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How to Add Cloudflare to GoDaddy Managed WordPress

Adding Cloudflare proxy, CDN, and its other features to your managed GoDaddy WordPress plan isn’t hard at all. I’ve personally benefited from it a ton, and I am sure you will too!

Prerequisites/Things You’d Need (in Order Of)

  1. A GoDaddy Managed WordPress Plan with a domain name that’s live. For example, feedthecuriosity.com.
  2. Then, you’d need to sign-up with Cloudflare. You can do so here. The reason I am putting this as step 2 is because during signup, Cloudflare requires you to add a website, and it needs to scan your existing DNS records.
    • Note to select the free plan, unless you know you need a paid one.
  3. Logins to both (which shouldn’t be a problem).

With these 3, you’re set to get started. On a high-level, the gist is that you essentially have to change your GoDaddy nameservers with Cloudflare, and verify a few things.

What You Need to Do in GoDaddy

Step 1

Once you’re into your GoDaddy account, click on your name in the top-right corner, and from the “Account” section, select My Products.

selecting my products in godaddy managed wordpress
From anywhere within your GoDaddy account, select your name, and then select my products.

Step 2

Next, head over to the section “All products and services,” and under “Domains,” you should be able to see your domain name. Within that module itself, select the DNS option (not Manage all, or manage). See the screenshot below for reference.

As shown, opt for the DNS setting.

Step 3

Inside your DNS Management page, find “Nameservers.” Then, hit the change button.

changing nameservers for a managed godaddy wordpress plan
As soon as you hit change, you’ll be directed to what kind of nameservers you want. See the image that follows.
adding custom nameservers to a godaddy managed wordpress plan
Go with choosing your own nameservers — which you’ll be grabbing from Cloudflare.

Now, because this is the step where we need info from Cloudflare, I’ll go over what you need to do in Cloudflare.

What You Need to Do in Cloudflare

Technically, you would have done everything you needed to when you signed up. But here are some pointers again.

  1. When the DNS records scan complete, the orange cloud indicates which records are proxied, and the grey ones (non-orange), suggest otherwise. This, cannot be changed. What you should do, however, is verify the record names are correct by matching the info from GoDaddy (step 3; nameservers). As a Matter of fact, I think you’ll benefit a lot more if you directly saw the video from Cloudflare themselves here–>https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/201720164-Step-2-Create-a-CloudFlare-account-and-add-a-website.
  2. The video is only 2 mins long, and they nicely summarize all of the technicalities that you need to be aware of.
    I tried to find a way to embed their video, but couldn’t. However, if you’d rather not leave this page, below is a YouTube video I found, that I am confident would prove useful, or at the least, you’ll get a better idea of the whole thing.
Source

In any case, once you have your Cloudflare nameservers, go back to step 3, and replace GoDaddy, with Cloudflare’s. Honestly, that’s it — as far as the setup goes. Although, there are a few things you need to be aware of, so follow along.

Things to Expect After GoDaddy Nameservers Have Been Switched With Cloudflare Nameservers

What’ll Change in GoDaddy

Under DNS Management, GoDaddy will tell you that it won’t be able to display DNS information, as they don’t manage the nameservers. Don’t worry, that’s an expected outcome.

godaddy not being able to display dns records because of changed nameservers
An expected consequence of switching to Cloudflare nameservers is that GoDaddy won’t be able to show you the DNS information.

Further, within the settings of your managed WordPress website, GoDaddy will try to urge you to update your DNS records back to them. Things would be colored in red to enhance the urgency — instilling an idea that something is severely wrong. Again, fret not; it’s an expected aftereffect.

You really don’t have to take any action here. GoDaddy just wants you to come back to them.

What to Expect WRT to Cloudflare

Note that it could take 24-48 before your site is being able to be served by Cloudflare. But once it is, confirm that their CDN is actually leveraged. I’ve written a post on how to verify if your site is using A Cloudflare CDN here.

Also, you should be able to start seeing web traffic data, under Cloudflare’s analytics. That’s another sign that your site is being proxied through them.

Seeing hits inside Cloudflare’s analytics indicates that your site is served via their servers. Request hits, especially cached requests, is a better form of verification.

You May Also Want to Check Out:

Conclusion

As stated right at the beginning, installing Cloudflare on a GoDaddy Managed WordPress isn’t complicated. All you need are logins to both, and you’re good to go!

A pro tip would be to save your default GoDaddy nameservers somewhere, if you ever need to switch back for diagnosis and whatnot.

Lastly, there is a Cloudflare plugin that is traditionally recommended for installation. You can reference my post on Cloudflare CDN again to get an idea, but know that you do not necessarily need that plugin. It’s more of a convenience thing, than actually serving any other purpose.

If it makes you feel better, I do not have the Cloudflare plugin. The only drawback is that you need to log into your account when you need to clear cache or tweak Cloudflare settings — which honestly, I don’t mind.