[HowTo] Boost your Blog speed with CloudFlare

[HowTo] Boost your Blog speed with CloudFlare

This tutorial explains how you can make your wordpress blog superfast using Amazon CloudFlare.

Why the speed is important?

We have analyzed over a period of time, that blog speed matters a lot, in attracting new visitors, and to
reduce the bounce rate significantly.If any blog loads slow by even 400 milliseconds , it is going
to lose 20% of the visitors (we read it in a blog).
Visitors are going to click the immediate next link that appears in their search results !

What is CloudFlare?

CloudFlare is the free cloud service. CloudFlare provides proxy servers to serve the cached
data of your blog or website , Through the CloudFlare data centers present all over the world.
When someone accesses your blog or website data gets served by the nearest CloudFlare server.

Advantages

– Better performance of your blog or the website

– Website becomes around 40% faster (CloudFlare blog statistics)

– Server CPU load reduced by 60% (CloudFlare blog statistics)

– Saves bandwidth of your hosting account as the data is served via proxy servers or CDN

How to use CloudFlare?

We , In mytechyard use the CloudFlare via W3 Total Cache Plug-in ,
Install W3TC if you have not installed it.

First you need to sign up for the free CloudFlare account , which can be obtained from here,
and add your website in CouldFlare with the help of wizard.

Once you add the website in CloudFlare, you need to verify the DNS records as well as the
website folders.If the yellow cloud appears in front of the web folder, it means the contents
inside the folder will be served by CloudFlare.

Click NEXT in the wizard , and copy the primary and secondary DNS servers given by CloudFlare.
Login to your Domain registrar, and change the DNS server names.

Once W3TC is installed, activate the plug in , go to the performance tab in the wordpress dashboard , and you can find the CloudFlare settings in the General tab
Once you sign up for the account, Copy the API key from here
And , put the key inside the W3TC settings

We recommend not to install any cache plug-in s once W3TC is installed, It takes care of everything, If you are already using WP Super Cache, un install it before you install W3TC

What is next?

Wait for few hours to get the updated DNS records of your website, you can verify the DNS addresses from here
Once DNS records are updated, you can notice the significant difference in the load time of your website , Especially if you have the website on a Shared Hosting

Disadvantages , Troubleshooting.

Sometimes when you update the website, the changes may not be immediately visible , This happens when CloudFlare cache is old.
Purge the cache to get the updated data.

If your Analytics software is based on Apache logs, then it might not work properly as most of the HTTP requests over the world , will never hit your server.

If you switch your hosting service, you have to manually update all the DNS records CNAME records in CloudFlare.

How To Test if CloudFlare is working properly?

– First of all, if you updated DNS records to CloudFlare DNS, and if you are able to open the website, do not worry, it is just working fine.

– When you open the website, you can see CloudFlare source codes in the page source.

– Analyse CloudFlare analytics . Or In CPanel analytics, your bandwidth usage must be low.

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5 thoughts on “[HowTo] Boost your Blog speed with CloudFlare

  1. Hi Nithin,

    First of all, an excellent post. Got a good understanding on boosting blog speed using the Amazon cloud.

    Had a few queries

    1: If your main hosting server is down due to some reason, will Cloud Flare still serve the last cached content on your website ?

    2: Can we set the server cache polling time in W3 Total Cache Plug-in ?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Thanks, answering your questions,
    1. Yes, it will CloudFlare serves the last cached file
    2. Currently you cannot set the time . But yes, you can clear the CloudFlare cache whenever you want, next request to the website will re generate CloudFlare cache

  3. Cloudflare is not part of Amazon, it has nothing to do with it. I don’t know where you found “Amazon Cloudflare”. There is “Amazon Cloudfront”, but that’s a different service.