFlare Settings:
CloudFlare --> Websites --> Settings (pull down menu) --> CloudFlare Settings
3. Install mod_cloudflare to get the original visitor IP
Since CloudFlare acts as a reverse proxy for you site, your visitor logs will show our IP addresses unless you make a modification to your server. We have a group of resources available here, including for Apache servers.
4. Whitelist CloudFlare's IP addresses (recommended) Whitelisting our IP ranges with your hosting provider or in your IP tables ensures all of your website's requests are served properly.
Note: CloudFlare customers that are activated through our hosting partners (full list can be found here), including HostGator, VEXXHost, CoolHandle, A2 Hosting are not required to take this step.
5. Bookmark our Status PageWe run 10 data centers on three continents and we are constantly monitoring our systems. To get the most current updates, you can follow our:
6. Difference between the Pro and Free serviceWith the Pro service,
you receive four main additional benefits:i) Faster subsequent page
loads (so the second, third and fourth page loads are much quicker)ii)
Web Application Firewall to protect from comment spam, SQL injection and
iii) SSL compatibility
iv) Stats updates every 15 minutes (vs 24 hours)
The pro service is done on a month by month basis so you can easily try it for a month by choosing "Upgrade to Pro" in your CloudFlare account.
If you ever have a question, please contact us. We read every email that we get and love to hear from our users.