CloudFlare Tips: Top Tips when activating through a CloudFlare Hosting Partner

by Damon Billian.

CloudFlare Tips: Top Tips when activating through a CloudFlare Hosting
PartnerCloudFlare is a service that utilizes proprietary technology to make websites run safer and faster around the world. We currently run 12 data centers (with more on the way) on three continents to provide static content caching, bot filtering and more for all of our users. CloudFlare has created a "pocket guide" for users that have signed up with CloudFlare through a hosting partner cPanel integration.

1. Familiarize yourself with the CloudFlare Settings page

The CloudFlare Settings page is where you will find all of the key optional features that can be turned on or off. Atlhough some CloudFlare Settings can be found in the control panel for your hosting provider, there are additional key features you can only find on CloudFlare's site including:

CloudFlare Rocket Loader and Auto Minify

There are two beta services we have developed to help speed up websites for our users free of charge, while also not requiring any special configuration on your end.

Rocket Loader makes the JavaScript on your pages load faster by loading the resources asynchronously. If you have ads on your website or any social widgets including Facebook Like, Twitter or Google +, Rocket Loader will make your website feel snappier to your visitors. This service is still in beta, so while we encourage you to try it on your site, if you notice any issues with your apps afterwards, turn it off and then file a bug report.

Auto Minify automatically minifies your code in real-time without you having to change anything or install any plugins.
This service is also in beta, so if you see any issues, you can easily turn it off.

Basic Security Level Settings

You can set the security level for your website to high, medium, low or essentially off. It defaults to Medium.

Development Mode

Turn this option on when you're making changes to static files (javascript, CSS, images, etc.) on your site that you want to appear immediately.

Purge Cache

If you want to clear the CloudFlare cache of all the static files, you can use the Purge Cache option. This is only recommended if you want to remove all of the static content we have cached. The drawback to purging the cache is that you will temporarily lose the performance benefits until the cache rebuilds which can take up to 1 day. If you only want to purge resources related to a recent site change then I recommend that you use Development Mode.

2. Familiarize yourself with your Reporting and Threat Control pages

The CloudFlare reporting page will show you statistics about visitors and pageviews for your site, including information about when your site was last crawled by a search engine.

The CloudFlare Threat Control page is where you can find out about visitors to your site that were challenged, and is also where you can manage access to your website by whitelisting and blacklisting IPs.

3. Check out CloudFlare's optional apps

CloudFlare has recently partnered with a number of great services to add applications on your site with a few clicks of your mouse. Some of the most popular applications include:

Google Analytics: Install Google Analytics to all of your web pages
Pingdom: Monitor your website's performance and uptime
Viglink: Monetize your blog or website with affiliate links

CloudFlare Apps includes a mix of Free and Paid services.

4. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter

CloudFlare proactively helps customers resolve basic service issues using these social media channels. In addition to handling basic questions about the service, we often solicit feedback from our users to see what we can do to make the service even better. Oh, and we sometimes surprise our followers with giveaways like CloudFlare t-shirts and CloudFlare laptop stickers.

Facebook

Twitter

5. Bookmark our Status Page

We run 12 data centers on three continents - with even more on the way to serve our global customer base - and we are constantly monitoring our systems. To get the most current updates about known service issues, you can follow the:

CloudFlare System status page
CloudFlare Twitter System Status

6. Why should I upgrade to Pro? And how do I upgrade to Pro?

With the Pro service, you receive four main additional benefits that free accounts don't have:

  1. Faster subsequent page loads (so the second, third and fourth page loads are much quicker)
  2. Web Application Firewall to protect from comment spam, SQL injection and XSS attacks
  3. SSL compatibility
  4. 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.

You can upgrade to Pro by going to your CloudFlare settings for the domain you would like to upgrade to pro.

Please do the following to upgrade to Pro:
CloudFlare->My Websites->Settings ->CloudFlare Settings-> Change from Free to Pro to open the billing information page->then come back to the settings page for the domain to make sure you change the domain from free to Pro.

Have additional questions? Have a suggestion to help improve the CloudFlare service? Please contact us.

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