CloudFlare Overview

This article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to setup CloudFlare for your BigScoots hosting service.

 

CloudFlare is an incredibly powerful (and free!) tool that in many cases will:

 

  • Allow your site to load ~twice as fast
  • Use up to ~60% less bandwidth
  • Have 65% fewer requests
  • Offer additional security

 

Through CloudFlare’s intelligent caching system you are saving on bandwidth and reducing the load across your entire hosting service, which results in your websites and applications loading faster all the while saving you money!

 

CloudFlare’s “out of the box” configuration will enhance your fight against DDoS attacks as well as against hacking and spam (submitted through blog or comment forms). CloudFlare analyzes patterns from hundreds of millions of visitors across all of their platforms in real time and adapts your security protocols to ensure good traffic gets through while bad traffic is stopped dead.

 

As a CloudFlare partner we offer these services for free, if you’d ever like to learn more about their paid offerings you can contact us any time or visit their site directly.

 

Now, let's get started!

 

How to Setup CloudFlare as a BigScoots Shared, Reseller, VPS or Dedicated Client while using an SSL

You can sign up for CloudFlare in 1 of 2 ways. The first we will be discussing is through CloudFlare’s website directly. This method allows the free use of an SSL (which is an otherwise paid CloudFlare service), but requires you to make a few extra steps. If you do not require the use of an SSL AND are a Shared or Reseller client we recommend skipping down to the next section as there you are able to setup CloudFlare right from within your cPanel and with only a few clicks of your mouse!

 

  • Step 1: Sign up for an account with CloudFlare

 

  1. Proceed to www.CloudFlare.com and select Sign up in the top right hand corner of their main page
  2. Enter your own personal Email and Password and as the form requests, ensure you verify each and agree to their terms before selecting Create Account.

 

  • Step 2: Setup your website(s) with CloudFlare

 

1. Part of the reason CloudFlare is such an excellent service is because of how easy it is to set up! After signing up the very next page will ask you for the website(s) you wish to set up for use with CloudFlare. Simply enter the sites (separated by a comma) you wish to setup and select Begin Scan. This scan will automatically search for all of the DNS entries your website(s) currently have making the DNS switch a breeze.

2. Once the scan has completed, simply select Continue Setup.

3. The following page will provide you a complete list of the DNS entries that CloudFlare scanned and found. It is possible that CloudFlare did not detect ALL DNS entries in which case you will want to add them. If you would like us to verify that the scan was in fact 100% correct, you can submit a support ticket along with a screenshot and we’ll be happy to verify this for you.Note: CloudFlare identifies services they can service with an orange cloud and ones it cannot with a grey cloud, not all services can be serviced by Cloudflare, such as mail for example. This is normal and expected.

4. The next step requires you to select a CloudFlare plan. This decision hinges squarely on what you’re looking to get out of your CloudFlare service. If you are looking for a DNS service, added security and an excellent CDN while being able to utilize a basic SSL than the free plan is perfect for you — this is generally our recommended option. If you are however looking for enhanced security, the use of an EV SSL, or detailed insights the Pro or Business service sounds right for you. Feel free to contact us or CloudFlare directly if you have any questions. Once you’ve chosen your plan, simply select Continue.

5. The final step is to adjust your nameservers to what is stated on the following page. A step-by-step guide to changing your name servers with most major providers (GoDaddy, Bluehost, NameCheap, Network Solutions and HostGator) are available by searching our knowledge base, however if you’d like any help please feel free to ask. Note: While you are changing your nameservers to CloudFlare you are still very much hosting your primary content with BigScoots. CloudFlare will be utilizing their intelligent caching system to provide you with all the benefits discussed above while BigScoots remains in the background delivering enterprise grade performance and management around the clock.

And that’s it! You’re all done. You’re setup and configured to use CloudFlare and make use of all of their excellent services. Note: A DNS switch has occurred when the name servers were changed which means it can take up to 48 hours for CloudFlare to begin functioning, in our experience however it usually only takes ~5 minutes.

 

How to Easily Setup CloudFlare with 3 clicks as a BigScoots Shared or Reseller Client

This is the second of 2 ways you can sign up for CloudFlare while hosting with BigScoots. This method does not allow the use of an SSL (if an SSL is required, please see the first method above) AND IT ALSO REQUIRES that you are signed up for one of our Shared or Reseller services AND using our name servers (ns1.bigscoots.com & ns2.bigscoots.com OR ns1.securedserverspace.com & ns2.securedserverspace.com)

 

  • Step 1: Access your BigScoots cPanel account

 

  1. Log into the BigScoots portal here.
  2. Browse to the shared or reseller hosting service you are wishing to access the cPanel account for (i.e. 155cc or Nitro+).
  3. In the left hand menu, select Access Control Panel and select Click here to access Control Panel. 
  • Step 2: Configure CloudFlare

 

1. Scroll down to the CloudFlare section within your cPanel and click on the CloudFlare icon.

2. Enter your email, read and agree to CloudFlare’s Terms of Service and select Signup Now! Note: A working email is required as it is used to confirm your registration.

3. If CloudFlare is not enabled simply click on the grey CloudFlare icon to enable CloudFlare.

4. The CloudFlare icon should have now turned orange.  NOTE: One major point to note here is that while this process is very simple, it also limits CloudFlare’s ability to allow the traffic to flow through CloudFlare IF your website is being visited via ‘domain.com’.  The only way your traffic will flow through CloudFlare is if your website is being visited over ‘www.domain.com’.  Don’t panic as this is an easy fix in most cases and we will show you below on how to force your site to load using ‘www’.

 

WordPress users, you can easily modify your URL in the WordPress admin side to ensure the site is loaded with ‘www’.

  1. Log into the WordPress admin side
  2. Navigate to Settings->General screen
  3. In both the “WordPress Address (URL)” field and “Site Address (URL)” field make sure the domain in these fields start with www. and then click “Save“.

Now anytime you visit your ‘domain.com’ it should automatically redirect to ‘www.domain.com’ and be served over CloudFlare.

 

If for some reason ‘www.’ is not being added to your domain OR you are not using WordPress, please open or create a .htaccess file in your websites public_html folder and add the following rules to the top of the file:

 

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\. [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTPS}s ^on(s)|
RewriteRule ^ http%1://www.%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

As always, if there are any issues what so ever or you run into any trouble along the road please never hesitate to reach out to BigScoots for assistance. We’re here around the clock and always looking to help in every way we can

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