Cloudflare is a dynamic content delivery network that you can easily get up and running on your domain for free! If you have not already read through part 1 of our series, please take the time to do so before you start on part 2.
Today, we will examine how to easily get started using Cloudflare with WordPress. Initially, it was considered best practice to pair the WP Super Cache plugin with Cloudflare, and if the situation is correct, this could still be the case. However, for small business sites and blogs we really just need to ensure that Cloudflare works properly without much interest for in-depth server or code configurations. Luckily, Cloudflare has created a native WordPress plugin that will fit perfectly within our needs. If you need help understanding how to install a WordPress plugin, go check out our post on installing a WordPress slider plugin for a general overview.
First, navigate into your WordPress dashboard to the plugins overview page. Next select “Add New” found at the top of your view. Search for “Cloudflare” and select install on the correct plugin. (Likely the first plugin on the list but to make sure, the image above leads directly to the plugin on the WordPress repository.)
Now that you have installed the plugin, find the settings page for the plugin. Likely, the link to the plugin setting page will be located in your WordPress left hand sidebar, within the “Plugins” sub-menu.
While, we are on the subject, I would like to be clear as to how the Cloudflare WordPress plugin will directly benefit your WordPress site.
CloudFlare has developed the plugin for WordPress. By using the CloudFlare WordPress Plugin, you receive:
- Correct IP Address information for comments posted to your site
- Better protection as spammers from your WordPress blog get reported to CloudFlare
- Optimization of your server database (optional)
This plugin helps your published content play nicely with the Cloudflare service and helps you take the steps necessary to optimize your site. To do this you will have access to the Cloudflare Database optimizer and development mode toggle directly within your WordPress Dashboard.
Connect With Cloudflare
Access your Cloudflare account dashboard by going to the “My Account” tab while signed in to the service. You will need to have two pieces of information to connect the WordPress plugin.
- Cloudflare API Key
- Cloudflare API Email
Once you have retrieved each piece of info, enter them all into the appropriate fields within the Cloudflare plugin page on WordPress. Once complete, click “update options” and ensure that the connection is successful.
Congratulations! You have successfully integrated the Cloudflare service with your WordPress powered site. Pretty easy right? Next we will take a look at further integration with plugins like WP Super Cache to fully unleash the speed beast.