How To Setup Free Cloudflare CDN For Your WordPress Blog


Setup Free CloudFlare CDN
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It is a well-known fact that loading of a web page is one of the most important factors for search engine rankings these days.

Isn’t it?


…along with well-known techniques such as using a cache plugin, serving optimized images, using a content delivery network is one highly recommended way to speed up your website’s loading time.

Lesser known fact:

Google has made it official that a faster loading time will improve your search engine ranking.

Here at ShoutMeLoud, we have already covered what content delivery network is and it’s utility. In the market, there are many paid and free CDNs out there, and we have already covered MAXCDN. Today, I will talk about another popular (also free) CDN network called Cloudflare.

What Is Cloudflare CDN & Why It’s Free

For starters:

Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network) caches the most popular content of your website on it’s strategically located servers across the globe. Every webpage access request is served by a server that is closest to the requesting machine.


apart from just caching the content, it also serves optimized versions of your web pages by minifying JavaScript and also provides an extra layer of security by challenging attackers and spambots and thus filters the unwanted traffic before the request reaches your server.

Isn’t that awesome?

I loved it too.

With all these features your server load decreases gradually and the performance increases. It would also serve the cached version of your web pages when your web server goes offline for maintenance.

Now comes the best part:

The basic use of Cloudflare CDN is, wait for it…


Yes, free.

How to set up Cloudflare free CDN:

Watch this video by Harsh where he has explained how to set up free CDN using Cloudflare:

Simply proceed with the manual installation as steps given below:

1) Log on to and sign up for a new account. You’ll need to fill a sign-up form.

2) The next step would be to add your website by entering the URL as shown below:

Configure Cloudflare
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3) Cloudflare will then scan your existing domain records.

This process is likely to take a few seconds. Once the scan is complete, you’ll be directed to another your DNS Zone file where you can verify that all records have been successfully transferred.

Here, you can choose to keep particular subdomains on or off Cloudflare network. An orange cloud represents that the specific subdomain will be cached and will be served through Cloudflare, while a gray cloud represents that the particular subdomain will bypass Cloudflare and all requests will go directly to the web server.

Configure DNS Cloudflare
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4) Next, you can select the plan for your Cloudflare account. Remember that the basic use of Cloudflare is free. You may choose a paid plan in case you want additional features.

Now you’ll need to choose the caching performance level and the security settings. For starters, the Basic Performance Level is ideal as it is unlikely to interfere with any of your existing settings. You may, however, choose a performance level that suits your need.

Medium security settings are good to prevent spam/bot attacks on your website. You may select a higher security level if your site is under attack. However, don’t do so under normal circumstances as it may cause inconvenience to genuine visitors.

Cloudflare plans
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Want to learn more about the various Caching Performance Levels and Security Setting?

Visiting FAQ’s on the Cloudflare website.

5) Lastly, Cloudflare will provide you with two DNS name servers. For example, You’ll need to replace your the DNS name servers on your domain name management dashboard to the ones provided by Cloudflare and wait for them to resolve.

Be patient.

This may take up to 24 hours.

Cloudflare WordPress plugin 

CloudFlare WordPress plugin
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In case you’ve installed Cloudflare on your WordPress website, you can additionally install its WordPress plugin.

How does the plugin help?

This plugin helps ensure that the correct IP address appears on comments posted on your website and also improves the protection of your website from spammers as they get reported to Cloudflare. This feature is only available for those who install Cloudflare manually as explained above as you’ll need to enter Cloudflare API keys and your email address to enable this plugin. You can get the API keys by visiting the My Account page on Cloudflare.

My review of Cloudflare free CDN:

Let me tell you this:

I’ve been on the Cloudflare CDN network for over five years now and I can confidently say that it improves the web server performance drastically.

You know what I like most about it?

It is the Threat Control feature which is extremely important if you are running a popular open source software like WordPress!

Early in 2013, Cloudflare protected thousands of WordPress websites being hosted on its network from a brute force attack. I’ve been very impressed with Cloudflare as a service though I’d like to warn that once I faced an outage for an hour when one of their routing tables had gone corrupt. However, that was never repeated. If you aren’t on Cloudflare yet – I suggest you get on it soon.

Do let me know your review and feedback of Cloudflare free CDN? Are you using it or planning to integrate it with your website? Don’t forget to share this tutorial with your blog readers and friends on Facebook and Google Plus.

For further reading:

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81 thoughts on “How To Setup Free Cloudflare CDN For Your WordPress Blog”

  1. Since page loading time is a google ranking factor so we try to increase page loading time. Your readers also enjoy if you have good loading time. Low speed site can not earn the good user experience.
    I am using W3 total cache to increase my page loading time. But now I want to switch to CloudFlare CDN because of it’s better performance. This is really an excellent tool to increase site speed. Thanks for sharing wth us.

  2. hey harsh,
    I m using Cloudflare last 1 months its all working fine but now it creates a problem which i can’t understand why is it happened and how i resolved it,it shows me “Error 522 connection time out”.if u knw this why it happened then reply me.

    1. Hey Faizal,

      Check with your hosting provider if there is any downtime or if they moved their server to another IP or if they have blocked the Cloudflare IP address.

  3. I am a photographer, and mine is a photography site. Despite all the photos being optimised, my site is very slow.
    Would cloudflare improve the speed of my website too, I mean a site that is full of pictures?

  4. This article really help me out to find best CDN service, my website runs on shared servers and most times goes down due to load and shared resource, I will update you with my experience with cloudflare…

  5. Hello! Harsh.
    Recently I got an email from CloudFlare. They saying that please change your API v1 to V4 within November. Can you please research and explain us. It helpful for CloudFlare users. Thank You!

  6. Hi harsh i have a doubt whether my cloudflare cdn is working or not ,as shown in your tutorial we hav to change name server but when i opened my cpanel i saw cloudflare settings and i had signed up and just needed to choose my domain for cloudflare and it was activebut the problem is when check page load speed from and i saw an option use a cdn what should i do ?

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Cloudflare CDN is not as powerful as other CDN, Saying that, most of these speed checking sites don’t see Cloudflare as proper CDN site. So this is normal. If you are looking for a proper CDN service, I suggest you to use MaxCDN or KeyCDN. They also have trial option so it would help you to get started quickly.

  7. I am agree with you but tell me if we have different registrar and different Host. If we change the server name on registrar then what happened to the web-mail, we create in hosting account? I get mail on my webmail after change Servername on registrar. So tell clearly where to change Server name?

  8. Hey.mits great article..but plz clarify what would happen if i change the nameservers
    The case is, I have got domain from godaddy and using bluehost… so, i must have to do nameserver changes from godaddy itself..will not it affect the working of might show that your domain are currently not pointing to our nameservers! Will this be the case..plz tell..ty! 🙂

  9. Hi Sam, I recently moved to CloudFlare and while the performance and speed have improved significantly, I have seen a drop in the Google CTR and Adsense revenue. One strange thing I have come across see is that my Post Views and WP-Statistics won’t work anymore and don’t show an increase in a number of the statistics as it used to be. I stopped using CloudFlare and contacted their support they recommended me the WP plugin but no use. I don’t know what the problem is, I have never activated rocked loader or Minify option. Strangely, even after deactivating CloudFlare completely, I don’t see the changes reverting or the number rising. I don’t know what to do. Is it possible that it’s just because of the end of this month? Should I go back to CloudFlare? As I think it may have done some permanent damage to my website.

    1. How long have you been using cloudflare? It should have absolutely zero impact on your Google CTR and Adsense revenue. You may see a very slight decrease in traffic due to cloudflare blocking BOTS from triggering hits in Analytics. This is what you want however.

      Adsense earnings vary greatly from month to month. Cloudflare has nothing to do with that.

      Google has been refining its search algorithm and re-ranking sites over the past few months. You may just be noticing the effect of that. I got a temporary hit from that, but have recovered 95%+ of my traffic after making some site adjustments.

      What are you using for post views and wp-statistics? Jetpack? Jetpack and cloudflare work just fine together. Are you using another caching plugin? Take a look at your cookie settings.

      1. Hi Johnny,
        I had the same amount of traffic. In fact, the traffic rose since the last month. I found the real problem while I analysed my Google Adsense account with CDN activated. I analysed an Ad unit on my homescreen and here is what I found. Before activating CloudFlare that particular adunit used to get around 3000 impressions in a day. Later it when I activated the CDN, it dropped to jus 57 in a day. I asked support and they told me to activate mod_cloudflare which is not possible for websited using shared hosting service. They just shared a tutorial on how to activate mod_cloudflare on my website everytime i asked them a question. Finally I gave up and immediately removed the CDN service. Never returning back and would not recommend it for people with google adsense or shared hosting.

        1. Hi Sarang…I’m planning to install cloudfare in my blog but I just start receiving decent amount of money from adsense. Now after reading your experience with cloudfare I’m worried and not sure about to use it. What’s your views on this now?

          1. Hi Harsh thanks for replying in such an awesome way. I enabled the cloudflare and so far so good. Page speed is increased, no drop on adsense earning so far, slightly drop in visitors but I think thats normal.
            Just want to know few things –
            How to configure cloudflare with WP-SuperCache?
            As you mentioned to use image optimization plugin, can you suggest me one between Smush it, shortpixel and eww image optimization.
            One last thing is I saw an option to Auto minify the css, jscript and html in cloudflare..should I enable that option?


  10. Okay,just to clarify. i’m using cloudflare with w3total cache,in extension I enabled cloudflare and entered the apikey too. Also enabled cloudflare in cpanel.but when i check via the cdn is still unchecked, means my cloudflare is not active right?any ideas?

  11. Hi Harsh

    Great article But i have one question . my hosting provider hostgator and my domain name provider is godaddy .what should i do . how to configure it please let me know .

  12. Had so much problem with cloudflare integration with bluehost. I simply cant login to my wordpress admin page after enabling cloudflare. whats the solution?

  13. I just signed up for Cloudflair.. I understand the process you described..i think you guys missed something… Two CloudFlare Nameservers. I am getting two CloudFlare Nameservers and now I am totally confused which one should i use for my website now.. Can you guys help me?

    1. @Sunny
      You need to use both the Name-server. Go to your domain management console & replace the existing Name-server with these two given by Cloudflare.

      1. Thanks for the reply Harsh… one thing more I would like to ask… I am using wordpress ..under settings..i can see this cloudflare and there is only one box to put Cloudflair domain name..What do I do about that?

        1. @Sunny
          I’m unclear about your question. Could you share a screenshot so that I can understand your query & give you right suggestion.

  14. Hi Harsh & Sam, nice video and informative post. I have registered my domain under CloudFlare.

    Let me update you how it improves my website speed.

  15. My website activated in cloud flare through Bluehost. I entered API key in W3 total cache cloudflare settings. But it is showing error ” Unable to communicate with CloudFlare API: Setting: zone_settings Invalid token or email.” then how can I connect my site ?

  16. Hi just added my site on Cloudflare,

    the results are quite good still getting some JS query errors as most of the images are not loading.

    This might be due to Rocketloader, which interferes with JS Queries of Visual Composer Plugin.

    Not much helpful and no any significant improvements in Loading speed, after using WP Super cache plugin.

    Still i want to be on Cloudflare for security reasons.

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