For the uninitiated, CDN (Content Delivery Networks), helps with site speeds. Site speed, in return, helps you with SEO (amongst other things). The popularity of CDN has grown hand-in-hand, with the same growth of the importance on site speeds.
- Someone from North Dakota
All things being equal, it will take more time for the person in Australia to load your site than the person in North Dakota. On a larger scale, businesses, blogs, etc. can suffer, simply because Australia is farther. Precisely, this is where a CDN can help! They can store your assets (a.k.a on a CDN network) in a location that’s closer to a geographic region (in our Example, Australia), so when that person goes to your site, a lot of the assets are loaded directly from the CDN, as opposed to sending requests all the way to California. Distance matters! Imagine how much beneficial this may be for video streaming services such as Netflix, or social media sites such as Facebook!
How to Configure Cloudflare CDN: Getting Started!
The first and foremost action item you’d have to take is to make a Cloudflare account, add your domain, and change name servers. Frankly, it’s very effortless! And if you’re one of those visual learners, check out the video below from Cloudflare themselves!
You May Also Want to Check Out:
- How Can Your WordPress Site Consistently Hit 90+ Score on Google’s PageSpeed Insights (for Mobile)
- Understanding the Core Fundamental Relationships Between Links and SEO
- How to Add a Contact Form on Your WordPress Site
- How to Exclude Your Home Wi-Fi in Google Analytics Tracking, and Then Verifying the Exclusion
- How to Setup FileZilla (FTP) for Your WordPress Site
What You Need to Do in WordPress
Once all of the basic fundamental setups have taken place, all you have to do now is to go in WordPress, and install the “Cloudflare” plugin. Screenshot below for reference.
Upon Activating, and or going to the plugin settings, the first thing you’d have to do is to enter your email account associated with Cloudflare, and get your global API key. To grab that:
- Log-into your Cloudflare account.
- Go to Account home.
- Enter your site
- Next, scroll all the way down, or simply search for “Get your API token”
- Lastly, on the page that loads next, you’ll see your Global API Key. Hit on view, button, copy the key, and go back to the plugin in WordPress, and plug the key in.
For the plugin settings, it is recommended that you:
- “Optimize Cloudflare for WordPress” (Hit Apply)
- And turn on “Automatic Cache Management.”
How to Verify That Your Newly Installed Cloudflare CDN Is Working?
There are 2 methods through which you can verify. Both methods should give you the assurance, but method 2 is more accurate (so to speak).
Method 1 (Cloudflare’s Analytics Dashboard)
Log into your Cloudflare account, and go the analytics dashboard. If you’re noticing numbers for things like total requests, Cached Requests, it is said that the CDN is working. See screenshot below for reference:
Method 2 (Using https://www.webpagetest.org/)
- Go to https://www.webpagetest.org/
- Plug-in the URL you want to test.
- Once the test is finished, navigate to the “details” tab, and scroll down to the “Request Headers” section.
- In that section, expand any of your CSS files (just to test). Expanding will open request headers, and response headers.
- You’ll go to the second one. Specifically, you’re looking for “cf-cache-status: HIT.” Feel free to exactly search like that. Essentially, if you see “HIT” value for the cache status, it means the CDN is active and working.
1. You can use Cloudflare CDN for free, on your WordPress site.
2. You can also verify if it’s working, via 2 basic methods listed above.